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Therion has always been among my favourites, starting with death and then (thank God or, perhaps, I should say - Devil) turning to wonderful symphonic metal. With their mindblowing masterpiece Sirius B/Lemuria it was difficult to think that they could come up with something better than that (yes, I consider Sirius B/Lemuria to be their greatest work). And they didn't...
In their latest opus Gothic Kabbalah I find changes that should seem dissapointing for a die-hard fan. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this album is the lightest in their discography and the most progressive one too.
Light, not-that-metal-to-headbang-to guitars and vocals almost made me shatter the 2 CD's upon the very first time of listening. Curse me a thousand times for how wrong I was. With each consequent listening the album just got better and better. Damn, the runes are still there, catchy melodies and great compositions are still there, great vocals are still there (consider "Wisdom and the Cage", "Trul" for great female performances). So far so good?
Contemplating the "least metallic Therion album" issue I have come to a conclusion of what Therion did/might have wanted to do with this album. It seems to me that their new approach drew them closer to classical music than ever before. If it's not heavy it doesn't mean that it's not complex or valuable to listen to. Nowadays, every man, who considers himself a "true intellectual" knowing what "real" music is will praise Mozart, Beethoven, Bach to name a few. For those thinking that metal is all about strumming randomly on the strings and screaming some unintelligible gibberish I have a couple of words: listen to Gothic Kabbalah and, perhaps, future generations will have Therion (among other great bands) side by side with Mozart in music studies.
Summing up on the album, Therion has made a new turn in their career, to the better or to the worse, it's up to you, just give it a second chance if you didn't like what you heard the first time.
Highlights: the whole two CD's. Seriously.