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Therion is one of the most influential and notable symphonic/operatic metal bands of all time. Who can forget such amazing metal masterpieces as 1997's Lepaca Kliffoth or 1998's Vovin? Even 2008's Gothic Kabbalah, despite some disenfranchised fans labeling the goth-influenced album a "sell-out", was undeniably top-notch. Yes, Therion has had some amazing releases in the past. But the key words in that sentence are "in the past". Sadly, we are no longer in the past, and Therion's latest release is proof that the band no longer has any idea what they're doing.
To be entirely honest, this is a really annoying album, and it is entirely undeserving of the praise it seems to be receiving. It basically feels like an opera album with a little bit of metal tacked on, and even the metal elements feel closer to generic metalcore than the amazing symphonic/gothic metal that brought glory to previous Therion releases.
What good can be said about the album is that even if the music is really annoying and repetitive, the lyrics are still poetically written, the themes are interesting and deep, and the production values are excellent. This does little to save the album since the music is garbage, but it's nice to know that the band hasn't completely stopped trying.
Fans new to this band may be able to enjoy this release, but anyone who is a fan of the band's earier work will be bitterly disappointed. Perhaps the album wouldn't seem as bad if were made by another metal band, especially one without talent. This album might actually be forgivable if it wasn't such a shameful step down from Therion's previous material, but it's hard to be positive about any album that's such a fall from grace.
To fans of symphonic or operatic metal, Therion's latest release might be good for a spin or two, but it's never going to be touched again. Unlike the band's previous albums, many of which were majestic, melodic, and beautiful, this release is forgettable, annoying, and generally not worth the trouble. There might be a few out there who actually enjoy this sort of thing, but I frankly can't imagine why. Skip this mediocre recording and pray that this is just a sad hiccup in the influential symphonic metal band's career.