Therion - Lemuria review
|Release date:||May 2004|
02. Uthark Runa
03. Three Ships Of Berik, Part 1: Calling To Arms And Fighting The Battle
04. Three Ships Of Berik, Part 2: Victory!
07. The Dreams Of Swedenborg
08. An Arrow From The Sun
10. Feuer Overtüre / Prometheus Entfesselt
Sirius B for the experiments, Lemuria for the aggression. Maybe this was the calculation of Christopher Johnsson before recording both albums. How come two albums, that have been recorded at the same time, in the same studio by the same musicians, are in the end so different?
Lemuria is what we could call a 'normal' Therion album. The only major difference with the previous album Secret Of The Runes is a higher dose of aggressiveness, the fact that Lemuria is more heavy and maybe less symphonic. The opening is a kick-ass song; actually 'Typhon' is probably the most brutal song recorded by Therion, as well as the first one with growlings, for a few years. The epic track 'Three Ships Of Berik' also contents growlings, and this 'new' vocal direction leads to more variety in the music, which is a really good thing in my opinion... The rest of the album doesn't have screams or growls, but most of it is still heavy, catchy and punchy, more like usual Therion. 'Uthark Runa' and 'An Arrow From The Sun' are the kind of songs that you can expect from Therion, heavy, with great lyric vocals and nice arrangements all along, in the end catchy songs, of those that have made the band's reputation. 'Abraxas' is in the same vein, the kind of song you wouldn't have been surprised to hear on an older album. The riff of this song is particularly interesting, it's quite brutal and groovy at the same time. Another great song. The closing track 'Feuer Overture...' is a bit special. Maybe it's the lyrics in German, or the spoken harsh vocals, but this song has no real connection with the rest. It's a good one, but it doesn't really fit in the entity that is Lemuria...
I know what you're going to say: the whole album is not that heavy, actually some songs are kind of calm... I suppose the band didn't want this album to show only one aspect of the band. In order to counterbalance the heaviness of half of the tracks, they have also recorded some songs that are quiet and more emotional. The best example is 'Lemuria', in my opinion the highlight of the album. It's quite hard to explain actually, but this song makes me think of the sea, it gives me kind of the same feeling as 'The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner'. Ok forget, I'm not being very clear. Anyway, the vocals on this song are beautiful and full of emotion. The following 'Quetzalcoatl' is almost as calm, but in a more lyric vein. This song is quite close to 'Dark Venus Persephone' on Sirius B in my opinion. 'The Dreams Of Swedenborg' on the contrary, sounds like nothing else. This song is quite atypical, since it has a kind of sad and cool rock'n'roll feeling. This is a strange song, but I do appreciate it a lot. Actually it's one of my favourites.
Believe me, reviewing the last two albums of Therion is not an easy job. The problem with this band is that no matter how many times you listen to their albums, you keep discovering new things, new arrangements every time. So I don't know what this review is worth, all I can say is that from my point of view Lemuria is one of the albums that should not be missed this year. It is a bit better than Sirius B in my opinion, for the simple reason that it's more direct. Anyway, just go out and buy both if it's not done yet.
Highlights: Typhon, Uthark Runa, Lemuria, The Dreams Of Swedenborg, An Arrow From The Sun
|2004, a year dedicated to Therion, a year that Christofer Johnsson poured his soul into composing two monumental albums, "Sirius B" and "Lemuria". Stunning and imposing at times, whilst at others emotional, orchestrations being accompanied by the superb and utterly expressive operatic female and male or heavy/power voices, unerring and inspired guitar riffing and wonderful ecstatic heavy or dreamy solos in the air are the main characteristics that form those brilliant releases.
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