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Therion is a band that never ceases to amaze me. They started out as an excellent death metal band, and then changed their style from each album that followed. That doesn’t mean that their style is bad- quite contrary. Therion uses entire choirs and symphonies to record their albums and evolved into a symphonic/operatic metal band. They seem to improve upon their previous masterpieces, from their raw- sounding Lepaca Kliffoth to their polished Lemuria and Sirius B. However, it seemes that Therion has slipped on their way to greatness with their two- disc album Gothic Kabbalah.
The album isn’t too bad, but it’s definitely not up to snuff with Therion’s previous works. The first disc begins off with Der Mitternachtlöwe, a decent song with nothing extraordinary. Then comes up Gothic Kabbalah. This song is not half bad, but I realized that they virtually removed the operatic vocals which has grown as a part as Therion. The symphonic parts also seem a lot weaker which dominated in their previous works. The rest of the songs on disc one are rather sub par, and Tuna 1613 definitly sounds similar to Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast, except Maiden did it 1000 times better.
The second disc starts off with Mats Levén doing some very lame vocals, and I winced when I heard the riffs that followed. Then, Snowy Shaw ( Or at least I think it’s him), does some really high vocals. Even though this indicates he has one hell of a range, this sounds like a whiny teenager under cock and ball torture. Further along, we have TOF- the Trinity. Albeit the obvious wanking, it’s one of the highlights of the album. This highlight, however is overshadowed by he second to last song, The Falling Stone, which is full of pretentious pop influence. The next song, however, could be considered the strongest song of the entire album, Adulruna Rediviva. This song is Lemuria- esque sounding, which is a great improvement from the rest of the album. It is also the longest song on the album, so one can be grateful for that.
Overall, this album sucked; I hope the next album coming out in 2009 doesn’t follow this trend. If you are a Therion newbie or are just starting with them, look away. Start from Theli or Lemuria, then pick up Vovin or Secret of the Runes, and then get Sirius B, Deggial, and Lepaca Kliffoth. If you are a diehard fan of Therion, then heed with caution; it’s going to be a kick in the ass ( not good). This could be the selling -out point in Therion’s career.