Therion - Sitra Ahra review


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Band: Therion
Album: Sitra Ahra
Release date: September 2010

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

"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."

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


Written on 06.10.2010 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."

Comments page 3 / 3

Comments: 70   Visited by: 588 users
22.10.2010 - 14:33
Account deleted
You gotta love ponderer's blazen racism. Again.
22.10.2010 - 15:01
Awesome argument. Racism is far less awesome. I gotta say ponderer is right about GoogleTranslator though, like any other automatic translating tool it really does suck ass
25.10.2010 - 11:57
Written by RavenKing on 21.10.2010 at 14:46

To all those who have a problem with Ponderer:

He's indeed arrogant and retarded. So hopeless there's nothing to do with him. I realized this after some discussion and stopped replying to him.

And he said after a while that "it should be continued on PMs". I told him to fuck off. He doesn't worth the attention. He's ignorant and hopeless anyway.

He's stuck in the past and should have stayed in the 80s, where he belongs. There's nothing worse than those people stuck in the past who believe they know everything better than others and refuse to accept that things change with time. All they do is spitting their bitterness on boards because they try to fight changes, a fight lost in advance.
That's why I despise and hate traditional Heavy Metal lovers in general (though many of them are fine - but you also get lots of unpleasant people like Ponderer from fans of this genre).

Not completely. He also likes some modern stuff (Nevermore, Cannibal Corpse, but mostly because of Alex Webster, so it's for Blotted Science, I guess, new Dream Theater, etc.) but the most funny thing about him is how he thinks Mercyful Fate are THE black metal band (and that trve black metal is traditional metal with Satanic lyrics).
Licensed under the GPLv3.
Relinquish proprietary software for a greater GNU/America.
12.11.2010 - 16:42
Shit like this is why this site is 100% full of FUCKTARDS!!!.....myself Excluded of course..
29.01.2011 - 23:42
The only way to deal with Ponderer (who seems to be trying to turn himself into the MS resident troll) is just pat him on the head and send him somewhere that more befits his maturity level. Btw, does anyone actually believe his claims of being an English teacher for 13 years? If he is than he's the most childish one I've ever ran into.
22.03.2011 - 12:19
Therion in this album just went a bit too far being weird by going for the 70's feel to the album.
Land of Canaan and Kings of Edom are perhaps the only 2 songs that i might add to a playlist.
Although just as with all their albums they manage to write some nice mystical / magical lyrics, which is what i love the most of this band.
31.07.2011 - 04:57
M C Vice


Probably because we don't want to be associated with you. Refering to "the paradise" can be grammaticly correct, depending on the context in which it is used. In this case it is refering to a particular paradise. You could also substitute the for this. Eg. "I will be outcast from this paradise.". The use of either the or this tells the listener that the person being cast out previously resided within the afore mentioned paradise and that they considered it their home.
Unfortunatly, I agree with Ponderer's opinion on First Wave Black Metal (see mercyful fate - don't break the oath review). but I generaly use the qualifier "First Wave" because it does bear little resemblence to regular Black Metal.
Also, has a large chunk of this argument been deleted? I saw it all months ago, but now there's a big gap.
"Another day, another Doug."
"I'll fight you on one condition. That you lower your nipples."
" 'Tis a lie! Thy backside is whole and ungobbled, thou ungrateful whelp!"
31.07.2011 - 04:59
M C Vice
Oh yeah. I forgot to saw that Land Of Canaan is an awsome song.
"Another day, another Doug."
"I'll fight you on one condition. That you lower your nipples."
" 'Tis a lie! Thy backside is whole and ungobbled, thou ungrateful whelp!"
03.01.2012 - 18:50
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
I came here just to find out why ponderer was banned...

Needless to say I found out.
Checkout my band here!
05.09.2012 - 17:34
Heaven Knight;dr (i mean the drama in comments)

anyway this album opened a gate to Therion for me...and i find it very good...and personally i dont really see what is so special about older albums that would be lacking here...
My rest seems now calm and deep
Finally I got my dead man sleep


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