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Rare, enjoyable and diverse are the first three words one thinks of. Therion was more or less forced by Nuclear Blast to make a single of Siren of the Woods as they thought it was the most radio play-suiting song Therion ever did. And so they cut away two minutes of it. A little part with keyboards was added too. Even though it’s edited, Siren of the Woods is still the slow, sad, dreamy epic that rises from nothing and then returns in a slowly declining fashion. It’s only eight minutes now, though, and parts of its amazing leads have been removed.
The single version of Cults of the Shadow misses only ten seconds somewhere in the middle. This song, my all-time Therion favourite, is as brilliant as always. A short bass intro leads us into an ethereal landscape, framed with pulsating keyboard lines and covered with loads of energetic guitars and well-placed drumming. It turns darker as the composition progresses, but never loses the pulses of sonic quantum. Babylon, the last song on this single, has a darker atmosphere and more of a death’n roll sound to it. It stands out as the least complicated song Therion had done in a long time. The reason is quite simple. Entombed fired their bassist Lars Rosenberg and he jumped on the Therion train instead, insisting on using a song he wrote for his old band before they did. So here it is. Much distortion and a bad vocal effort from Piotr Wawrzeniuk. But then I tend to dislike his vocals.