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Therion - Sirius B CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.84 | 132 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars If you like this, you'll like the Sugarbabes!

It is interesting when using on-line music retailers, to take a quick look at the section which says "people who bought this album also bought..". In the case of this album the HMV website lists the other suggested artists as Metallica, Kiss, Saxon, and Smokie! Interestingly, another Therion album lists KT Tunstall and the Sugarbabes. The point here is that the diversity of related purchases serves to emphasise the diverse appeal of the music of Therion.

Released in 2004, Sirius B is one half of Therion's latest album at time of writing. Planned as two separate releases, Sirius B and Lemuria were initially combined into a double album package.

The credits for this album read like a roll call for a small multi-cultural town, with over 160 contributors. While the Prague Philharmonic account for a significant proportion of these, there are also a large number of accomplished male and female operatic singers. The project is of course the work of Therion's Christofer Johnsson, the only ever present band member.

As for the music, this is a truly superb piece of work. As a whole, there are obvious similarities with bands such as RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) and NIGHTWISH. Certainly, Therion take their music a step or two further in terms of complexity and arrangement, but at a superficial level the overall sound is very much in keeping with those bands.

After a brief introductory fanfare, "The Blood of Kingu" opens the album with the predominantly metal side of Therion's sound, featuring speeding guitars and rough vocals. Only the chorales on the choruses hint at the operatic and symphonic wonderland which lies ahead. The following tracks take us through a myriad of sounds and melodies in a succession of vibrant landscapes. The use of trained operatic singers and a large orchestra gives an overall feel of quality and musical accomplishment. The fact that these sounds are heard against a metallic background only serves to accentuate the sublime pomposity of the project.

The album reaches its zenith with "The Wonderous World of Punt", which pulls together all the tricks used previously and adds a few new ones. The gothic atmosphere of this track is a welcome divergence too. All too soon, the massed choirs of "Voyage of Gurdjieff" indicate that we have reached our destination.

A wonderfully unique album which should appeal well beyond Therion's traditional (metal) following. Recommended.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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