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Therion - Beyond Sanctorum CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

2.59 | 52 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Growls and green shoots

Therion's début album "Of darkness" was in reality a summary of their work in the previous years leading up to its release in 1991. "Beyond Sanctorum", released the same year, was therefore their first contemporary statement of where they were at the time. Bassist Erik Gustafson had already departed, the band carrying on as a trio with both Peter Hansson and Christofer Johnsson adding bass as required. The first indications of the bands move towards the model they would eventually settle on comes with the addition of three guest vocalists on the latter part of the album. Equally significant is the addition of keyboards to the instrumental line up played by Hansson.

For the opening three tracks, it is business as usual with thrashed guitars and growls being the order of the day. Surprisingly, the latter part of opening track "Future Consciousness" does feature some spacey guitar of the early Floydian type. On the other hand, the growls on "Pandemonic Outbreak" are so ridiculous it is difficult not to laugh out loud.

"Symphony of the Dead" offers the first green shoots of the future sound of Therion. Here, the growls are offset by some conventional singing plus some brief operatic vocals. The track is predominantly the usual fare for Therion's early work, but the keyboards and slight diversity in the vocals do set it apart from its peers. The short title track features some all too brief lead guitar played by guest Magnus Eklov. The next track of any interest thereafter is "The way", and then only because it runs to some 11 minutes. There is certainly a greater level of ambition to the track at times, with hints of keyboard chorales and occasional flurries of lead guitar. Ultimately though, the track disappoints in that it is simply an elongated variation on what has gone before.

The 2 minute track "Paths" sees the return of the choral vocals alongside the growls, once again offering a glimpse of the future.

In all, "Beyond sanctorum" definitely shows sings of improvement when compared with its predecessor. There is still a long way to go though, and much of what we find here has little to do with prog.

The reissued version of the album has 4 extra tracks, all of which are demos of songs which appear on the album.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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