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Sirius B is one of the two albums released at the same time by Therion. No intros, no unnecessary info, let’s just proceed to the topic at hand: the album, which is reviewed as a separate entity.
The first thing to point out is the overall artistic values because here we have excellent and superb visual treatment, both in the album cover and the booklet. But we bought it for the music not the art, right? How many cds have great art but suck so bad you use them as high-tech shurikens?
Hopefully, this is not the case. Moreover, once “The Blood of Kingu” starts playing you are attacked by a superb killer song that mixes powerful conventional metal vocals with operatic ones, courtesy of all that orchestrated background appropriately credited at the end of the booklet. The City of Prague Philarmonic Orchestra does a great job at melding the orchestral component with the metal. Even though it may sound as the worst abortion any human mind can conceive (metal and classical music all in one? The elites would be crying out loud after hearing this… but let’s leave that in the “maybe” territory) it works wonderful and the final result is a masterpiece.
After the first song is over we are carried to a succession of interesting tracks, not too complex in musical terms. You will hear the guitars here because they don’t forget of being metal, nice solos (pay attention at “The Khlysti Evangelist”) and more. The great operatic choruses truly deserve applauses at times and maybe you can even feel some parts are inspired or taken from Mozart or Wagner, which here is something good to mention. The heaviness is so well balanced with the symphonic components that it never feels like the orchestra is acting as a terrible and unnecessary filler. The journey through Sirius B reaches a peak of “greatness” once you hit “Kali Yuga”, a song divided in two parts which features an intricate series of verses that may numb you or cause confusion (oh, by the way, wait for Melek Taus… your confusion may be greater) but, yet again, sounds masterful and keeps you asking for more. There are a lot of good words about this album, right? True, but Sirius B deserves it!
Lyrically, the album follows Therion’s usual ways of songwriting, ergo, get ready for fully complex and intense lyrical themes, ranging Christian stuff, Hinduism, Lovecraft, Nordic mythology and more.
There is little stuff that may be “wrong” here like “Sirius B”, one of the last songs, whose lyrics seem to be like a joke or a little break that Karlsson took during his writings. What’s worse is that the chorus doesn’t seem to pronounce the infamous “Po-Tolo!” pretty well and you seem to hear “Pom-pom”… And you hear this during most of the song… It is heavily advised to avoid using Sirius B as background music; this is an album that requires great part of your attention to truly enjoy it. Oh, but the album has a superb last track that literally redeems the previous song.
So, equilibrium is done here, there isn’t much to complain about, maybe the voices in “Call of Dagon” seem to be covered by the heavy instrumentation but that’s a minor detail if you take the great amount of “pros” this album has.
Heavily recommended if you didn’t hear anything from them before! And even more recommended if you are already a follower of Therion!