“Lemuria/Sirius B” by Therion

Artist: Therion
Title: “Lemuria/Sirius B”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 9/7/2004
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Rating: 8/10

Therion is the band who perfected the Symphonic and Operatic Metal style many years ago. Performing this type of music for over 10 years now makes me think that perhaps they are the ones that inspired the whole movement in the first place. This double CD is an adventure into a unique and fascinating musical world that you cannot fully absorb in one simple listen. Holding epic proportions like some super Sci-Fi or Fantasy film I admit that it took me several turns at the albums to realize how much work was actually placed into them. Listeners who enjoy the Operatic Style will turn to Therion when they realize that no one single singer performs those vocal parts but instead a full choir handles the task. The symphonic edge is brought to the front by the contributions of the City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The group shows that this can be done on more than the one off occasion and also extremely well. Creators Christofer Johnsson, Kristian Niemann and Johan Niemann are joined by dozens of singers and musicians on these records. It is brought to us in two separate CD’s or scores if you want to maintain a classical theme. One CD is entitled “Lemuria” and the other is “Sirius B”. I will touch upon both CD’s individually a little further.

“Lemuria” begins with “Typhon” and with this track you are quickly taken into how versatile and profound this group actually is. I admit that I found myself listening to Lemuria a little more than I would Sirius B, but that does not reflect on the quality of that CD at all. Songs like the opener and then “Uthark Runa” and “Three Ships Of Berik” just hit me as amazing. Repeat listens to these tracks made them my most favored tunes on this CD and hence found me listening to this part all the more. I also felt that this CD would showcase the Philharmonic a little more emphatically than Sirius B would. The choirs are amazing on this portion of the CD, and anyone who enjoys these levels of vocal ability should have little problem enjoying the band instantly. The albums are meant to be listened to together I felt as one carries themes over to the next musically.

CD - Therion - Sirius B

Sirius B is the second part of this collection and with “Blood Of Kingu” begins a little heavier and is almost Nightwish like in some fashions. Overall I felt this CD focused on being the more Metal-like than the last one. The classical aspect is still very prevalent, but it seemed on this one the Metal was moved a little more to the front as far as straight ahead riffing and style. The band shows they can slow it down a little for songs like “Wondrous World Of Punt”. This number has some amazing keyboard performed in it. The song “Sirius B” itself is a brooding and powerfully eerie number. The best word for that track would have to be dramatic. Closing the CD is “Voyage Of Gurdjieff” which moves the quickest on the release and is another one of my favorites. Each portion of this release offered the music fan something interesting to make you not only sit and listen but to think and spark creativity.

This CD comes with a full color booklet for each of the two albums and inside them are highly detailed illustrations along with lyrics and some storyline notes. Looking at them helps to make the second or third listen ever more rewarding as you can absorb what is going on little better by that stage. I highly recommend this CD for any fan of Metal who has an open mind to the canvas that music can be painted upon. This is quite possibly one of the most unique orchestrations I have ever heard. The fans of Nightwish, Avantasia, Epica and the rest can see where most of these artists drew some inspiration from. It will also dispel the critics who claim Metal a dying genre. I would love to see most of today’s “popular” music come even ¼ as close to dynamic as this was able to do. Great job Therion, we want more.

Track Listing “Lemuria”:
1. Typhon
2. Uthark Runa
3. Three Ships Of Berik, Part 1: Calling To Arms And Fighting The Battle
4. Three Ships Of Berik, Part 2: Victory!
5. Lemuria
6. Quetzalcoatl
7. The Dreams Of Swedenborg
8. An Arrow From The Sun
9. Abraxas
10. Feuer Overture/Prometheus Entfesselt

Track Listing “Sirius B”:
1. The Blood Of Kingu
2. Son Of The Sun
3. The Khlysti Evangelist
4. Dark Venus Persephone
5. Kali Yuga Pt. 1
6. Kali Yuga Pt. 2
7. The Wondrous World Of Punt
8. Melek Taus
9. Call Of Dagon
10. Sirius B
11. Voyage Of Gurgjieff (The Fourth Way)

Official Web site: www.MegaTherion.com

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