8. Apr. 2022 (CD) + Vinyl (to be released in August 2022)
THERION - Beyond Sanctorum (Reissue)
One of Swedish Death Metal most sought after albums, and rightfully so!
THERION’s relatively unknown beginnings as a “standard” Death Metal band seem to be misunderstood by many Metal listeners. Although the general consensus seems to be that “Beyond Sanctorum” is just “straight up Death Metal” while their later releases are neoclassical style, upon closer inspection, the opposite seems to be true. Although “Beyond Sanctorum” uses mainly instruments and performance aspects of standard Death Metal, the songs are already composed in a style more similar to actual classical music.
“Future Consciousness” starts the album off with a churning Morbid Angel style intro alternating with dark tremolo melodies and some heavy groove. Other bright spots include “Cthulhu”, featuring deep, cavernous doom sections evoking the famous sunken city, alternating with frantic fast passages. “Enter the Depths of Eternal Darkness” goes from a sludgy opening section to fiery death metal, with some eerie lead guitar moments and is also quite satisfying. “Symphony of the Dead” has an early The Gathering feel, that bursts into Death Metal later on. The highlight of this album is definitely “The Way”. This is where the bands developing symphonic style is most obvious, so “Theli” fans should definitely hear this song first. We cannot recommend it enough - “The Way” is not only the best song on the album, but one of the best examples of adventurous, progressive (yet uncompromising) Death Metal one is ever likely to hear.
This album released around the time when Death Metal was abandoning its primitive roots and going off into more complex territory. For anyone willing to take the time to really listen to music beneath surface level aesthetics, this is actually a surprisingly complex and rewarding listen. This album is light years ahead of their debut.
01. Future Consciousness
02. Pandemonic Outbreak
04. Symphony of the Dead
05. Beyond Sanctorum
06. Enter the Depths of Eternal Darkness
07. Illusions of Life
08. The Way
10. Tyrants of the Damned (CD Bonustrack)
THERION - Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas (Reissue)
A Heavy Dark Occult Metal album, spectacular in its uniqueness. Invoke the Dragon! With original artwork.
This is the kind of album that showed the boundaries of Death Metal were not completely explored, as THERION had already partially shown on their previous Death Metal albums where they were one the unique few bands that combined Death Metal with keyboards. On the other hand this album showed that THERION had progressed out of the Death Metal stage where they had gotten the fame of being original within the boundaries of the genre, while still keeping a lot of the elements that were being heard on the previous effort.
This third album deals with various occult rites and occult subjects, as reflected in the song-titles. The content itself could best be described as ‘Dark Occult Metal’. It’s not Death Metal, not Heavy Metal, and not exactly a mix either. This album takes a lot of elements from the previous album, and introduces a number of new elements, a lot of which would return on the following albums.
This is the kind of album that you will like if you like anything symphonic, bombastic, and/or anything with a tad of occult atmosphere. THERION doesn’t need an orchestra or opera singers to sound like Therion. “Symphony Masses” does not need this to sound symphonic in ist own twisted way. You do not even have to be deep into Death Metal to enjoy this little gem.
01. Baal Reginon
02. Dark Princess Naamah
03. A Black Rose
04. Symphoni Drakonis Inferni
05. Dawn of Perishness
06. The Eye of the Eclipse
07. The Ritual Dance of the Yezidis
09. Procreation of Eternity
10. Ho Dracon Ho Megas Act 1 - The Dragon Throne
11. Ho Dracon Ho Megas Act 2 - Fire and Ecstacy
THERION - Lepaca Kliffoth (Reissue)
The dawn of Symphonic THERION glooming at the horizon, yet still drenched in Dark Metal execution!
Though it was their fourth full-length, and we had been given a sampling of their symphonic/gothic direction with “Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas”, “Lepaca Kliffoth” might remain the most memorable masterpiece of the band’s career along the follow-up “Theli”. A transitional phase between the band’s Death Metal roots and the hybrid of symphonic, gothic metal which they would carry forward for the rest of their career. This is an extremely dark album. The band retains their fascination with obscure occult magick and prophecies within the lyrics, and the music revolves around killer mid-paced Metal riffs drenched in the vocal libations of Christofer Johnsson.
The album starts off strongly with “The Wings of the Hydra”, and from there on the serpent has snaked about your spine. An addictive piece with an obvious Celtic Frost influence, chanting vocals, simple synth tones and arabesque guitar melodies which evoke the mythical age of the song’s namesake. The album’s ‘hit single’, “The Beauty in Black” is glorious and gothic, it uses a pair of operatic vocalists (male and female), a sort of predecessor to the revolving door of guest musicians the band would use on their later albums. Other excellent tracks include the charging “Riders of Theli”, the crushing doom of “Black” which would have fit almost perfectly on “Into the Pandemonium”. The rest of the album is equally dark and enchanting, with other standouts being the title track and “Evocation of Vovin”.
Synthesizers, flutes multiple vocalists, and the core of the band are all clear and precise throughout, yet it still carries a very raw and dark, ominous tone to it which trumps the later studio efforts. This may not be quite as symphonic as many Therion fans demand of their material in recent years, but it clearly marks the point where this band transformed from an innovative Death Metal band into the Gods of Gothic Metal. There are very few parallels to something like this, and it belongs in the collection of any fan of quality Occult Metal.
01. The Wings of the Hydra
03. Arrival of the Darkest Queen
04. The Beauty in Black
05. Riders of Theli
07. Darkness Eve
08. Sorrows of the Moon
09. Let the New Day Begin
10. Lepaca Kliffoth
11. Evocation of Vovin
12. Enter the Voids (CD Bonustrack)
13. The Veil of Golden Spheres (CD Bonustrack)