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Another single. - 72%

Corimngul, January 23rd, 2005

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.

Enjoyable but tough to find... - 90%

evilution, May 6th, 2003

This is one of the rarer Therion items out there, but it is worth seeking out because it does contain a song that can be found nowhere else. The single was released mainly because Nuclear Blast thought that the Siren of the Woods might have had some crossover appeal, and so here we get an "edit" that is still over eight minutes long, and a few keyboard bits are added here and there as well. When combined with mystical lyrics in an ancient language, it isn't hard to see why NB's expectations weren't meant. Of course, the song is one of the best from Theli, and hearing a slightly different version of it makes for a nice change of pace.

The second track is another of the standouts from Theli, Cults of the Shadow. This one is also edited, but much less noticeably.

FInally we get to the highlight of the single, the song Babylon. It is technically not a Therion song, but was recorded because composer Lars Rosenberg (ex-Entombed) wanted to get it on tape before his ex-bandmates could "steal" it. It is much simpler than the rest of Therion's music from this period, but enjoyable nonetheless. My only complaint is that Piotr's vocals, which are good in moderation, are not so good over the course of an entire song.