Therion - Sitra Ahra review
|Release date:||September 2010|
01. Introduction/Sitra Ahra
02. Kings Of Edom
03. Unguentum Sabbati
04. Land Of Canaan
07. Cú Chulainn
08. Kali Yuga III
09. The Shells Are Open
11. Children Of The Stone: After The Inquisition
"Taste the tempting Fruit and be an Outcast from the Paradise."
Therion have to be one of the acts closest to me, emotionally speaking, since they are one of the first metal bands I listened to seriously, wih Vovin being one the first albums I bought back in 1998 when it came out, playing its part in the unorthodox way I slided into metal music. Ever since they never ceased to amaze me and what I learnt from them is that if a Therion album is good, it has to captivate you from the very first listen. Of course you can't conceive everything it has to say from one spin, but it makes you highly interested into keep on spinning and spinnning until you can say that you own the album's cause of existence up to a welcome extent. Gothic Kabbalah was the first Therion album that didn't have a big impact on me, although good and a natural continuation of Lemuria/Sirius B, less heavy but metal of course, based upon the orchestrations, the symphonic passages and the operatic vocal lines. So I was really curious of what will happen with Sitra Ahra.
After oh so many years, Christofer Johnsson has mastered the patterns of the marriage of classical and metal music, presenting to the audience metal operettas and Sitra Ahra is one of them, a sounding successor of Gothic Kabbalah, but highly inspired and with this glimpse of captivation a Therion album should preserve. One can find in here the gentleness and elegiac character of Crowning Of Atlantis blending with operatic lines à la Vovin leaning towards the aforementioned album, bringing forth anatolian scriptures of Deggial the way they would sound in 2010 as a natural continuation of Therion's course alongside heavy guitars, fabulous solos and power metal vocals in the same clean but hoarsing-to-high-pitched obscure vein they seem to adore.
The Celebrators of Becoming have re-opened the gates and "Introduction/Sitra Ahra"/"Kings Of Edom" overwhelm you with their sincere elegiac aura that lead through "Unguentum Sabbati's" imposing chrism to the "Land Of Canaan". This composition unfolds piece of the grandeur this part on the map once held, a new ten-minute magnum opus by Therion, evoking mysticism and the mystery of times long gone. Multifaceted, filled with fragileness and introvert power, without repeating itself from beginning to end, leading you to a journey through anatolian might and inspiration. And you have to love the harmonica which personally reminded me of Bruce Springsteen's "The Ghost Of Tom Joad".
But still, the wandering would seem incomplete without the devoutness of "Kali Yuga III" and nocturnal essence of "The Shells Are Open", the ominous and violent approach of "Din"; and "Hellequin", a harlequin's seducing dance! The celebrating "Cú Chulainn", the pre-apocalyptic dance of "2012" manifesting the end of days, proclaiming the dawn of of a new era's spiritual nurishment and the hallucinating and caressing "Children Of The Stone: After The Inquisition" could not be missing. After all, every single chant which consists of Sitra Ahra is a part of a sound puzzle that fulfills another Qliphothic expedition.
What seemed easily pompous, a bit tiring in terms of duration and not a hard ride for Therion to accomplish on Gothic Kabbalah has found its ideal expression on Sitra Ahra's 61 minutes of glory due to the inspirational factor and the way the band managed to make the overall outcome blend well together thanks to the good musicianship and the atmosphere that comes forth. A solid piece of symphonic metal from its profound fathers (as for the godfathers, count in Celtic Frost), proving that they have a reason to exist and giving promises for the future.
"Drink the Emerald of will and dreams , the Stone is falling, follow us beyond the world of stars."
||Written on 06.10.2010 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."|
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