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Brilliant - 100%

a8o, June 19th, 2005

“Lemuria” must rank up there with the best releases of the decade so far: a landmark album. This album remains in high rotation and is one of only a handful of genre defining records released in my lifetime. Therion tone down the operatic quotient of earlier albums like “Voivin” and increasing the metallic elements to reach a perfect balance.

Balance is probably the best way of describing Lemuria. It’s paced perfectly, from the bombastic openers “Typhon”, “Uthark Runa” and “Three Ships of Berik (1 & 2)” which all feature sharp guitar work and varied vocal styles. The album settles down towards the middle – during “Lemuria”, “Quetzalcoatl” and the first half of “Dreams of Swedenborg” which boasts an absolutely brilliant guitar solo and is a definite highlight on an album so equal throughout. The album clears out on the positively brilliant trio “Arrow from the Sun”, “Abraxas” and “Feuer Overture” which brings the album full circle with a nice mid-tempo rocker. Also worth noting is the production which is also perfectly balanced so that no element of the music is overbearing, allowing the strength of song writing to shine.

Creating something this multi-faceted and cohesive, utilising the entire tonal spectrum with more than 171 musicians is an achievement in itself. Therion also obviously had a huge amount of material early 2004 when they set about recording their pair of albums. “Lemuria” in particular of the pair displays a strength of song writing fused together to create the rare kind of record where each track both fits together as a whole and can stand on its own. That is probably why “Lemuria” is so good and why isolating any particular track more than I have in this review would not do the others justice.