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Release date: 17 September 2010
Style: Symphonic metal

Rating:

7.8 | 332 votes

Owners:

361 have it
52 want it
2 trade it


01. Introduction/Sitra Ahra
02. Kings Of Edom
03. Unguentum Sabbati
04. Land Of Canaan
05. Hellequin
06. 2012
07. Cú Chulainn
08. Kali Yuga III
09. The Shells Are Open
10. Din
11. Children Of The Stone: After The Inquisition

The Best Symphonic Metal Album Of 2010

Review
Lyrics (11)


Additional info
Produced by Christofer Johnsson
Mixed by Lennart Östlund
Assistant Mixing Chris Laney
Enginnering at Polar by Chris Laney and Lennart Östlund
Mastered by George Marino

Pre-production made at Eaglehill Studios, January - August 2009
Bass, electric guitars, vocals and choir recorded at Adulruna Studio, Pettersborg, October 2009 - March 2010
Additional vocals and all other instruments recorded at Polar, October 2009 - April 2010
Mixed at Polar Sudios, Stockholm, March - April 2010
Mastered at Sterling Sound, April 2010

Staff review by
DerRozzengarten

Rating:
8.5
"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.

Read more ››
published 06.10.2010 | Comments (71)

Found in 12 lists
Top lists

Vonpire Vonpire's 2010 Best  | #12
Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk Zmaj's Top 10 Of '10  | #6
Dominus Top 25 Albums Of 2010  | #1
tricky Top 20 Albums Of 2010 (final)  | #11
Jiri Jiri's Top 10 Albums From 2010  | #10
rafroes Top 2010  | #12
Damned-In-Black Top 20 Albums Of 2010  | #17
ravendeath Top 10 Of 2010  | #4
More lists with this album (12) | Create a list! ››



Comments

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Dominus - 08.02.2010 at 23:45  
Rating: 9 December???
I can't wait anymore!!!!!!!
Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk - 08.02.2010 at 23:51  
Rating: 8 December 2010 is only a MS date placeholder until the band announces the real release date.

Oh, and I can't wait either!
Hopefully a tour will follow the release.
Dark†SymphonY - 30.03.2010 at 12:09  
Rating: 7 I hope their will go back to the music as good as Vovin & Theli
Arcticus - 13.05.2010 at 17:01  
  I don't really see Therion as a group who will rely on their past successes to move forward, as such...they are constantly changing and evolving and getting more intricate and adventurous, and let's be honest, they haven't made anything that sounds like Theli since, well, Theli. Personally I quite liked Gothic Kabbalah (although I haven't listened to it as much as their earlier stuff), I'll just be intrigued to see what they come up with, and I do hope that it's different to anything they've done before. That's the great thing about bands like Therion, the unpredictability factor - you just have to keep an open mind. Can't wait!
Earthbound - 17.05.2010 at 00:58  
Rating: 9
Written by Dark†SymphonY on 30.03.2010 at 12:09

I hope their will go back to the music as good as Vovin & Theli


I hope that too! Masterpieces.
Fane - 18.05.2010 at 21:56  
  Vovin, Theli, Lepaca Kliffoth... Ye, I hope that too. Too many bands change from 'excellent' to 'we-wanted-to-test-this-new-thing' which in many cases sounds like crap.
Aralim4311 - 10.06.2010 at 00:58  
  Holy hell can't wait... i wish they would come back to america....
c.metallerstein - 13.06.2010 at 05:01  
Rating: 7 The can do what ever they want just don't go on with Gothic kabbalah style! cuz it was a big letdown for me.
Sovereign87 - 30.06.2010 at 03:51  
Rating: 10 I agree. Gothic Kabbalah was a decent album (Well it's Therion we are talking about!) but certainly not their best. I hope there will be more symphonic elements and opera choirs like on Secret Of The Runes or Deggial mixed with a strong metal section and of course the mystical feeling of Therion's music !
ponderer - 28.08.2010 at 18:36  
  Less bullshit and more heavy fucking riffing like Lemuria and Sirius B. The more crap you add the more you lose.
BMR Monkey - 15.09.2010 at 08:14  
Rating: 10 Allreade have the album its pretty awesome

i think that it can be a masterpiece
Mixhell - 15.09.2010 at 13:51  
Rating: 7 Have some good songs, the guitar solos are weaker, and most important it's much boring than previous release. Therion has new line-up and it's very good for new start, but this release is not perfect or brilliant. Need much work for that.
Marcel Hubregtse - 15.09.2010 at 13:54  
Rating: 4 Heard it and just as piss [poor as their last couple of albums.
Odinized - 15.09.2010 at 23:42  
  I heard it for once and i found it brilliant and more (Therional ) than the let down Gothic Kabbalah , Chris wrote almost the entire album and snowy took the rest , for me nothing goes wrong except some Lizzy moments here and there and the band promo. pics look stupid like u watch Alice on wonder land or some thing like that
Rob-EDL - 16.09.2010 at 04:07  
Rating: 10 Great album, defiantly one of there finest to date!:maniac:
Angel_Lament - 19.09.2010 at 01:58  
Rating: 8 Very nice album, but who is screaming like a bitch on "Din"?
Lovecraft - 19.09.2010 at 03:18  
  It's not bad. But, it needs to be heavier, or maybe I need to listen to it more.
Dark†SymphonY - 19.09.2010 at 13:43  
Rating: 7 It isn't so bad than I thought i would be. They have those choirs back which they missed from their last album. I would say that it isn't as good as Theli or Vovin
Vonpire - 19.09.2010 at 20:40  
Rating: 9 First time i listened to it I was a bit disappointed, 2th time was better, 3rd time was great, 4th brilliant! For sure not their best but still a album full of outstanding musical excellence, being the 4 first tracks some of the best i heard this year. Sure it has some flaws (Hellequin, Chu Chulain) but still a very solid release and, incredibly, original! Land Of Canaan is a opus that mix a amazing variety of folk instruments with some of the best operatic moments. This song has it all. After all those years bringing us some of the finest metal releases, Therion still manage to bring us this "operatic" metal full of originality. They have my respect! Here's my rating :

1 - 10
2 - 10
3 - 10
4 - 11
5 - 8
6 - 9
7 - 7
8 - 9
9 - 9
10 - 8
11 - 9

So : 10 + 10 + 10 + 11 + 8 + 9 + 7 + 9 + 9 + 8 + 9 / 11 = 9,09
Dominus - 20.09.2010 at 18:25  
Rating: 9 Best album of the year
Jeeers - 20.09.2010 at 19:09  
Rating: 5 Disgusting album! Cheesy and pompous like the others before it but almost without any good and memorable songs that I would like to listen more than once. "Sitra Ahra","The Shells Are Open","After The Inquisition: Children" are at least decent and tolerable.
Vonpire - 20.09.2010 at 21:41  
Rating: 9 You can call it whatever you want, but disgusting???... Man, that is really extreme, since this album is really good!!! I don't get it, but imo, you should hear it at least 2 more times. I checked your tastes and they are ok (imo), but i don't get that rating / hate for Therion

Cheers!
Jeeers - 20.09.2010 at 23:31  
Rating: 5
Written by Vonpire on 20.09.2010 at 21:41

You can call it whatever you want, but disgusting???... Man, that is really extreme, since this album is really good!!! I don't get it, but imo, you should hear it at least 2 more times. I checked your tastes and they are ok (imo), but i don't get that rating / hate for Therion

Cheers!


The rating 5 is OK in my opinion. But you are right - "disgusting" - is too strong word for such album.
There is nothing "wrong" with "Sitra Ahra" in general - good sound, but ... I don't like it at all. Speaking about latest Therion albums - I only liked some 27% of theyr songs. Some were really good, but only a few of them. In this album, on the other hand I could not find any for my liking.
To be honest,I am not very much in this pompose and epic style of Therion or symphonic or power metal (with a few exeptions) - I find it stupid ... and those vocals.... damn .... I can not stand it!
In my humble opinion "Sitra Ahra" is THE WORST Therion album so far, and I have heard them all. I will listen to "Theli" or "Deggial" insted....
Metatron - 21.09.2010 at 01:33  
  After catching a preliminary listen to the entire album on Youtube before Nuclear Blast laid down the hammer of justice on them and got it revoked due to licensing claims, I have the following observations:

A) The music isn't simple. It's the most modern implementation of their Deggial music style, an album that I didn't like much on first listen and then decided that I REALLY liked it once I understood what the hell they were doing. Secret of the Runes, Vovin, Theli, Lemuria, Sirius B and Gothic Kabbalah were comparably simpler and easier to pick up at first listen since they were more rock-oriented. Wine of Aluqah was a much more accessible song than Via Nocturne. Son of the Staves of Time was a much more accessible song than Eternal Return. That's kind of how Sitra Ahra is going, and now that I understand what's going on with it, I'm much happier than my initial reaction of 'Man, Children of the Stone and Sitra Ahra are the songs I'm going to remember on this dumb album.' Because that's not the case at all.

If you find yourself having trouble liking this album, remind yourself that this is one that you have to give a fair amount of time to. If you still don't like it afterward, then that's ok - but it's not a toss-after-one-spin disc.

B) The music that is simple doesn't seem to be very good. Hellequin is pretty weak. Din is pretty mediocre. Both of these, of course, are impressions at first listen - but unlike a lot of the other songs, I don't think there's a wealth of depth to be had with these.

C) Sitra Ahra being the 'single' sets a lot of unfortunate expectations for the album. Since the style is so radically different from the rest of the album, I think it set up a lot of people to expect an album full of catchy Therion rock songs rather than heavily orchestrated compositions.

D) Sitra Ahra is a really, really great album that I haven't had the time or the energy to really parse yet. It's way better than Gothic Kabbalah. I'm definitely, absolutely, certainly going to be buying the US release as soon as humanly possible and it's nice to have a really good band that consistently puts out decent albums even as they continue to modernize.
Vonpire - 21.09.2010 at 04:00  
Rating: 9
Written by Jeeers on 20.09.2010 at 23:31

Written by Vonpire on 20.09.2010 at 21:41

You can call it whatever you want, but disgusting???... Man, that is really extreme, since this album is really good!!! I don't get it, but imo, you should hear it at least 2 more times. I checked your tastes and they are ok (imo), but i don't get that rating / hate for Therion

Cheers!


The rating 5 is OK in my opinion. But you are right - "disgusting" - is too strong word for such album.
There is nothing "wrong" with "Sitra Ahra" in general - good sound, but ... I don't like it at all. Speaking about latest Therion albums - I only liked some 27% of theyr songs. Some were really good, but only a few of them. In this album, on the other hand I could not find any for my liking.
To be honest,I am not very much in this pompose and epic style of Therion or symphonic or power metal (with a few exeptions) - I find it stupid ... and those vocals.... damn .... I can not stand it!
In my humble opinion "Sitra Ahra" is THE WORST Therion album so far, and I have heard them all. I will listen to "Theli" or "Deggial" insted....



I really think you would like this album if you give it a listen again. After all a fellow contributer of this site, which is the only one i seen until now that rated Ayreon - 01011001 with same note as mine (6) and that thinks that Ayreon is a really overrated band (I think exactly the same ), should be warned about it. Sitra Ahra is indeed a good album , and if you look at my original post i wrote that, "at first listen i was disappointed". But then it made click

(u can skip Hellequin , Cu Chulain and Din, which in fact are the weakest spots on this album, I don't like some of those vocals (the ayreonish type ones) used on these songs.)

If it wasn't for it i would rated Sitra Ahra with 10 easily.

Cheers
AnGina-- - 21.09.2010 at 12:38  
 
Written by Vonpire on 19.09.2010 at 20:40

First time i listened to it I was a bit disappointed, 2th time was better, 3rd time was great, 4th brilliant!


I hope it goes the same for me, because after the first listen I was quite dissapointed about it. Well, maybe disappointed isn't exactly the word, but Sitra Ahra just didn't hit me as much as most of Therion's album did on the first note. Even Gothic Kabbalah, that some have quite negative opinion about, sounded great when I first heard it. Nonetheless, I really do enjoy fully the opening Intro/Sitra Ahra and hope the rest grows on me, because up to date Theiron has never let me cold with any of their album. Gotta say Vikström's vocals are IMHO the weakest link on the album, can't really enjoy him singing.
tricky - 21.09.2010 at 13:41  
Rating: 9 I think Cristopher listened too much Diablo Swing Orchestra....
Agonizer - 21.09.2010 at 17:30  
 
Written by tricky on 21.09.2010 at 13:41

I think Cristopher listened too much Diablo Swing Orchestra....


Two problems with that theory would be:

1. It doesn't sound anything like DSO.

2. The songs from Sitra Ahra were written before DSW were formed. It is an album of songs from the same pile of tracks that Lemuria and Sirius B was made of.
tricky - 21.09.2010 at 23:38  
Rating: 9 Okay, my point of view, why I said that... The composing and the structure of these songs on this album are not the same like in L and SB. The old Therion was about making atmoshpere and - sorry for the word - patos. The heavy guitar parts with the choirs passed to each other to make this special and miraculous feeling. But now... Everything turned to the other side. The guitar parts are just for colouring the music. This music is not the same "metal" music like before. Some parts of the album is like an ordinary soundtrack for a movie (for instance, the last song with children... the original idea was great, but the result...).
Why did I mention DSO? What is DSO about? Making fun with choirs, lots of instruments, some heavy parts... Making "random" song-structures to surprise and entertain people on a simple way. For me, SA is not serious enough to make the pathetic Therion feeling like before. Too random, too popular. No logic, no structure in the songs. Few catchy tunes, few musicial performance.
Maybe, this album is more than we can expect from an ordinary musician... But we are talking about Therion! I'm really fond of LK, Theli, Vovin, SOTR, Lemuria, SB, and I think, Gothic Kabbalah is also a masterpiece (not the same way, like the others), but this album... sorry, it was a disappoint for me.
Vonpire - 22.09.2010 at 02:31  
Rating: 9 It seems to me that this album is a "love it or hate it."

Gladly, i like it a lot
Elyar S. - 25.09.2010 at 01:19  
Rating: 8 I dont know about others but for me it seems that Therion is successful again and that makes feel good. I love this band.
Elyar S. - 25.09.2010 at 01:29  
Rating: 8
Written by Vonpire on 19.09.2010 at 20:40

First time i listened to it I was a bit disappointed, 2th time was better, 3rd time was great, 4th brilliant! ....

It seems that you know what metal music is! you cant judge a professional art so soon and in this case (music) you have to be patient. You are 31 maybe thats why, still metal

Metal music is not an easy one for sure, you have to focus on it, you cant understand all the elements and harmony with at the very first time you hear it. I cant forget that how I hated Pink Floyd's "The Wall" when I heard it for the very first time I really thought that there isnt any harmony and its all lame
Vonpire - 25.09.2010 at 01:49  
Rating: 9
Written by Elyar S. on 25.09.2010 at 01:29

Written by Vonpire on 19.09.2010 at 20:40

First time i listened to it I was a bit disappointed, 2th time was better, 3rd time was great, 4th brilliant! ....

It seems that you know what metal music is! you cant judge a professional art so soon and in this case (music) you have to be patient. You are 31 maybe thats why, still metal

Metal music is not an easy one for sure, you have to focus on it, you cant understand all the elements and harmony with at the very first time you hear it. I cant forget that how I hated Pink Floyd's "The Wall" when I heard it for the very first time I really thought that there isnt any harmony and its all lame



I am really glad to hear that, cause I think exactly same way as you. That happened with me with Epica, and man, what a turn-over! Now it's one of my fav bands, first time i listened to it i hated it (I don't know how, anyway, LOL, i must had been abducted or something!).

Stay true to metal!
Elyar S. - 25.09.2010 at 18:37  
Rating: 8
Written by Guest on 19.09.2010 at 03:18

It's not bad. But, it needs to be heavier, or maybe I need to listen to it more.

I have the same feeling but its an ok album. Somehow it reminds me Haggard but it hasnt the same space.
Goran Veljanoski - 05.10.2010 at 03:10  
  It's a very good album, with very complex compositions. The opening act says little about what this album is about but when you get to Kings of Edom you can easily lose your mind cause this is one of the best songs ever written by Therion. It's not Degial or Vovin, but here you can actually hear them play really crazy shit. Therion's music has been always about orchestration and choirs and the guitars were only the background of the music. So we can see that Christofer since Sirius B and Lemuria has been trying to make more straight metal songs than classical arranged metal and on this album he has done it's best, cause here you can hear some really good metal riffs and technical arrangements. I must listen to it a couple of more times before I can give it a rating...
S.K.Ø.M - 12.10.2010 at 10:12  
  My first Therion album ,, and it is quite nice album
Tyr Anasazy - 20.11.2010 at 03:27  
Rating: 10 Amazing album! best of the year for me, can't stop listening.
Blasphemer1992 - 25.12.2010 at 21:38  
  Good album, but maybe sometimes a little bit boring. There a lot of choirs and other Therion's mark elements so I' m satisfied with this album
Kenos - 03.04.2011 at 20:04  
  An embarrassing listen.
The best shitphonic metal album of 2010.
Marcel Hubregtse - 03.04.2011 at 20:36  
Rating: 4
Written by Guest on 03.04.2011 at 20:04

An embarassing listen.
The best shitphonic metal album of 2010.


drdml - 19.07.2011 at 14:33  
Rating: 6
Written by Guest on 03.04.2011 at 20:04

An embarassing listen.
The best shitphonic metal album of 2010.

+1
Dark Cornatus - 06.08.2011 at 03:23  
Rating: 6 I've given it a few spins now, but i have to agree with some other's in saying it is probably the worst Therion album i have (I only haven't heard ...Lucid Dreaming yet). Don't get me wrong, i like it, some songs are good, but it's just not memorable and not even in the metal genre really. When you look at the other albums they wrote at the same time like Lemuria and Sirius B, they are an equal blend of metal, quoirs and symphonics. Sitra Ahra is only about a quarter metal, and only songs like Unguentum... and Din really show it.
whysoserious - 03.10.2011 at 16:34  
  @Land Of Canaan and Kings Of Edom are the blast
Leodrak - 13.01.2012 at 03:25  
Rating: 9
Written by Guest on 03.04.2011 at 20:04

An embarassing listen.
The best shitphonic metal album of 2010.


Dear, clean your ears.

Yo.
Troy Killjoy - 13.01.2012 at 03:29  
 
Written by Leodrak on 13.01.2012 at 03:25
Dear, clean your ears...

...of this garbage.

I agree with Kenos, this is an embarrassing album.
RavenKing - 13.01.2012 at 03:36  
 
Written by Goran Veljanoski on 05.10.2010 at 03:10

Therion's music has been always about orchestration and choirs and the guitars were only the background of the music.


You need to listen to their first albums if you believe this.
Marcel Hubregtse - 13.01.2012 at 05:09  
Rating: 4
Written by RavenKing on 13.01.2012 at 03:36

Written by Goran Veljanoski on 05.10.2010 at 03:10

Therion's music has been always about orchestration and choirs and the guitars were only the background of the music.


You need to listen to their first albums if you believe this.


that person will really get a shock when listening to the first two albums which are my favs by them btw. Total Swedish death metal in one of its harshest forms. Still play those two albums regularly.
Leodrak - 13.01.2012 at 06:34  
Rating: 9
Written by Troy Killjoy on 13.01.2012 at 03:29

Written by Leodrak on 13.01.2012 at 03:25
Dear, clean your ears...

...of this garbage.

I agree with Kenos, this is an embarrassing album.



Sorry you think that but i still like this album not as good as Lemuria or Deggial or Vovin or TSOR. Kings of Edom and Land of Canaan are my favs.

C ya.
Kenos - 13.01.2012 at 10:51  
 
Written by Leodrak on 13.01.2012 at 03:25

Written by Guest on 03.04.2011 at 20:04

An embarassing listen.
The best shitphonic metal album of 2010.


Dear, clean your ears.

Yo.


I didn't expect to hate this album so much, but I do and you don't know how I felt disappointed when I heard this godawful plastic garbage.
And I've always liked Therion, so I'm not a "hater"...
Vombatus - 13.01.2012 at 14:11  
  This is the worst Therion without doubt, but it's an ok album me thinks. Some good songs like Hellequin, but most of it sounds too empty... only started to appreciate it after watching live... but that happens alot.

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