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SIRIUS B

Therion

Progressive Metal


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Therion Sirius B album cover
3.83 | 119 ratings | 13 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Blood of Kingu (5:45)
2. Son of the Sun (5:35)
3. The Khlysti Evangelist (5:39)
4. Dark Venus Persephone (4:02)
5. Kali Yuga Part 1 (3:28)
6. Kali Yuga Part 2 (5:48)
7. The Wonderous World of Punt (7:19)
8. Melek Taus (5:32)
9. Call of Dagon (4:14)
10. Sirius B (3:44)
11. Voyage of Gurdjieff (The Fourth Way) (5:57)

Total Time: 57:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Christofer Johnsson / guitar, mandolin (7)
- Kristian Niemann / acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin (7)
- Johan Niemann / bass guitar, mandolin (7)
- Richard Evensand / drums, gong (6)

With:
- Mats Levén / lead vocals (1,3,6)
- Piotr Wawrzeniuk / lead vocals (4,5,8)
- Ulrika Skarby / alto vocals (2,4,8)
- Anna-Maria Krawe / soprano vocals (2,4,7-9)
- Jana Bínová-Koucká / soprano vocals (3,5)
- Tomás Černý / tenor vocals (3,5,7,11)
- Michael Schmidberger / bass vocals (4)
- Jaromír Bělor / bass vocals (7)
- Steen Rasmussen / Hammond organ
- Lars Sømod Jensen / church organ - Vor Frelsers Kirke, Copenhagen (7)
- Jitka Tomsíčková / oboe
- Petra Čermáková / horn
- The City Of Prague Philharmonic
- Adam Klemens / orchestra conductor
- Kühn Mixed Choir
- Mario Klemens / choir & orchestra conductor

Releases information

Artwork: Thomas Ewerhard

CD Nuclear Blast ‎- NB 1252-2 (2004, Germany)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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THERION Sirius B ratings distribution


3.83
(119 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
29%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
33%
Good, but non-essential (26%)
26%
Collectors/fans only (10%)
10%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

THERION Sirius B reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by semismart
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars If you were to ask me to compare Therion's music with other artists, I would probably think, and scratch my head, think some more and finally say, there is none. Fact is there is none. Therion is incomparable. I do get a similar feeling from few of the songs of power metal band extraordinaire Thy Majestie and a little from Rhapsody but that's it. I guess nobody else can do it or if the can, don't want to or can't go through the expense of hiring Symphonic orchestras and large choirs. Therion, brainchild of Swedish musical obergenius Christofer Johnsson, creates the most beautiful heavy metal music imaginable. His use of classical oriented elements in confluence with heavenly choirs and symphonic orchestras is becoming legendary.

Having said that, the new double release Lemuria / Sirius B is just a little heavier than their last five releases. This is not bad, no, it's very good just different, so don't expect a repeat of Theli etc. Lemuria / Sirius B has more metal and even a little electronica but don't worry there's still plenty of the recent Therion to go around.

More than 170 musicians and singers participated in the creation of Lemuria / Sirius B with the recording sessions taking over nine months. With this release, Therion have taken on the challenge of revisiting their roots. Therion have, until now, not been able to meld the harder facets of their early years with the new bombastic symphonic aspects for which Therion have become renown for, like they have on this album!

I like the new direction of Therion. There is nothing wrong with their older material, after all it is all five stars, but this is an exiting change of pace. A fresh perspective from one of the most creative minds in the music industry. I think, in the long run I may like it more.

As usual with Therion, there are no mediocre let alone bad songs. I'm tempted to give all songs five stars but I guess there are a couple that only deserve four stars. This(these) album(s) is(are) in the running for album of the year.

Review by Vanwarp
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The Grand Masters of Progressive Speed Symphonic Metal released two albums in 2004 of truly Epic proportions. I already submitted a review of Limuria, so I'm going to concentrate here on Sirius B which contains some of the most complex musical compositions that I had the pleasure of hearing in 2004. The technical proficiency of the band and the overall quality of the music is what makes this album one of my favorites of 2004. Yes, I prefer this one over Limuria.

When you consider the fact that it took nine months of recording sessions to put both Limuria and Sirius B together, just imagine the discipline and the dedication that is required to accomplish something like that, then like me, you will learn to admire the music of Therion. All one can really do at the end of the day is sit down and listen! Yes folks, this band creates the kind of music that literally takes you on a musical journey.

With classically trained opera singers (both female and male lead vocals) and lets not forget the choirs, and with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra recording along side the band, this all translates into one amazing classically influenced progressive metal album.

The mood of this album follows the same pattern as Limuria in that it begins up-beat, slows down to a more melancholic mood halfway through only to pick things up again towards the end.

A few recommended highlights:

Sirius B opens with "Blood of Kingu," and we immediately find ourselves in an epic movie soundtrack surrounding, the music is heavy, fast and very aggressive and the singing is urgent. A very good start!

"Son of the Sun" is another excellent track, first reminded me of Nightwish with its very catchy music and melodies.

On "Voyage Of Gurdjieff (The Fourth Way)" the band embarks on a six minute bombastic peddle to the metal power ride, their fastest and most ambitious song in recent years.

It's the dynamics and depth of the music and the amazing combination of darkness and beauty that attracts me to Therion's music. I'm running out of interesting things to say. It's all so very good. Therion has crafted an impressive piece of work folks, an album full of music that must be heard to be believed...

Review by 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.

Review by MikeEnRegalia
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is a quite decent album, but somehow the songwriting leaves me cold. It's also quite ordinarily structured, with songs mainly consisting of verse/chorus sections with alternating moods (usually power metal/male metal shouting vocals vs. symphonic power metal/female and male operatic vocals both in choir arrangements and solo). Harmonically it's quite tame, using chord progressions well known from other symphonic metal bands like Rhapsody and Nightwish, and of course also Therion's previous albums. Instrumentation is quite reduced compared to other symphonic metal albums - they're essentially just using drums, bass, guitars and vocal arrangements, keyboards and orchestra instruments are rarely used except for intros, outros and short interludes.

I'd definitely recommend their 2007 album Gothic Kabbalah instead of this one, but if you're a fan especially of Therion's early albums you'll also enjoy this one as well.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It's a one of double CD album from 2004 ( each has own name, but they were selling as one double album).

Therion ( especially in XXI century) is one of the most interesting symphonic metal groups in the world, and this album is their gem.

The music ( for the first time starting from the beginning of their simphonic metal period) is more heavy rock than sympho, as before. Songs are more focused, music became more guitar driven. But all other accents are the same : perfect melodies, combination of few opera- trained voices, some symphonic instruments.

I think this album is their best work till now: there they found excellent balance between opera trained vocals, melodic,but neavy enough, guitar driven metal rock, symphonic orchestra sound. All components are melted both together in very acceptable, fresh and pleasant music.

Very recommended to everyone from melodic heavy metal fans to sympho-rock maniacs.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars A mind blowing blast of symphonic operatic prog like no other

Therion were first introduced to me through listening to a variety of tracks streamed online and I was quite taken with the blend of metal and opera on their latest albums, so without hearing anything from 'Sirius B' I took the plunge into the world of Therion.

I was immediately blown away by the album cover work and booklet. The lyrics are dangerous, edgey interglactic hyper nonsense about some great interplanetary cult that is going to cause mass destruction.

Forget all that, I am not going to pretend to understand the strange lyrics, the real star here is the beautiful female operatic vocals and choirs over a soundscape of orchestra and metal riffs. It shouldn't work but it does! Every track adds to an overall grand concept that is headphone music bliss. Reminiscent of Ayreon's albums in some ways.

The first few songs are quite heavy. Track 1 is the heaviest and I love that chugging riff and urgent vocal style. The pictures in the booklet actually enhance the experience and make some sense of what the lyrics are professing. I hope nobody takes thus stuff seriously. The true majesty of the blend of orchestra and crunching guitars is amazing - a spectacle of sound on every track. Track 2 is wonderful with the female soprano shining again. Everytime she sings the album lifts to another level. There are huge instrumental breaks, violins, cellos, piano, mandolin, over 170 musicians creating a masterfully executed album.

Highly recommended. Not a masterpiece in my opinion, but so close.

To Polo!

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
1 stars In order to avoid repeating myself, you might need to read my Lemuria review first.

...

So you did? Fine, then I will try to explain why this album is even worse. Where Lemuria still started out fine, Sirius B does not have one song that rises above the abject mediocrity of all other opera-metal and gothic metal acts that were around in the first decade of the 21st century.

Next to repetitive metal riffs of Lemuria, this album also features some of the most formulaic goth clichés you can imagine. I don't want to go through all songs, but the tepid hard rock and empty pathos of Blood of Kingu gets on my nerves in less then a minute. The opening bars from Son of the Sun are even worse. This Sisters of Mercy-nicked riff has been heard on hundred other songs already. It's an insult to any music lover: stealing something that has been stolen and used and re-used hundreds times before and assuming we're so dumb that we won't even notice.

The rest of the songs are so tedious and unremarkable that I get lulled to sleep before they are over. For me this must be one of the worst albums ever to reach such a huge audience.

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Part one of Therion's two-piece epic, "Sirius B" is an odd example of pure metal joy mixed with endless metal cheese, rife with "artistic" pretense making it an explosive misfire, but not without redeeming qualities.

"Sirius B" uses cunchy, melodic guitar-led metal riffing throughout, usually with terrific intensity and power from its rhythm section. Big, powerful, and exciting, at its best "Sirius" really rocks. The songwriting itself isn't especially compelling though, and the group's lauded technical skill falls very short of the raves. The songs are somewhat varied, but ultimately revolve around the previously mentioned riffing; there are few solos, few interesting time changes or experimental moments, and not much to make an impact. As a whole, the project feels like its playing it safe, and while generally sounding pretty good, this banality takes away from the end result.

The biggest problem is, of course, its gimmicky symphonic and opera additions, which seem novel at first but quickly out last their welcome. The choir does almost all fo the lead-singing (if one can call it that), and the purity (or sterility, you judge) of their voices sounds very silly here. The inclusion of the ochestra is not pulled of well either; the compositions give the instruments few chances to do what they do well-- they just sort of chug along with the riffing.

The end result is something I wanted to be very cool, but will ultimately become little more than background music for Dungeons and Dragons.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 2 Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Though I wasn't too impressed with its companion album, Lemuria, I found Sirius B to be a much more diverse and interesting take on the Therion sound. With pieces ranging from the likes of Blood of Kingu, with a directness and ferocity which almost puts me in mind of a NWOBHM piece, to multilayered symphonic-gothic pieces like the title track, it takes the listener on a wide-ranging cosmic journey. Though the lyrical concepts may be far-fetched, the dramatic musical backing ensures that proceedings never lurch into self-parody, and the more adventurous and diverse compositional style makes the album feel much fresher than its Lemurian twin.
Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars The period around the "Secret Of The Runes" album was one of the most prolific for Christofer Johnsson and his symphonic metal project THERION who not only had released a string of successful albums with "Vovin" being the largest seller of the lot but also engaged in a massive tour that would yield a live album called "Live in Midgård." During this period Johnsson along with the Niemann brothers (Kristian on guitars and Johan on bass) amassed an amazing amount of material to work with. With 55 unreleased songs in the coffers, THERION picked out the strongest which resulted in 21 of them being released at the same time. Instead of simply cranking out a double album per se, it was decided to release two individual albums instead. Both "Lemuria" and its counterpart SIRUS B were released on 24 May 2004 both as single albums as well as a twin-pack with two titles.

Since these two albums were released simultaneously the obvious question of which one comes first in the discography. No chicken and egg scenario here as they were released exactly at the same time so it seems that through the sophisticated occult practices of contacting demons or a scryer or whatever sort of supernatural forces intervened, it was decided that the alphabetical method was the determining factor and therefore "Lemuria" is officially THERION's 11th studio album and SIRIUS B is officially the 12th album even though they appear as a double album twin-pack as well. SIRIUS B is the longest of the two which squeaks past the 57 minute mark while "Lemuria" is a bit shorter by just floating by the 42 minute mark. Both albums are characterized by their own subtle differences but roughly speaking are in the same camp.

To call these two works ambitious is an understatement. On these two recordings there were a total of 171 musicians involved in one form or another which included the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra as well as a 32-member choir. These two albums found a new lead male vocalist with Mats Levén who had worked with many artists before most notably with Yngwie Malmsteen and a continuing guest appearance of vocalist Piotr Wawrzeniuk. LEMURIA follows in the footsteps of "Secrets Of The Runes" with the heavy metal aspects of the band's sound in the forefront. But then again any given THERION album from "Theli" on incorporates a massive sound spectrum of classical symphonic elements, choirs. While "Lemuria" refers to a mythological sunken continent, SIRIUS B goes all cosmic on ya and flirts with the notion that the star Sirius actually has a twin called SIRIUS B. Like "Lemuria," SIRIUS B's concepts span a wider range of occult themes and mythology.

Musically SIRIUS B is one of the most integrated examples of cross-pollinating the heavy metal bombast and operatic classical symphony with choral grandiosity. In that regard it's much more like "Secret Of The Runes" but not quite as bombastic for its entirety with an in again out again approach to the metal guitar heft which leaves it much more like "Deggial." Instrumentally SIRIUS B differs a bit from "Lemuria" with the addition of a church organ and mandolin but does incorporate some of the psychedelic prog rock sounds of a Hammond organ. While SIRIUS B is the typical THERION album with lots of metal guitar, bass and drums it's the mix of the different elements that takes it on a slightly different journey than the previous albums. Firstly there are bizarre intros to many of the songs along with other electronic processed vocals and guitar riffs which are often in the form of Pantera-esque groove metal busyness

This is also perhaps the release with the fewest number of vocalists but the album comes off more like an Ayreon style of rock opera with the vocalists involved trading off more often rather than amassing a huge polyphonic vocal attack. In addition to the groove metal bombast there is always a lingering atmospheric backdrop of the keyboards and like every THERION album delivers irresistibly catchy melodies that are augmented by the sheer immensity of the massive number of participants. THERION albums are like musical formats of occult and mythological text books and SIRIUS B covers a wide range of topics such as Kingu in "The Blood Of Kingu", the Sumerian monster, the Pharaoh Akhenaten in "Son Of The Sun," the controversial Russian sect of Christiany called Khlysti in "The Khlysti Evangelist" as well as topics from Greek mythology, Hinduism, east African folklore, Semitic gods, Armenian mystics and mythology from a group called the yazidis. Whew!

It takes a few spins to differentiate THERION albums as they all pretty much adopt the same basic characteristics but just like different recipes in the kitchen amount to a different mood that results from the changing around of things or the subtraction of this or the addition of that. SIRIUS B indeed sounds like a cosmic type of album that makes me think of what a new age metal opera would sound like if that terminology is even adequate. The album has a liturgical vibe imbued with the classical operatic choirs and the ethnic folk that bows down to the rampage of metal when it enters the scene and some electronica sounds that pop in. The main difference of both SIRIUS B and "Lemuria" sounds to me that the psychedelic organs give this more of an Age of Aquarius type feel that reminds me of the late 60s and early 70s so therefore there are more classic golden era prog sounds to these two releases with SIRIUS B having the edge over "Lemuria" just a smidge. Any way you shake it, this wham bam thank you m'am double release of 2004 is another set of faves in the THERION canon as there are not disappointing tracks although there is nothing here that dramatically stands out either. THERION is all about consistency and delivers again on the 2004 combo pack.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This time, the band used a huge orchestra - instruments and singers - so 171 people were involved in the making of the album. This resulted in a very symphonic album - the most complete work to date from the band. "Sirius B" is the second part of a double album and contains 11 songs (of the 55 ... (read more)

Report this review (#67340) | Posted by zaxx | Sunday, January 29, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Ohhh my good! amazing cd..at first I didn´t like it too much, but more I listened more I like it. The voices are excelent. There is a very succesfull mix between female vioce and male voice. The instruments are very well played, and all the music create an atmosphere very particular, like ERA, ... (read more)

Report this review (#44280) | Posted by javierr86 | Thursday, August 25, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Wow, this album is simply amazing. There are practically no valleys, it's all peaks, if you catch my drift. 11 well-constructed, musicially complex songs. Therion uses the orchestra (Prague Philharmonic) and full choir to greater effect on this album than on the companion release "Lemuria." ... (read more)

Report this review (#31061) | Posted by | Sunday, June 20, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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