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THERION

Progressive Metal • Sweden


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Therion picture
Therion biography
Founded in Stockholm, Sweden in 1988 (known before as "Blitzkrieg") - Still active as of 2018

: : : From Death Metal to Progressive Gothic Symphonic Metal : : :

This is one of the best metal bands ever and also happen to originate from Sweden :). In 1987 Christofer Johnsson formed a band called BLITZKRIEG. The band later changed their name to MEGATHERION and finally THERION and managed to get a record deal with the German metal label Nuclear Blast. Over the years the band has released nine full-length albums and the members of the band has changed several times. The true genius behind it all and undoubtedly the most important member of the band is Christofer himself - he writes all the music, plays guitar, hammond organ and keyboards as well as used to do the vocals. There aren't many musicians with the skill of this man in the world today but hopefully there will be more bands like THERION to erupt from this planet in the future. The first four albums are musically in death metal style but the band still developed all the time, adding new elements to their music for each new release - clean male vocals, arabic folk music, classic music and industrial. Their fifth album called "Theli" was very different from their first ones - Christofer finally had the budget to do the kind of album he had been dreaming of doing for years but didn't have the possibility to record it until now.

THERION had now become an operatic and symphonic metal band - mixing melodic IRON MAIDEN influenced metal with classical music composed by Christofer himself and with clear male and female choirs doing much of the vocals together with Christofer Johnson. You can hear the beginning of this development already on the "Lepaca Kliffoth" album but the difference in quality if you compare this with "Theli" is unbelievable. Since then they have continued in the same direction of opera metal. On these later albums Christofer has hired world class session musicians to play all kinds of orchestral instruments - violin, fluite, cello and so on - as well as female and male choirs to do the opera-like vocals. In 1997 they released a 10-year aniversary album called "A'arab Zaraq Lucid Dreaming", containing old non-released material, a few covers and a sound-track (pure classic music) Christofer did for an art-movie.

Among the female choir members you can find the great Sarah Jezebel Deva doing solo, duet, alto and soprano vocals. She has also helped out ...
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THERION discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THERION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.46 | 42 ratings
Of Darkness
1991
2.57 | 47 ratings
Beyond Sanctorum
1992
3.33 | 50 ratings
Symphony Masses - Ho Drakon Ho Megas
1993
3.23 | 60 ratings
Lepaca Kliffoth
1995
4.13 | 173 ratings
Theli
1996
3.15 | 38 ratings
A'arab Zaraq Lucid Dreaming
1997
4.08 | 168 ratings
Vovin
1998
3.08 | 54 ratings
Crowning Of Atlantis
1999
3.74 | 95 ratings
Deggial
2000
3.92 | 114 ratings
Secret Of The Runes
2001
3.82 | 118 ratings
Sirius B
2004
3.86 | 129 ratings
Lemuria
2004
3.58 | 98 ratings
Gothic Kabbalah
2007
3.33 | 65 ratings
Sitra Ahra
2010
3.23 | 52 ratings
Les Fleurs Du Mal
2012
2.69 | 32 ratings
Beloved Antichrist
2018

THERION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 19 ratings
Live in Midgard
2002
3.67 | 3 ratings
Therion ‎- Live In Mexico
2006
2.67 | 20 ratings
The Miskolc Experience
2009

THERION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.24 | 14 ratings
Celebrators of Becoming
2006
4.19 | 18 ratings
Live Gothic
2008
2.80 | 5 ratings
Adulruna Rediviva and Beyond
2014

THERION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.14 | 3 ratings
The Early Chapters of Revelation
2000
3.00 | 4 ratings
Atlantis Lucid Dreaming
2005

THERION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

1.95 | 3 ratings
Paroxysmal Holocaust (Demo)
1989
1.05 | 3 ratings
Beyond the Darkest Veils of Inner Wickedness (Demo)
1989
2.09 | 4 ratings
Time Shall Tell (EP)
1990
3.96 | 4 ratings
The Beauty in Black
1994
3.96 | 6 ratings
Siren of the Woods
1996
3.33 | 3 ratings
Eye of Shiva
1998
3.33 | 3 ratings
Bells of Doom
2001
2.00 | 3 ratings
Wand of Abaris
2006
3.00 | 6 ratings
Les Épaves
2016

THERION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Beloved Antichrist by THERION album cover Studio Album, 2018
2.69 | 32 ratings

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Beloved Antichrist
Therion Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

2 stars In short, THIS ALBUM IS BORING AF! Read on if you want to know why

THERION has been around forever at this point at least by metal standards having formed all the way back in 1987 and made a name for itself in the early years by climbing the ranks of the Swedish death metal scene by incrementally releasing one slightly more experimental album followed by another. Some say that founder and creative mastermind Christofer Johnsson was seriously smitten after hearing the choral sections on Ozzy Osbourne's classic 1981 track "Diary Of A Madman." Randy Rhoads of course was one of the pioneers of the neoclassical sounds and had he not perished prematurely could've possibly been the mastermind of a band like THERION but it was Johnsson who saw the higher potentials of mixing classical music with heavy metal and well, the rest is pretty much history with a never-ending supply of metal divas rocking to Orff inspired Wagnerian pomp fortified by Iron Maiden guitar gallops.

The classic years of THERION started with 1996's "Theli" where the band suddenly dropped all death metal pretenses and went full on symphonic classical mode and in the process took the world by storm by taking the neoclassical shtick to the next logical level by incorporated massive symphonies, choirs and mining the opera catacombs of their wealth to incorporate dramatic vocal grandeur in a heavy metal context. The results sorta made your hair stand up as it was bold, refreshing and utterly unthinkable! The formula remained fresh and vital all the way up to the band's 13th album "Gothic Kabbalah" which was released in 2007. But then it seems everything started going down the ole crapper. Not only did the entire musical cast part ways leaving Johnsson to reinvent the band once again but the main man himself was suffering from the physical battles scars of the demands of live performances. He suffered intense neck and shoulder pain as well as spine disc herniations. Not only did he temporarily lose his ability to perform but seems all that divine inspiration that made THERION such a fan-damn-tastic band to experience just sorta up and left!

Starting with 2010's "Sitra Ahra" THERION was a completely new beast but all the vitality of the past had somehow disappeared with the rest of the band and suddenly for the first time it sounded like THERION was just going through the motions with a by-the-numbers generic delivery of been-there-done-that material. Obviously the wells of inspiration had run dry so Johnsson decided to take a stab at recording an album of classic French pop songs adapted to metal on 2012's "Les Fleurs Du Mal" which was a slightly more interesting albeit divisive endeavor albeit a far cry from the classic THERION years. With inspiration clearly waning Johnsson decided to finally unleash his ultimate end game vision of what THERION could be. While this project has always been about the gleeful fusion party where operatic divas and headbangers unite under one flag, nobody really considered THERION to haver released a true bona fide metal opera with OPERA in all capital letters.

After "Fleurs Du Mal" Johnsson focused on a side project called The Luciferian Light Orchestra which basically created a less metal version of "Gothic Kabbalah" which set the stage for the next project by THERION. Having had the idea to finally take THERION to its logical conclusion with a fully developed metal opera, Johnsson began working on what was meant to be his most ambitious project yet and in 2018 it finally came to light as the triple album set BELOVED ANTICHRIST which consisted of a whopping 46 songs based on "A Short Tale Of The Antichrist" by Vladimir Solviov. Somehow he forgot the "short" part of the tale and expanded the story to include 27 characters played by 15 vocalists and while this may sound a lot like what Arjen Anthony Lucassen has crafted in his project Ayreon, let's just say that this one doesn't quite live up to the hype.

The opera is described as a theatrical presentation in which a dramatic performance is set to music and originated at the end of the 16th century in Italy with many historians claiming Jacopo Peri's "Dafne" being the first example of 1598. That means there have been over 500 years of opera in existence. Some of the most popular examples are Monteverdi's "L'Orfeo," Purcell's "Dido And Aeneas," Handel's "Julius Caesar" and Gluck's "Orfeo Ed Euridice." Having dropped most of the metal characteristics of yore like an impotent headbanger who lost his viagra, this can only be considered a metal OPERA by the most fertile of imaginations but if you're looking for some juicy guitar riffs or anything resembling the band's past glory, your expectations will fall flatter than silicon boob job gone horribly wrong. This is an opera album through and through and not a very good one at that. Never have i heard 46 consecutive songs sound so mind numbingly bland in all my life. To be fair there is metal to be heard but it's so dreadfully dull and mostly absent with only a few tracks thrown here and there.

Needless to say THERION does nothing to add to the opera legacy not even by the tiniest despite limp noodle metal music being inserted into its format. This is basically a traditional opera in every conceivable way with only some rock and metal music being snuck in for the sake of calling this a metal opera. In reality this 3 album set is a chore to sit through but as a THERION fan i felt it was my duty to listen to the entire thing all the way through although with an initial sense of trepidation having a keen sense of what to expect. There are no metal vocal styles, only the traditional clean sung opera variations. The three albums are woefully paced with no rhyme or reason or any sense of dramatically buildups to some climax. Badly paced and woefully lacking any sort of interesting musical hooks, all THERION can do is retread past glories by piling on extra layers of fluff to create a false sense of achievement. Flatulent guitar riffs, incessant Pavarotti worship tenors and divas sounding like they need bowel movements endlessly persist for a staggering ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY THREE MINUTES :o

What we have here is an impressive piece of work but on paper only. Everything about this is impressive. Hell, just the fact that it exists is one for the history books but when all is said and done BELOVED ANTICHRIST is a three hour blackhole that sucks three hours out of your life never to be retrieved. If that isn't the ultimate act of evil, i don't know what is! In summary, the only thing that comes to mind when i struggled through this one is that the once mighty THERION has finally gone off the deep end. I could think of a million ways to make this boring dross more entertaining but it is literally the epitome of an opera set on autoplay with no end in sight. Despite all the talent and efforts that went into this one, it is utterly devoid of soul and the whole thing feels forced for the sake of its mere existence. I've never been a huge opera fan but at least when i do occasionally experience some of the classics i can feel the passion behind the creative process that went into them. In this case i only feel a band that has lost its way and gotten a distorted sense of grandeur that is attempted but woefully lost. Please, Christofer! Let it go! THERION needs to rest now. Hint hint. No! Mommy! Make it stop! AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Did i mention that THIS ALBUM IS BORING AF?

 Sitra Ahra by THERION album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.33 | 65 ratings

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Sitra Ahra
Therion Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars With "Gothic Kabbalah," THERION reinvented its sound once again by adding not only elements of Gothic metal but added some extra servings of progressive rock which made the album stand out amongst its rich canon of opera infused metal madness. The party kids set out for one more tour but then everybody in the band parted and no more THERION as we know it. Instead of calling it quits founder and creative leader Christofer Johnsson opted to start from scratch and create a whole new version of THERION. Gone were the massive choirs, mega symphonies and tributes to fat ladies with horned helmets and instead was a more refined sound of what i would deem a THERION smorgasbord of past ideas however a few tricks up Johnsson's sleeves remained and this album shows a few new developments.

Amongst the new peeps on board, Snowy Shaw of Mercyful Fate and Dream Evil fame was back as one of the many vocalists along with ex-Candlemass vocalist Thomas Vikström and a few newbies like Christian Vidal on guitar and Lori Lewis as the only female vocalist. In fact there are only eleven musicians and vocalists on the band's 14th album SITRA AHRA which makes it the most trimmed down of any. Perhaps the logistics of all those massive live shows were the primary impetus for this newer version of THERION to emerge. Whatever the case the title refers to a perceived realm that is the opposite to holiness and is a concept from the Jewish Kabbalah which Johnsson mined for many of his lyrical escapades. In that regard SITRA AHRA is business as usual but this album does sound a lot different than any THERION album that preceded despite lots of ideas being mined from the past.

The main way i see SITRA AHRA is that it's like a THERION rhapsody of its own past. While the number of musicians and vocalists are fewer, the operatic choir structure still functions as so and many of the heavy metal guitar riffs sound like they were borrowed from albums like "Theli." Just check out the fast tempos and guitar gallops and solos on "Kings Of Edom" and it's right off of that album. Once again Middle Eastern melodic touches decorate the song structures and although the keyboard aspects are tamed down the album still generates some atmospheric presence and the occasional psychedelic rock outburst. Piano runs are also presented at various moments to create a contrast effect but not super common. There is also more of an effort to change things up more often so the 11 tracks on SITRA AHRA are more varied than earlier albums.

This is a more progressive album than most with the longest track "Land Of Canaan" lasting over ten minutes and delivers some of the most varying sound on the album. Starting out with some sort of Tibetan bowl sounding instrument, the track breaks into mid-tempo metal but also has elements of groovy 60s surf rock before jumping into progressive metal with eerie wordless vocals from Lori Lewis who makes this album sound a lot like some of earlier Aryeon albums. The track jumps from metal to flute led folk that then jumps into Parisian cafe music which is totally new to THERION and would inspire them to follow up with the album "Fleurs Du Mal" which covers old French pop songs. This song is the perfect example of how weird this album is. It goes from metal to French cabaret and starts to remind me of a more metal version of Cirque du Soleil especially after you see the band photos all dressed up in their attire. Somewhat cool and somewhat cheesy, this track symbolizes both the pros and cons of SITRA AHRA.

The album starts off really strong with a bunch of extraordinarily catchy and well crafted tracks but starts to taper off on the second side. "2012" displays the darker tone with a party metal kinda vibe with all the singers joining in. The violin gives it a melancholic feel. There are many heavier tracks on this one like "Cu Chulain" which starts out menacing but then shifts to a feel good singalong session. Kinda goofy actually. "Din" is the most effective metal track with an incessantly sped up riff and one of the few moments where growly vocals are used on a newer THERION release. "The Shells Are Open" sounds like some sort of psycho-gypsy music but reveals more of the same French cabaret music with operatic singers in unison over a metal groove. The whole thing reminds me of a metal version of the can-can. The closing "After The Inquisition: Children Of The Stone" is somewhat of an underwhelming closer. Clocking in over 7 minutes it's mostly a sleepy space rock song with Pink Floyd styled guitar and bass in concert with the vocalists having a good sing-song affair. It makes me feel like everyone is going to break into singing "It's A Small World." Psychedelic organ is cool but it's kinda corny.

This album isn't bad by any means but it does feel like THERION is one step away from running out of ideas. There's just enough vim and vigor left to create an album's worth of material but much of it sounds recycled and although the French music themes and more liberal use of progressive rock are the saving points, it still comes across that THERION's best days have passed. Perhaps the band would need more time together to gel but despite the great performances some of the material that starts off really strong often devolves into campy goofiness. When all is said and done, this is certainly no throwaway album and worthy of any addition to your collection. The strongest tracks, mostly on the first part of the album are worth the price of admission alone but this is an example of an album that could've been trimmed down a bit to make it a more satisfying listen. Perhaps a 45 minute album instead of a 61 minute playing time would've been much more interesting. Nevertheless THERION still found a way to stay relevant for a little bit longer.

3.5 rounded down

 Gothic Kabbalah by THERION album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.58 | 98 ratings

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Gothic Kabbalah
Therion Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars With the 2004 double album releases "Lemuria" and "Sirius B" immediately followed by a two year tour that found THERIOIN putting on 106 shows around the world including the ProgPower Festival in the UK on March 21, 2006, it would seem that THERION would not have the time to craft more material for another album but band founder and leader Christofer Johnsson was insanely prolific and a song writing machine along with the Nieman brothers and not only crafted enough material for the next album but enough to make it a double one. After several albums since "Theli" which launched THERION into the big leagues with its new brand of symphonic metal that added massive symphonies and choirs, the time was ripe for a change and that's exactly what the fans got with the 13th album GOTHIC KABBALAH.

As the name of the album implies, GOTHIC KABBALAH takes THERION's symphonic metal sound more into the world of Gothic metal as if Type O Negative joined the crew and this was the result. In 2006 Christofer Johnsson announced that he was retiring from singing duties therefore Mats Levén of Yngwie Malmsteen fame who performed on the "Lemuria / Sirius B" albums took the role of ghoul in chief with his dracula inspired vocal style at the forefront. A second singer was recruited with Snowy Shaw of Mercyful Fate and Dream Evil along with three female singers, Katarina Lilja, Anna Nyhlin and Hannah Holgersson. GOTHIC KABBALAH also found the number of musicians involved trimmed down considerably although in addition to the four main members of THERION there are still eleven guests involved.

This is the least symphonic of THERION's output since the pre-"Theli" years although there are still elements of the choirs and a few classical instrument sounds but overall GOTHIC KABBALAH is much more in the Gothic metal camp with the symphonic elements set to simmer. Thematically this album is dedicated to the Swedish mystic Johannes Bureus who invented a philosophy called GOTHIC KABBALAH which mixed the alchemy, astrology and magic of the 17th century with the ancient runes and Norse gods. The lyrics of the album narrate in great detail the themes of the texts written by Bureus. Another notable musician on this one is Ken Hensley of Uriah Heep who plays keyboards. The trimmed down symphonic, orchestral and vocal domination of previous albums ramped up with a more aggressive guitar sound and an overall darker atmospheric presence makes GOTHIC KABBALAH one of the most unique sounding albums in the THERION canon.

One of the most noticeable differences in this double album is that the tracks are some of the most progressive that THERION had done at this point. While each album was fairly unique in certain ways, each retained the basic characteristics of 80s styled heavy metal mixed with classical symphonies and operatic choirs along with the extra accoutrements of ethnic folk music and other minor elements. On GOTHIC KABBALAH the metal parts are much more progressive and for the first time the companions are more labyrinthine and graced with more time signature deviations. While gothic metal is clearly part of the mix it's not as much so as true goth bands and although dominant not ubiquitious. Often the vocalists are simply trading off parts more like an Ayreon styled rock opera album. Occasionally creeping through are touches of various folk melodies, both Western and Middle Eastern. The album is quite diverse with many different songs taking on different roles and therefore one of the most unusual of THERION's career.

True that this one could have been trimmed down a bit. I think that if this would've been released as a single disc it would've been a much stronger album but this one is a grower nonetheless. Personally i find the second disc to be the stronger of the two with the first one engaging in too many long-winded even whiny tracks such as "The Perennial Sophia." Unfortunately the weaker tracks are in the forefront which may drive off many from hearing the album out in its entirety but IMHO it all picks up big time with "The Wand Of Abaris" as the tracks become more cleverly crafted with interested dynamic shifts that find bombastic metal in interplay with the toned-down symphonic touches and more adrenalized vocalists. The folk melodies add a sense of timelessness and the eerie atmospheric touches give this one a mysterious vibe that fits perfectly into the world of the occult. The closing "Adulruna Rediva" is probably the most classical sounding and reminds you how much Johnsson was inspired by the sounds of Karl Orff especially works like "Carmina Burana" only with a sense of Wagnerian pomp.

Admittedly GOTHIC KABBALAH was a little put offing for me in the beginning but one that has grown on me and although i find this double disker to be a little lopsided with the cream of the crop appearing on the second half, it's overall a compelling listen that stands out in the THERION canon for its unique mix of styles and the more progressive touches. This would also pretty much be the end of the line for the classic THERION lineup. In 2008 after the massive touring schedule the band announced that its core group of musicians were going their separate ways. Johnsson continued the THERION brand name but none of the albums that followed would ever have the same magnificence that the run from "Theli" to GOTHIC KABBALAH captured. Some of THERION's best works on this one and although not all tracks are created equal none are horrible either but an editing process that culled a few would've made this an even better album as a single album. After all at 83:37, the track list simply could've been trimmed of a couple of the weaker tracks and made a single album. Still though, i love this one for the most part despite its flaws.

 Sirius B by THERION album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.82 | 118 ratings

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Sirius B
Therion Progressive Metal

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.

 Lemuria by THERION album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.86 | 129 ratings

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Lemuria
Therion Progressive Metal

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 "Sirius 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, which refers to the other sunken continent like Atlantis, is officially THERION's 11th studio album. It does get a little confusing since the two albums were released as a twofer as well as separately but they are indeed separate albums and each has its own personality despite being culled from the same repository. LEMURIA is the shortest of the two and only exceeds past the 42 minutes in contrast to "Sirius B" which just skirts past the 57 minute mark.

To call these 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 and on this one even includes some ethnic instruments such as balalaikas, a domra and even a little proggy mellotron and Hammond organ. While the title suggests a concept album, LEMURIA is all over the mythological map covering Greek themes ("Typhon," "Abaris"), Germanic ("Futhark"), Aztec ("Quetzalcoatl"), Gnostic ("Abraxas") and even closer to home Swedish occultism with the track "The Dreams of Swedenborg" about 18-century occultist Emanuel Swedenborg.

While LEMURIA emphasizes the heavy metal thunder for much of its playing time, it's actually more like "Deggial" in that it has lots of softer parts like acoustic guitar arpeggio segments, classical non-metal moments but alternates with more bombastic bravo however the metal is often more brutal as on "Secret Of The Runes." Basically THERION takes established formulas and changed up the recipe ever so slightly. Every tune is crafted extremely well as you can expect instantly catchy classically inspired melodies rocking it out with classic 80s metal that showcase those classic Iron Maiden guitar gallops as well as other elements from hard rock, doom metal and even a faint reference to the band's death metal origins at times such as blastbeats, tremolo guitar picking or even a growl or two but mostly this is just another excellent display of symphonic operatic metal that spares no expense. There is even a Rammstein sounding track with the closing "Feurer Overtüre / Prometheus Entfesselt ! "

 Secret Of The Runes by THERION album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.92 | 114 ratings

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Secret Of The Runes
Therion Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars The turn of the millennium was a productive time for THERION with several albums released since its international breakthrough with "Theli" in 1996 with each new studio album changing up the band's recipe of hybridizing heavy metal thunder with Wagnerian operatic pomp with symphonic splendor and charismatic choirs. On the band's tenth album led by the indefatigable frontman Christofer Johnsson, SECRET OF THE RUNES continues the swing of the pendulum back to the metal side of the band's equation with grittier guitar hooks that are more in the forefront than any album since the band's death metal days. This is a concept album based on Norse mythology where the songs describe the nine worlds that flank a central tree called the Yggdrasil.

With each album getting ever more ambitious, SECRET OF THE RUNES continues where "Deggial" left off and not only amplifies the guitars a lot more but includes new subgroups of musicians. In addition to the four core members that provide the metal heft, this one has a choir of eight members along with six guests who provide vocals, cello and violin. If that wasn't enough there is a string ensemble of eight musicians, a woodwind ensemble of three and a brass ensemble four. Despite violins, violas, tubas, trumpets, French horns, flutes, bassoon and many many more instruments adding to the immensity of it all, SECRET OF THE RUNES remains a cool cucumber throughout its entire running time by keeping everything in place and only put in use for moments when it is most effective to do so.

The overall feel of SECRET OF THE RUNES is a more bombastic metal album that implements folky musical scales to create a rather ethnic vibe unlike previous albums with the classical and choir effects adding a more epic contrast to the folk metal underpinnings. Each track is divinely crafted to stand out from the pack and the tracks range from high tempo ("Ginnungagap," "Muspelheim") to dreamy vocal choir led rockers that implement the metal guitars as a caustic backrdrop ("Midgård," "Ljusalfheim") and everywhere in between. Generally speaking metal provides the main rhythm section while the classical elements provide divine atmospheres and mood builders that rise from the heavy amplification but every song is really distinct and despite these commonalities all emerge as separate but equal.

By this point THERION had crafted more polyphonic stylistic shifts with complex vocal counterpoints playing out in tandem with metal guitar heft and folky flutes. The recipe seems so simple when experienced but the mind boggling process of how these disparate sounds could play so well together is quite impressive. Any of these tracks would sound right at home as purely metal, completely classical or just simple folk. THERION succeeds on SECRET OF THE RUNES in the layering effect where each element plays off the other while maintaining a basic melodic flow. The uncanny mix of growly death vocals occasionally make a return while lush flutes slowly flutter around. Much of the album seems to rely on a busy percussive groove that's only noticeable when the drums are allowed to shine without the suffocating effects of the plethora of tones, timbres and melodic scales.

Once again in the metal department it seems that classic metal like Iron Maiden and Scorpions type riffing are the most preferred with tracks like "Vanheim" reminding me of Maiden's classic tune "To Tame A Land" in its bouncy metal stomp. However despite the similar riffing style takes on a completely different persona with a massive choir directing the melodic flow in differing directions. This track also has one of the most energetic guitar solos as Kristian Niemann shows off his best shredding skills. "Helheim" is perhaps the scariest as it starts with a hypnotic bass vocal chant with frenetic female operatic divas answering in terror.

SECRET OF THE RUNES is the most successful example of THERION finally blurring the lines between metal and classical opera. While one side or the other seemed to dominate on previous albums except for "Deggial" where the two worked together in tandem but yet favored one or the other in alternation, this album shows the two styles in perfect harmony along with the extra magic of the ethnic folk that one would associate with the classic sounds that would date back to the days when such Norse mythology was being created. The ending title track describes the moment when you learn the SECRET OF THE RUNES and your consciousness becomes a god. This grand finale cranks out the galloping guitar riffs, mix of male and female vocals and lots of celebratory bringing the exciting musical journey to a dramatic and satisfying close. If you're lucky you have the two extra bonus tracks which includes the Scorpions cover of "Crying Days" and Abba's "Summer Night City," the latter of which is performed amazingly well.

THERION are in no doubt the masters of mixing heavy metal music with classical symphonic elements in the absolute perfect way and the fact that Johnsson finds new ways to breathe life into each and every new album is uncanny. SECRET OF THE RUNES is one of the heavier albums in the THERION canon although not always heavy with fast tempos but rather heavy in the rawness and power of the guitar stomps, doom metal sustain or the riffs themselves but there are many uptempo segments that are amongst THERION's heaviest. The ability of the folk and classical instruments to adapt to the domain of the metal is also impressive. While "Theli" was a classic in its own right and the following albums were of high quality as well, personally i find SECRET OF THE RUNES to be the absolute pinnacle of the THERION sound with one well composed track after another. Everything just seems to work on this one as the recipe has reached its apex moment. It goes without saying that for those who do not fancy opera and classical elements in their metal, this album won't change your perspective but if you've already fallen for this unique musical Frankenstein then i can't think of a better example then this particular album.

 Deggial by THERION album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.74 | 95 ratings

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Deggial
Therion Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars After the guitar galloping mix of metal and symphonic classical opera on "Theli," THERION catapulted itself into the metal big leagues and quickly went on tour but after a couple albums of leftovers and the much mellower vibe on the true followup "Vovin," it seemed THERION was mellowing out and gravitating more towards the opera and neglecting its metal head banging duties. On the band's ninth album DEGGIAL there is a quickened beeline back to the metal aspects of the band that helped it evolve into its unique hybrid in the first place. DEGGIAL (or Dejjial) refers to an evil figure in Islamic eschatology which will purportedly come into being and pose as the true Messiah and so THERION once again addresses the metaphysical and occult themes as it has from the beginning.

At this point band leader Christofer Johnsson had become very aware of how stale this sort of metal opera thing could become and was taking the time to innovate interesting compositions that set the perfect balance between classic metal guitar riffs inspired by old school metal such as Iron Maiden, Did or Accept but was also careful not to repeat styles too often and therefore was finding grittier sounds mined from more progressive thinking metal bands like Celtic Frost or Voivod. While still completely steeped in the expected operatic classical sounds that defined their new style of symphonic metal, DEGGIAL consists not only of four band members at this point but includes four guest musicians, eight members of the choir and an orchestra that finds another eleven musicians adding their stamp to the ornate tapestry of sound that emerges from the eleven tracks presented.

What sets DEGGIAL apart form albums like "Theli" and "Vovin" is that it finds some sort of middle ground between the two extremes. "Theli" has always seemed like a metal album where the operatic elements are competing for domination and "Vovin" on the other hand feels like the operatic touches won the battle while they kept the metal heft on a leash. On DEGGIAL the two disparate styles have signed a truce and conspire to eke out the best of each other with no competitive bravado dampening the ceremonious harmonic possibilities. On the metal side of the equation, the guitar, bass and drumming are more diverse as they tackle elements of classic 80s metal, alternative metal as well as moments of thrash, speed metal and gothic rock. For the classical choirs, there is a lot more emphasis placed upon more integrate harmonies that usually involve a male and female counterpoint with the rest of the vocalists occasionally creating a more polyphonic approach.

There are also more wind instruments on this one with flute, oboe as well as heavier brass with a French horn, flugelhorn, trumpet and tuba. While many tracks in the recent past mostly were set on simmer with mellow folk or slow ratcheting divas singing over softly strummed guitars or the exact opposite with blistering metal with guitar solos, DEGGIAL offers many styles within individual tracks. "Seven Secrets Of The Sphinx" begins with a heavy guitar riff and male tenors but is then joined in by a rather progressive psychedelic keyboard run and woodwinds, a clear sign that the compositions have been crafted in a way that is much more inventive. Just in the first track alone there are many different movements with varying guitar riffs, vocal performances as well as uses for the other instruments. This only continues throughout the album as "Eternal Return" follows with a slow vocal choir performance accompanied only by a violin and double bass but then drifts into a folk sound and then again breaks out the Maiden inspired metal riffing.

The title track is one of the stranger ones as it adds some sort of sound effect that sounds like a Jew's harp along with the choirs. The track is slow and sensual but the towards the end cranks out some crushing metal heft with the divas and violins joining in the quickened pace. While both heavy and softer passages are readily available, DEGGIAL delivers the exact right juxtaposition of opposite polarities and paces things extremely well. "The Flight Of The Lord Of Flies" is THERION's answer to "Flight Of The Bumblebee" and is a feisty rocker that rocks the violin, soprano vocals and guitar shredding. It's short and sweet and makes a great introduction to the heavy metal thunder of "Flesh Of The Gods" which finds Blind Guardian's Hansi Kürsch on vocals along with the operatic divas minus the classical instrumentation. The lengthy "Via Nocturna (Part I and II)" at just shy of 10 minutes is the most progressive track as it sounds like an authentic metal opera that mixes metal segments with unadulterated opera, folk and progressive rock. The album close with a cover of Orff's "O Fortuna" from his famous cantata "Carmina Burana."

For my money, DEGGIAL is a step up from both "Theli" and "Vovin," both of which were excellent in their own right but on this one the creative juices were dialed up a few notches where every inspiration from both the metal universe and the annals of the world of classical and opera where also raided. The way that the music works in tandem is absolutely brilliant and there are only a few moments where i feel a few notes were misplaced and it derails the flow but those are few and far between. For the most part this one is smooth sailing and Johnsson proves that he had the mojo to take things to the next level instead of constantly retreading on the success of "Theli" and "Vovin." While DEGGIAL won't sound radically different from previous albums in many ways, to a trained ear that listens to the detailed elements and how they interact it is quite staggering. For the casual listener this will come across as a highly melodic mix of classic heavy metal with a symphonic orchestra and talented choir. Either way, this is a divine and dramatic recording that ranks high on my list of THERION favorites.

4.5 rounded down

 Crowning Of Atlantis by THERION album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.08 | 54 ratings

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Crowning Of Atlantis
Therion Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars The followup for "Vovin" was supposed to be an EP or at least that's what Christofer Johnsson wanted it to be due to the lack of time for preparing new material after the Vovin Tour. Of course THERION's record company Nuclear Blast had other plans and to capture the momentum of the band's ascent into the big leagues of the metal universe, pushed them to crank out more material for a full album's worth. The result was a rather haphazard attempt of covers, a remix and live performances from the tour and much like the album "A'arab Zaraq Lucid Dreaming" was basically a mixed grab bag of new material along with stuff that probably should have been held back as bonus tracks for later rereleases.

Despite the compilation type of feel, CROWNING OF ATLANTIS is still considered THERION's eighth overall studio album but only contains three new tracks and a remix of "Clavicula Nox" from the previous "Vovin" album. The three live tracks include "To Mega Therion" from the "Theli" album, "Black Sun" from "Vovin" and "The Wings Of Hydra" from the "Lepaca Kliffoth" album. While there are only three new tracks and four if you count the remix, the cast of THERION is still quite a large group with an army of guest musicians, choir members along with the regular band and Indigo orchestra. The album's content was basically salvaged from various recording sessions that spanned from 1997-99 so it's no wonder that this one basically feels like a leftovers album.

The covers include "Crazy Nights" from Loudness, "Thor (The Powerhead)" from Manowar and "Seawinds" from Accept. Ralf Scheepers from Primal Fear is the guest vocalist on the first two and these covers are decently done in their original heavy metal splendor without any THERION styled orchestral or choir elements added. They are faithful to the originals but seem rather pointless really. Why bother unless you're going to add some new life to them? There is more of a classic 80s metal feel even in the original as well. The new material beings with the opening title track which borrows the primary riff from Iron Maiden's classic track "Powerslave" at least in the verses and then the choruses bust out the symphonic and orchestral splendor. While it's all done well, the Maiden riff just makes me want to listen to the album of the same name.

"Mark Of Cain" is a decent track but sounds like a leftover from the "Vovin" album with heavy power chord guitar riffs, folk metal extras on guitar that crushes on mid-tempo. The focus of keeping things more metallic diminishes the role of the classical elements on this one. The "Clavicula Nox" remix is basically slows things down with a classical piano roll but then finds the male choir members busting out their operatic fine tuned baritone voices that alternate with the sopranos along with more chugga chug guitar work. The piano plays the role of butting in and crafting a softer sound that then gets sped up again by the guitar riffs. Decent but basically just mellows out the original. "From The Dionysian Days" starts with a hyperactive classical piano part with the divas singing their hearts out with the tenors following. This one is catchy and brings out the best of the THERION sound. IMHO the best track on this one.

One for the fans for sure. Material presented is definitely of decent quality even if much of it seems rather forced. Given the circumstances of the clash of will between artist and label, it's no wonder this is not the phenomenal followup to "Vovin" that the fans were surely expecting. Good for what it is but certainly not the most essential chapter of the THERION canon. Luckily the band would refocus and release another string of high quality albums beginning with the following "Deggial."

 Vovin by THERION album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.08 | 168 ratings

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Vovin
Therion Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars THERION emerged from the cauldrons of the extreme world of death metal in its early beginnings and then slowly transmogrified itself incrementally through a series of early albums that resulted into the complete blossoming of an entire new category in the metal universe now tagged as symphonic metal. With its 5th album "Theli," THERION went for the gusto by adding two massive choirs to the metal instrumentation of guitar, bass drums and keyboards and along with some classical programming and epic compositions to paint their musical canvas upon, a new style of metal swept the globe and put THERION on the map. While many metal bands have tried to duplicate this feat including Metallica's disaster "S&M," nobody has done this sort of musical Frankenstein better than THERION.

With a massive tour and a robust work schedule to craft such lofty visions, the pressure found many of the musicians jumping ship leaving founder and band leader Christofer Johnsson to once again pick up the pieces and reinvent his baby with a whole new collection of hand picked musicians to bring his ambitious cross-pollinating musical visions come into fruition. To fill the gap and celebrate the 10th anniversary of the band's formation as well as the obvious cash run, THERION released the album "A'arab Zaraq Lucid Dreaming" which contained leftovers from "Theli," a few cover tunes and the non-metal soundtrack for Johnsson's own crafted indie film. While chock full of interesting musical gems, this was a mere supplemental stop on the THERION highway.

As the sole captain of the ship, Johnsson admits that when crafting the next true release VOVIN, he basically wrote it as a solo artist and merely employed the musicians to record however as the sole songwriter for past albums it is just one of many cases where a single member of a band is actually the true brains behind the project but with the band leaving every album or two it becomes more public and undeniable. VOVIN pretty much continues down the path laid down by "Theli," in this case meaning eleven tracks mixing the expected heavy metal bombast with the symphonic classical instrumentation and choirs. Although basically a solo project in the development process, VOVIN hosts eight guest musicians, another eight members of the choir and still five more members of the Indigo Orchestra who adapted the orchestration.

Thematically, VOVIN follows the interests of Johnsson's fascination with the occult and is more evident once you learn that VOVIN means dragon in the Enochian language which is a language used in the occult and was known to be the language of choice in the journals of John Dee who was a magician at the side of Queen Elizabeth I. In many ways VOVIN takes the THERION sound laid out on "Theli" to its logical conclusion with no expenses spared to craft a lush epic sound that finds the simplicity of classically infused melodies spun into sophisticated orchestrated splendor. The major difference in terms of sound between "Theli" and VOVIN is that the former was much more energetic by delivering those famous Iron Maiden inspired guitar gallops while VOVIN is a much mellower affair slowly drifting by on simmer for most of its running time with feisty metal bombast only occasionally finding its way into the mix such as on "Wine Of Aluqah" and "The Wild Hunt," the latter of which is on full speed metal mode.

Despite the large number of participants on VOVIN it surprisingly sounds sparse and never for once feels like there are too many chefs in the kitchen. While engaging in sophisticated classical grandeur, THERION crafts a sound that finds many of the moving parts in unison with subtle harmonic overtones that create a much larger than life sound rather than engaging in knotty polyrhythms or angular avant-garde excesses. For all the excesses of sound, VOVIN is a very smooth sounding album where each microcosm is an extension of the next and although the metal bombast is set to simmer for the most part, even in the lushest softness of the acoustic guitar arpeggio led segments, the vocals are led by the soprano divas Martina Hombacher and Sarah Jezebel Deva whereas the vast number of others follow suit. A few tracks like "Mourning Star" and "Black Diamond" are pure magic.

Overall VOVIN is a strong album with no bad tracks however it's the lack of metal heft that leaves this one sounding a bit too mellow for its own good. While "Theli" cranked out all the metal fury, VOVIN is set on a more laid back tone and also has more of a gothic feel to it rather than any connection to the death metal roots or even the classic 80s metal sounds of Judas Priest or Iron Maiden with the exception of a few tracks. For that reason this one just doesn't rock my boat like the albums that bookmark it. Still though, VOVIN delivers a stellar cast of seasoned performers who craft an interesting network of metal / classical fusion sounds into easily digestible catchy hooks and after all it's the vocal choirs of THERION that really shine and on VOVIN that is no exception. It's just that with a title that refers to a dragon i'd expect a bit more fire striking fear into the populace below but with the lack of the metallic fury as heard on "Theli" this one sounds a bit too safe for the majority of its run. Still though, other than that slight gripe, VOVIN is a strong instantly lovable album. Think of "Theli" as metal triumphs over opera and VOVIN as the exact opposite.

 A'arab Zaraq Lucid Dreaming by THERION album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.15 | 38 ratings

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A'arab Zaraq Lucid Dreaming
Therion Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars Following the breakthrough success of "Theli," the moment when once and for all THERION ditched its death metal roots and became one of the world's first and foremost pioneers of orchestral symphonic metal that adopted full choirs and classical arrangements which found massive orchestras for live performances, THERION decided to release an odd album as a followup. Having been a member of the Dragon Rouge occult group, founder and band leader Christofer Johnsson never missed an opportunity to intertwine an esoteric meaning into his works. The following year in 1997, THERION released A'ARAB ZARAQ LUCID DREAMING, the first part of the title referring to the Qliphah which corresponds to the Sephirah Netzach on the Kabbalah's tree of life. The second part of the title adds a little humor as the fans probably thought they were dreaming when they put this album on for the first time.

This is not a new album of material by any means but rather a collection of leftover tracks, cover songs from other artists as well as the unreleased soundtrack to "The Golden Embrace" that appears solely under the Christofer Johnsson moniker. The leftover tracks were culled from the unused sessions of the "Theli" album while the cover songs are from the Scorpions, Iron Maiden, Running Wild and Judas Priest. "Symphony Of The Dead" is a new instrumental version of the track that appeared on the "Beyond Sanctorum" only castrated of all its death metal prowess and adapted to the new world of THERION's symphonic metal sound. The selling point on this one was that it was released for the 10th anniversary of THERION's formation but we all know that it's basically a wink and a nod for cashing in on the band's much deserved success.

Like many grab bags of such material, A'ARAB ZARAQ LUCID DREAMING should be considered supplemental THERION material rather than an essential cornerstone of its diverse canon. Personally i could live without the cover tunes with Iron Maiden's "Children Of The Damned" being a considerably weak example of a classic cover song ruined but there are many fine tunes to be found on here as well. "Black Fairy" offers a unique songwriting technique that creates an intricately designed methodology from morphing from verse to completely unrelated chorus and the bouncy, keyboard stab rich "Enter Transcendental Sleep" sounds like something that really should have been found on "Theli" as some sort of extended interlude. Also of high quality are "The Quiet Desert," "Down The Qliphothic Tunnel" and "Up to Netzach / Floating Back" which are as good as anything from THERION's actual albums.

The last seven tracks are from "The Golden Embrace" soundtrack for the short 19 minute indie film that was the one-man project from Christofer Johnsson himself. While of high quality, these tracks ditch the metal altogether and instead display a more restrained mix of dark ambient and symphonic orchestral sounds which are more in the realms of chamber music than anything resembling rock. Along with the classical music workouts are the operatic vocals with extra emphasis on the synthesized keyboards which play the role of the "busy" parts that normally would be fulfilled by the metal guitar, bass and drums in THERION. These tracks are credited to Johnsson exclusively but are hauntingly beautiful and in all honesty are worth the price of admission alone.

If the soundtrack part was released as an EP it would easily be a four star album and likewise with the extra odds and sods of loose fodder from the "Theli" sessions. That album easily could have featured an extra disc of such bonus material and made it all the better. Of all the tracks on this one i really could live without the Iron Maiden and Running Wild cover tunes but the Scorpions' "Fly To The Rainbow" and Judas Priest's "Here Comes Tears" aren't that bad at all. Likewise the opening "In Remembrance" is a weak track and the worst to begin the album with which possible has turned many off. All in all this is an interesting collection of material and a must for THERION fans but a miss for those who don't want to dig so deep. After all, as good as the extra material is, there's nothing substantially different than what one could experience on "Theli," "Vovin" or "Secret Of The Runes" for that matter so this is a just above good addition but not absolutely essential either and in case it's not obvious, you really gotta love choral music and classical in general for this to gel in any way!

3.5 rounded down

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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