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Therion - Beyond Sanctorum CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

2.58 | 51 ratings

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The Crow
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Despite being similar to its predecessor Beyond Sanctorum entailed a progression in the band's career.

Christofer Johnsson was focused on Death Metal back in 1991, but he managed to introduce some little elements which gave a glimpse of what the band would do in the future. But let's analyze the album song by song.

Future Consciousness is a death metal knock, typical of the 90's. Maybe the guitar solo is a bit more melodic than usual, while the next song Pandemonic Outbreak is also very heavy and unforgiving. Cthulhu is also very hard, with a bit more melody than the previous track. Nile comes to my mind while hearing this song! And that is not a bad thing.

But then comes Symphony of the Dead, a very surprising song with orchestral arrangements made simulated with keyboards, female choirs and another melodic guitar solo. Hearing this song is easy to preview future albums of the band. Maybe when they recorded this album this was just an experiment, but without a doubt this song played an important role on the band's future.

Beyond Sanctorum starts as a doom song, but then becomes to another typical death metal song. Nothing special. And also not special is Enter the Depths of Eternal Darkness despite its spectacular name. Illusions of life has mysteriously a worse sound, and so on with the rest of the album. Maybe a mastering problem? I don't know, but the second half of the record is worse in terms of production.

But luckily The Way comes next! Death Metal with soft oriental influenced melodies on it, a more heavy metal oriented second half of the song with an hard rock ending! 11 minutes for the most progressive track of the album. And maybe also the best! Paths starts also with a curious symphonic gothic feeling, which then derivate into another doom track.

And sadly, Tyrants of the Damned ends the album is a rather bland way! Just more typical Death Metal.

Conclusion: warning, Beyond Sanctorum is not a progressive or symphonic metal album. Is more a Death Metal record with some Doom and Gothic elements, but with a curious taste for arrangements, usage of keyboards and some progressive elements in some songs. Is not the style that made Therion big, but interessant nevertheless if you are a completionist of extreme metal bands of the early 90's or if you are eager to discover the band's evolution through the years.

Best Tracks: Symphony of the Dead, The Way, Paths.

My rating: **

The Crow | 2/5 |


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