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Therion Sitra Ahra album cover
3.38 | 64 ratings | 5 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sitra Ahra (5:24)
2. Kings Of Edom (8:51)
3. Unguentum Sabbati (5:10)
4. Land Of Canaan (10:32)
5. Hellequin (5:18)
6. 2012 (4:16)
7. Cu Chulain (4:16)
8. Kali Yoga III (3:41)
9. The Shells Are Open (3:44)
10. Din (2:37)
11. After The Inquisition: Children Of The Stone (7:22)

Total Time 61:17

Line-up / Musicians

- Christofer Johnsson / guitar
- Christian Vidal / guitar
- Nalle "Grizzly" Påhlsson / bass guitar
- Johan Koleberg / drums
- Snowy Shaw / vocals
- Thomas Vikström / vocals
- Linnea Vikström / vocals
- Lori Lewis / vocals

Releases information

Nuclear Blast CD 171307
Release: 17.09.2010

Thanks to mamboboy for the addition
and to Easy livin for the last updates
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Buy THERION Sitra Ahra Music

Sitra Ahra (U.S. Digipak)Sitra Ahra (U.S. Digipak)
Nuclear Blast America 2012
$7.98 (used)
$17.35 (used)

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THERION Sitra Ahra ratings distribution

(64 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (16%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

THERION Sitra Ahra reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It was time when I really liked Therion albums. Unhappily, this time is gone some years ago. What doesn't mean their music is not good enough now. It just is different, and I am not sure these changes are for good.

New, just few days old Therion album is fantastic melodic epic. You will hardly find such melodic release nowadays! Operatic vocals are great to excellent as well. So - what is the problem?

Main problem for me is music itself. You will work hard trying to find even traces of progressive metal there on this album. Absolutely biggest part of this recording is straight forward melodic operatic metal, often - goth metal. Album is very accessible, catchy, with plenty of pop-metal elements.

In fact, strongest part of this album is melodies and vocals. All other is openly flirting with show business, and you will hear it very easy. So - good album for fans of melodic bombastic pop-metal with operatic vocals. Very average one (or even below) for any listener, searching for complex or just progressive musicianship.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Back to doing what he does best

For me, Therion's 2007 album "Gothic Kabbalah" saw Christofer Johnsson throwing the baby out with the bathwater by ditching the orchestra and everything which distinguished Therion from their peers. What was left was little more than just another Gothic metal album.

When it was announced in late 2009 that the next album would see those essential parts of the band's make up returning, the omens were good for a return to form. Released in late 2010, "Sitra Ahra" may not live up to those expectations in full, but it is certainly a major step back in the right direction. Following the release of "Gothic Kabbalah", the line up supporting Johnsson disbanded and a new group of musicians was brought in to support him. Perhaps most significant among these is vocalist Thomas Vikström (the son of a noted Swedish opera singer), the first time the band have had an official lead vocalist other than Johnsson himself (and even he has "retired" from singing).

The opening "Introduction: Sitra Ahra" is certainly full of promise. Operatic female vocals, trained male voices, massed choirs and a heavy guitar riff all blend seamlessly to offer a wonderfully reassuring burst of classic Therion. Thomas Vikström's fine voice is apparent throughout the album, his duet with Linnea Vikström (presumably a relation!) being an early highlight. The track also boasts a fine chorale and some tasteful lead guitar. The arrangement on this 9 minute track is one of the most progressive ever attempted by Johnsson, and one of the most successful. "Unguentum Sabbati" is the third part of the opening quartet which for me form the best part of the album. The track includes brief references to "Phantom of the opera", and harder vocals than have been the case up to now.

The final part of that quartet is the longest track on the album, "Land Of Canaan" running to some 10½ minutes. Once again, the piece features a complex arrangement, but this time there is much more in the way of purely instrumental passages than usual. When the vocals do come in, they have something of a seafaring/Romany atmosphere (for want of a better description).

For no apparent reason, things take a bit of a dip thereafter, the tracks becoming a lot shorter while also generally resorting to a much less sophisticated style. The operatics, chorales, etc., still drift in and out, but they seem less at ease with the rock/metal foundations on which they are laid. "2012" bucks the trend to some extent, "Kashmir" like sounds blending well with chorale vocals and some fine lead guitar. "Cu Chulain" contains the almost obligatory growling, but it is cocooned well in the overall mix.

The closing "After The Inquisition: Children Of The Stone" is rather different, mainly because it features a lighter melody and a children's choir. It may sound concerning, and I suspect many will find it not to their taste, but for me the track works well, offering a new dimension for the band while remaining within their natural boundaries. The ending is rather stage show like!

In all, a vastly superior album from Therion to their (or his) last. While not up to the standard of the classic Therion albums, those who enjoy this unique musical style will find much here to appreciate.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Sitra Ahra" is the 13th full-length studio album by Swedish symphonic metal act Therion. The album was released in September 2010 by Nuclear Blast Records.

The music on the album is vocal dominated symphonic metal. The backbone of the music is mid- to slow paced heavy metal but it´s the operatic and semi-operatic female and male vocals that completely dominate the music. The songs are epic and almost cinematic at times. Sometimes I´m reminded of a grand musical ( broadway) production. The images are the only thing missing. I´m well entertained throughout the playing time of the album as I´m treated to well thought out compositions, excellent musicianship and a professional production. As far as the "metal" part of the album goes, I miss a bit of bite and recognisable riffs, but the intriguing melody lines and vocal performances make up for some of that.

I haven´t listened to much Therion since "Theli (1996)", but I understand they´ve played this style of vocal dominated symphonic metal pretty much since then. With that in mind I can´t put "Sitra Ahra" into a context discography wise, but viewed upon on its own merits this is a really good album to my ears. A 3.5 star rating is fully deserved.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Therion don't quite sell out with this album, but it is undeniable that Sitra Ahra is vastly more approachable and accessible than the dense double album of Gothic Kabbalah, and they seem less averse to throwing in some entertainingly catchy hooks into their compositions than usual. It's certainly a far cry from the ugly occult symphonic death metal they started out with, but the purists parted way with Therion a good long time ago, and this release focuses on their symphonic strengths whilst simultaneously coming up with enough novel twists to keep things feeling fresh and vibrant and to convince me that maybe Therion still have a bit of gas left in the tank, even if they aren't going on a trip I want to ride on.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I really like this album. After the brilliant "Lemuria/Sirius B" double album and the still solid "Gothic Kabbalah" which had its lengths and strengths, the band is now back and presents their best album since the innovating "Theli". But attention, dear metal heads: While "Theli" was an album bui ... (read more)

Report this review (#380765) | Posted by kluseba | Saturday, January 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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