Therion - Gothic Kabbalah review



Reviewer:
8.4

558 users:
8.21
Band: Therion
Album: Gothic Kabbalah
Release date: January 2007


Disc I
01. Der Mitternachtslöwe
02. Gothic Kabbalah
03. The Perennial Sophia
04. Wisdom And The Cage
05. Son Of The Staves Of Time
06. Tuna 1613
07. Trul
08. Close Up The Streams

Disc II
01. The Wand Of Abaris
02. Three Treasures
03. Path To Arcady
04. TOF - The Trinity
05. Chain Of Minerva
06. The Falling Stone
07. Adulruna Rediviva
08. Seven Secrets Of The Sphinx [live] [limited edition bonus]
09. To Mega Therion [live] [limited edition bonus]


Swedish symphonic Thrash masters Therion have had a terrific run since their debut in 1990. From breathtaking live albums to stunning studio efforts, they have done it all. After 2004's double strike of Lemuria and Sirius B and 2006's DVD of the year Celebrators of Becoming, Therion's mastermind Christofer Johnsson comes back with a double-CD release entitled Gothic Kabbalah.

The album holds 15 diverse songs for almost one hour and 20 minutes of material. So, from the start, the band shows commitment to the fans, regardless of the quality. However, do not panic, as quality there is in abundance on this album.

Personally, Gothic Kaballah is a testimony of the band trying to reconcile their newer sound (albums Lemuria and Sirius B) with their "trilogy" period trademark sound (albums Vovin, Deggial and Secret of the Runes). The opening track 'Der Mitternachtslöwe" is not without reminding me of the grandiose opener of Secret of the Runes, called "Ginnungagap".

I was also pleasantly surprised that Therion is not wallowing into their clichés and instead of bombarding the listener was majestic operatic soprano choruses from the start, they choose to place the first huge one into a ballad, 'Son of the Staves of Time'. It appears obvious that Johnsson did not want to replicate any previous Therion albums. And he should be commanded for that.

As previously stated, this double album holds a lot of diversified material, so I won't bother spoiling the fun of discovery entirely. Just remember that the second CD is heavier (and also better in my opinion) and probably features the best songs, except maybe 'Tuna 1613', which really stands out on the first CD.

Gothic Kabbalah is another honest, genuine effort from Therion. The purists might not like the lack of real Thrash attack or the slightly less operatic approach showcased on the first part of the album. The second part of it is in my opinion the real reason why this release is worth your hard-earned money. Without being their best album to date, Gothic Kabbalah is a treasure chest full of new Therion songs, you're bound to like a handful of them!


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


 



Written on 17.06.2007 by Bringing you reviews of quality music and interesting questions such as:

"A picture is worth a thousand words. How many words is a song worth?"

I have only got so much patience and skills, you do the math.

Guest review by
Tristus Scriptor
Rating:
10
I've put off writing about this masterpiece for months. The thought of reviewing an album that I consider an absolute TEN frightened me, intimidated me, and simply put me off. This is the task of a writer creating something imperfect and partial about something predetermined as sublime. So, coming to the realization that creating a flawless synopsis is out of the question; I shall quote Tyler Durden- "I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom."

Read more ››
published 20.05.2012 | Comments (13)


Comments

Comments: 26   Visited by: 209 users
17.06.2007 - 11:12
Opium
Account deleted
The review is quite accurate, except for one thing, which is more a personal thing - I don't regard them as Symphonic Thrash, more so Symphonic Metal with slight Thrash influences.

The rating is quite reasonable too, so all around, it's quite pleasing

It's also fair to say that most people did expect a little more, but ah well.
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17.06.2007 - 11:33
Damned-In-Black
I'd say this is an above-average album overall, but a little below-par by Therion's high standards. I was disappointed it wasn't as symphonic/operatic as prior efforts, but that said - the songs are still good and it still feels like Therion, so I can't complain about it much. Pretty fair review overall (though I too wouldn't have called them symphonic thrash, exactly - but nevermind that).
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17.06.2007 - 12:09
Metal Maiden
Megadead
I think it would more appropraite to say we were expecting something different, not something more...but these things probably merge for many people.However, i'm not one of them - at first, i didn't know what to think of the new sound, but after a couple of listens, i found it perfect, as every single Therion album (not only after Theli, but before it, as well).Nice review, but it's the same with me - there are some slight thrash influences, especialy some solos, here and there, but Therion are defianately not symphonic thrash!!!
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17.06.2007 - 14:47
Katatronik
Angel of Lust
I expected more from a Therion release, good album in the end but at first listening I was quite disappointed... They remain a span above many other symphonic bands IMO anyway
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"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear,
and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
Howard Phillips Lovecraft
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17.06.2007 - 20:22
velvet
@ cradle - I agree. I was desperately anticipating this album, and seeing them live a few days before blew me away. This could have been the problem, since the 'temporary soprano' they had on tour really outshon the other female singer they had, and who is also prominent on the album... Whilst the songwriting and the male vocalists are as ever phenomenal, the 'new' approach of using four soloists together with fewer choirs just didn't gel on the album for me.

But hey - it's still great and worth an 8 or so.
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18.06.2007 - 03:19
=maD.Doc:.
Melodeath Master
Okay, thanks to the author of this review! Just started to listen to Therion today cause of this review, AND I LOVE IT!!! Thank you very much for this wonderful review <3
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18.06.2007 - 06:09
Dark Cornatus
Powerslave
This is an accurate review, well said. The only thing i think differently about is i much prefer cd1 to cd2.
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18.06.2007 - 08:20
Jason W.
Razorbliss
Well written review, and it reflects the opinion a friend of mine has about this 2 CD set as well... but in my opinion these two discs are only average Therion material. I still have this feeling that the long time period between many of the songs being written and the time they were recorded has left something out. Everything sounds beautiful and expansive, but only "The Perennial Sophia" and "Son of the Staves of Time" touch me at all. I'm not much a fan of the new female vocal style whatsoever, so in the end it's a personal thing with me Nice review though, but it's only a 7 for me.
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"After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - Aldous Huxley
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19.06.2007 - 19:37
Samael
Good review and the rating is what I would give. But something you didn't mention is that Christofer Johnsson was less involved in the composition of that album giving more place to the other musicians. The result is a higher songwriting level compared to the previous albums and a more progressive approach. I really enjoy these new elements and I think it's a big point for Therion to continue exploring other musical directions.
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22.01.2008 - 00:19
Spyroid
Rosetta Stoned
I agree with most of the comments and also with the review, more or less. Sirius B/Lemuria is so much better but this album is really well performed, and contains so many awesome instrumental treats. Absolutely a eight and again - the performance is awesome. I just hope Christopher will be more invovled in the next release now that Levén is gone and I also hope for a new orchestra.
This is just a perfect way to take a new turn with your band but still not disapoint yours truly that much.
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11.02.2008 - 23:55
+{Jonas}+
I R Serious Cat
Written by Spyroid on 22.01.2008 at 00:19

I agree with most of the comments and also with the review, more or less. Sirius B/Lemuria is so much better but this album is really well performed, and contains so many awesome instrumental treats. Absolutely a eight and again - the performance is awesome. I just hope Christopher will be more invovled in the next release now that Levén is gone and I also hope for a new orchestra.
This is just a perfect way to take a new turn with your band but still not disapoint yours truly that much.


I wouldn't say Sirius B/Lemuris is better, it's just different... I wasn't dissaspointed at all.
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"Nobody wants to be the weird kid, you just end up being the weird kid. You don't know how you ended up getting there" - Rob Zombie

http://jonas-bs.deviantart.com My dA, mainly photography, go check it out!
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12.02.2008 - 12:42
ylside
Seems like Gothic Kabbalah finally grew on me. The second CD is definitly better I agree there.
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13.02.2008 - 00:50
Militaru
Account deleted
Best of Therion!!! ... yeah!!!
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25.05.2008 - 16:53
Ragana
Rawrcat
brilliant album, actually it's the first album from Therion that I really like. few weeks ago I was used to tell everyone that I don't like Therion at all, but then I got "Gothic Kabbalah" and my thoughts changed. now I'm looking forward to get other Therion's albums, because they're really great!
I would like to say that both parts of this album are good and I can't decide which I like better, but I've noticed that about half of the songs are VERY catchy (to me).
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11.07.2008 - 01:37
Elen Rotrikan
Cynic
Best songs of Therion
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25.11.2008 - 00:39
Adanedhel Noir
Account deleted
Unbelievably awesome album! Metal with quality that blows you off! All songs are great, not a note is a filler.
I bow to the masterminds of music that met together under the name of Therion that period...
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16.12.2008 - 19:34
Introspekrieg
Totemic Lust
Written by Guest on 25.11.2008 at 00:39

Unbelievably awesome album! Metal with quality that blows you off! All songs are great, not a note is a filler.
I bow to the masterminds of music that met together under the name of Therion that period...

Hmmm... I love metal that blows you off.
This album is definitely growing on me more recently, at first nothing really stuck out for me but now I'm starting to enjoy it.
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30.03.2009 - 01:42
Dominus
The Shooter
Unbelievably awesome album!
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16.06.2009 - 17:06
Uirapuru
Liver Failure
Amazing album.. Of of the best i've ever heard. The disc 2 is a little worse than the 1.. ''Son of the staves on time'' is epic!
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member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
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11.07.2009 - 17:06
Prisoner
Account deleted
Wonderful, I agree w/ the above CM as well. Son Of Staves Of Time Is Fvcking Awesomem/
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04.04.2010 - 06:56
gabytzud
Certainly not Therion's best, but still really complex. Definitely an worthy experience. My personal hope... the next album will continue the Adulruna Rediviva style... Awesome song!
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31.08.2010 - 14:48
Vonpire
Very very very very good.
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Beware the Shadows of Dusk
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04.09.2010 - 19:12
Rogue Element
Great album. "The Perennial Sophia", "Son of the Staves...", "Der Mitternachtslöwe", and "The Wand of Abaris" are my favorite tracks.
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23.09.2010 - 04:20
Vonpire
Written by Rogue Element on 04.09.2010 at 19:12

Great album. "The Perennial Sophia", "Son of the Staves...", "Der Mitternachtslöwe", and "The Wand of Abaris" are my favorite tracks.


Make it Two!
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Beware the Shadows of Dusk
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10.02.2011 - 09:11
Oriax
God I love this album, its so psychelellic to me and i think its is gonna be a classic in my music library. The best Therion album.;)
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31.03.2012 - 22:58
chronic-headache
After getting into therion by blind buying sirius b/lemuria (And having NO prior knowledge of this band) I bought this album...needless to say I was very dissapointed. Then about 2 years later after many respins it cicked and I realized how awesome this album is. Yeah, its not the Symphonic, pomp and bombastic therion of old, but this album is no less awesome and amazing. Christopher Johnsonn was spot on when he said he was going for a psycadelic 70's vibe. Mats Levin shines on this album too.
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