Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2018
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

A tale of two sisters - 94%

kluseba, April 7th, 2015

Sirius B was jointly released with its consistent, mysterious and short counterpart and elegant sister release Lemuria. The two records perfectly complement each other, are a highlight in both Therion's career and the entire symphonic metal genre and are highly recommended for both new or occasional fans and die-hard followers of the band.

Sirius B includes the catchiest tracks Therion has written so far. The album starts with the heavy and power metal inspired ''Blood Of Kingu'' where Mats Levén's distinctive clean vocals meet majestic choirs in a powerful mid-tempo track that also ventures into faster territories. The dramatic closure of the song with bombastic orchestrations and almost hysterical female and male choirs makes any contemporary writer of classical music and operas go green with envy. On the other side, the symphonic metal anthem ''Son Of The Sun'' features female lead vocals and should immediately appeal to fans of Edendrige, Epica, Nightwish and the likes. I'm convinced that this track would have topped the charts if the band had released it as a single since this record was released when songs like ''Bring Me To Life'', ''Ice Queen'' and ''Nemo'' conquered the world by storm.

Along these addicting tunes, Therion also experiments with new sounds on this album. The sacral epic ''The Wondrous World Of Punt'' opens with majestic organ sounds and church choirs before it turns out to become a laid-back ballad with acoustic guitars, piano leads and a coherent mixture of male and female choirs and lead vocals. The song speeds up in the last two minutes with fast mandolin melodies, power metal inspired lead guitars, stakkato riffs that could come from the score of a Western movie and vivid drum patterns. The whole thing is crowned by psychedelic vocal effects that give the song an occult touch. This song really explores several new territories, even in the case of such an eclectic band and the different experiments within the tune work perfectly. This track is my favourite song on the album and a stunning highlight in Therion's impressive career. Another track with an occult touch and psychedelic vocal effects that give it a vintage touch is the outstanding ''The Khlysti Evangelist''. The opening verse is sung in Russian and has that particular melancholic, longing and passionate tone that defines the Russian mentality for me. The rest of the track convinces with heavier riffs and a powerful chorus where Mats Levén shines once again while the more psychedelic verses are performed by different female and male lead vocalists. Those who are looking for great guitar work should try out the closing ''Voyage Of Gurdjieff (The Fourth Way)'' which starts like an uplifting opera before it turns into an epic, fast and joyous power metal song. Instead of a high pitched vocalist, Therion underlines its uniqueness as this part is supported by a professional choir in the chorus and highly talented solists in the verses.

In the end, Therion delivers a balanced mixture of easily digestable, catchy and gripping tracks in the first half and more experimental tracks with occult atmospheres, professionally trained choirs and exotic instruments in the middle part and second half of the record. The only reason why this amazing release doesn't get the highest grade is due to three slightly less impressive tunes towards the end of the album, including the mysterious, elegiac and experimental yet dragging, repetitive and unimpressive title song. Still, this record in combination with the outstanding Lemuria is an output any intellectual metal fan should possess.

The more beautiful face of perfection - 95%

Mithr4ndir, May 11th, 2008

Already a band of major acclaim since the release of their opus, Theli in 1996, Therion has been a staple of the symphonic metal genre, and rightly so. In this writer's humble opinion, the greatness of Sirius B eclipses the mastery of Theli. This album is, with lack of a better word, a masterpiece. From the music to the album art, this record screams perfection right before it hits you squarely in the balls.

The symphonic aspect of this music is balanced perfectly by the metal side, just as the operatic vocal choruses blend perfectly with the metal vocals. The blending of the genres is no more apparent than in the first song, The Blood of Kingu. It's a song that starts off symphonically with a horn fanfare and journeys to a metal song with a completely badass riff.

Even fans of crushingly heavy music will be pleased with this album as there are heavy songs strewn throughout this album. Just go listen to Kali Yuga pt. 1 and prepare to have your nuts disintegrated by the heavy, almost doomy riff that opens up the song.

The lyrics are, as you would expect if you have heard Therion's work before, and even if you haven't, you know now, are extremely esoteric, mainly about eastern mythology and journeys to that hemisphere.

Christofer's guitar-work throughout this album is, as should be expected, masterful. It is blended perfectly into the mix, and it fits in perfectly with the music. There aren't that many solos throughout the course of this album, but when they are performed, they sound phenomenal (The Khylsti Evangelist).

Throughout this album, there are no standout tracks. Every single one of them is good in its own way, from the, stunning vocals and the amazing guitar solo in The Khlysti Evangelist to the breath-taking beauty and gorgeous soprano vocal work of The Wondrous World of Punt.

Overall, if you're scared away by operatic vocal chorales or symphonic instrumentation, then stay away. If you're a fan of masterfully done symphonic metal, then buy this at first opportunity.

The Eastern Twin: symphony and wisdom. - 100%

Daniel_2007_Pendulum, April 21st, 2008

"Sirius B" in one of the twin albums released by Therion in 2004, and in the same way than "Lemuria", this album is a clear proof that Therion has left its "barbarian" beginnings to move on into something more mature and more harmonic, and of course a lot more symphonic. "Sirius B" is definitely the calmed and symphonic brother of this couple of albums, and although many fans may dislike this albums beacuse of its slowness, it's just great. Let's check out it.

"Sirius B" is a lot longer than "Lemuria", lasting for about 57 minutes, resulting in the longest songs included in both albums: seven of the eleven songs of this album are longer than 5 minutes, and the longest is over 7 minutes long. But, if you think that a very long song is boring, you're wrong: all the songs are very interesting. But, while "Lemuria" is aggressive, "Sirius B" is slower and involves the orchestra and the operatic chorus a lot more than its twin. This can only result in very beautiful songs, with very beautiful lyrics.

I call this album "The Eastern Twin" because the lyrics of the songs talk about eastern mithology, journeys to that part of the world, and local legends from there. Each song is different from the others, of course, with the exception of two songs that can be treated as one: "Kali Yuga". This situation is also found in "Lemuria" with the song "Three Ships of Berik". For example: "The Blood of Kingu" is a very aggressive song with very long lyrics, and "Sirius B" is a very slow, dark song with only two words as lyrics ("Po Tolo!"); "Call of Dagon" is a very simple song with an ethereal atmosphere, and "Voyage of Gurdgieff (The Fourth Way)" is a very complex song with a difficult rhythm; "The Wondrous World of Punt" (the masterpiece of the album) is a slow, symphonic and very beautiful song, and "Son of The Sun" and "The Khlysti Evangelist" (whose first verse is written in Russian) are fast and aggressive songs.

Now, I think I'll give my personal rankings for each of the songs included in the album. Neither "Sirius B" nor "Lemuria" include bonus tracks.

The Blood of Kingu - 10/10
Son of The Sun - 10/10
The Khlysti Evangelist - 9.9/10
Dark Venus Persephone - 10/10
Kali Yuga (both parts) - 9.8/10
The Wondrous World of Punt - 10/10
Melek Taus - 9.8/10
Call of Dagon - 9.7/10
Sirius B - 9.4/10
Voyage of Gurdgieff (The Fourth Way) - 10/10

Therion Returns - 99%

Sue, January 22nd, 2008

Secret of the Runes was great to be sure, but Sirius B is where they finally recaptured the potential that Theli promised. With a more power metal mentality and even more obsucre esoteric subjects, Sirius B (and to a lesser extent it's sister Lemuria) burst on almost every track with power and passion. From the first four wild songs to the later weirder music, and even the slow ominous title track, Sirius B never wastes a note. Every second of this thing is audio heaven.

After the stagnation in Deggial and overt oddity of Runes, Therion tried another itteration of their sound with the power tunes that would take over Gothic Kaballah. Here those creatures are tamed to great effect, always just under the gothic surface, threatening to erupt into pure mayhem (the noun not the band). But then there is Wondrous World of Punt, the Siren of the Woods of the new era, which would fit in as well in a space opera soundtrack as it does here.

There is not a single song here that feels like a B-Side, rather every single work feels like it deserves it's own single (the title track excepted, which feels like the intro to a single, which it would be if the awesome last track didn't have another intro of it's own). Do not hear this album hoping for any degree of subtlety or doom metal mood. Only listen to this if you want exiting, crazy, fun, wild music by the wild beast of Swedish symphonic metal.

One side of a golden coin - 95%

Observer, October 23rd, 2006

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!

A Hundred is not enough!! - 100%

northern_cross, February 4th, 2006

There are very few bands in which you can trust blindly, Therion is one of them. Since Theli they had developed their own sound, and in the way through they had converted in the greatest band nowadays.

Really, it seems that every experimentation that the band has taken in the end result a masterpiece and I think is because Christofer Johnson doesn’t make experimentation, but he can predict exactly how the result will be before starting. Sirius B is just an amazing album and if the master Johnson needed another evidence to proof that he is the “Bach” of Metal this is it.

When you mix two things so complex as symphonic music and Metal the result can be an incredible piece of shit, but don’t worry, because as I already say, we have a genius creating and coordinating all these.

I will not describe song by song, because you can write a novel of everyone and that would not be enough to describe them. All of them are just indescribable, everyone different from each other but all with the same stratosphere musical level. The orchestra is magnificent used, the vocals are at their best and the riff are kicking ass. Even the soft songs have no sign of weakness, and the atmosphere is just not from this world. Also the lyrics done by Thomas Karlson are great, maybe they are not the pinnacle of metal lyrics, but you can feel the real passion that this man has among with Johnson by every kind of mythology and supernatural themes.

At the end this album is simple one of the best that the world had ever seen (and I am not talking only about the Metal realm) and represents the perfection that Therion has reached so far. The time will pass and a lot of important names nowadays will be forgotten, but Sirius B, as all the production of Therion since Theli, will stand as a jewel of what Metal can offer to the universal music.

Doesn't hold til' the end - 82%

Corimngul, May 27th, 2004

Sirius B... Ok, just like Lemuria it has its killer start - The Blood of Kingu. Excellent lead vocals, high energy, a great rhythm which just makes my head go banging and my leg go straight through my floor. The choir choruses are really cool. This song is just great. Then Son of the Sun follows, written by Kristian Niemann, this song uses the choirs well and has a excellent beat. Now, Khlysti Evangelist, a joint production of Christofer Johnson and Johan Niemann starts with a sound like scratched vinyl plates. The russian operatic vocal lasts for a minute until a real cool metal beat grows out of it. The rhythms are good, the singing of the verses just great. All in all this is a really good song, the best of this album.
Dark Venus Persephone is a midpaced (half slow) song featuring lame choruses, a simple but straight beat, lots of strange sound effects. Everything helps creating this intense, cave-like atmosphere which really fits to a song about Hades. Kali Yuga starts real heavy, almost a doom beat. Then Therion introduces the cymbals and some cool atmospheric sound effects which reminds me of indiepop. And why not? Kali was a hinduan godess after all. The second part of the song starts agressive, it's faster than the first part. The soprano vocals fits well. It's the same cool chorus as in the first part, but played and singed more agressively. Now comes The Wondrous World of Punt. It begins with a choir singing and a church organ playing. Then the bass and violin joins. The song is slow- to midpaced and half heavy. The basslines are nice, but the vocals are distorted by some sick sound effects.
Anyway, Melek Taus, written by both Christofer and Kristian Niemann, is another excellent song. It starts cool with a nice rhythm, and for the first time I actually find myself liking Piotr Wawrzeniuk's vocals. The melody is simplistic but nice. Now fallows the real fall of this album. Call of Dagon, a slow paced song that never lifts. You cannot hear the vocals, no I don't mean the words, I mean vocals. They almost gets filtered away by the orchestration which it's more of than in the previous songs. Oh yeah, the soprano voice isn't too good either.
Sirius B is the title song. Just as on Lemuria I cannot understand why titling the album like this. But this time I don't understand why titling the song like this either. It's a slow song, the melody is repeated time after time. So is the one lyric "Po Tolo" which gets VERY annoying after three minutes. On this song the philharmonics really are in the foreground. The last song is Voyage of Gurdjieff (The Fourth Way). It's written by Christofer and Kristian. Now this mixture is no good. Slow start, some classical opera, then drumming in speed metal tempo? This is the ultimate wannabe combining opera with riffs. Therion are usually good at it, but this is just pancake. But ok, in between the riffing and the opera, where the music is just played straight, it's actually pretty good. But outside the between, no.

This album is very athmospheric. The first six songs are almost Theli-like, but then the last ones sound more like Vovin without the ideas.