Rating:
8.5
Therion - Sitra Ahra
17 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."

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Therion
Album: Sitra Ahra


 



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



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anditcametopass - 06.10.2010 at 19:04  
Love this album...Very nice review
Vonpire - 06.10.2010 at 19:24  
I liked your review a lot and agreed with you in almost everything.

Well Done.
AnarChrist - 06.10.2010 at 19:25  
This is a good review. Upon the first listens I have noted that the album is not as accessible as "Gothic Kabbalah" and needs more time to unfold than Therion albums usually do (in fact I was captivated at first by all others except "Secret of the Runes", which took longer). As usual it is again interesting to try to decode all of the meanings behind the lyrics, piecing together myths, legends, esoteric lore and hidden meanings. I especially like the track "Kings of Edom", having returned from the named land recently. But speaking of weaker sides, I can't help but think some parts, especially the track "2012" sound quite cliche and worn out. But all in all it is an enjoyable album. Descend nefesh, transcend ruach, rise neshamah. Enter sitra achra.
Kenos - 06.10.2010 at 20:15  
I really love their whole discography (my favourite album is Lepaca Kliffoth, btw), even Gothic Kabbalah despite all its flaws... But to me this album is complete garbage...
Janne - 06.10.2010 at 20:19  
Great review! agreed in many things.
Yojimbo - 06.10.2010 at 21:01  
You started listening to metal in 98? Noob.
DerRozzengarten - 06.10.2010 at 21:18  
Written by Yojimbo on 06.10.2010 at 21:01

You started listening to metal in 98? Noob.

Not everyone started listening to it from the '20s.
Marcel Hubregtse - 06.10.2010 at 21:45  
Written by Yojimbo on 06.10.2010 at 21:01

You started listening to metal in 98? Noob.


And when did you start, noob? How old were you?
Marcus - 06.10.2010 at 23:09  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 06.10.2010 at 21:45

Written by Yojimbo on 06.10.2010 at 21:01

You started listening to metal in 98? Noob.


And when did you start, noob? How old were you?


I think that may have been a joke...
Marcel Hubregtse - 06.10.2010 at 23:11  
Written by Marcus on 06.10.2010 at 23:09

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 06.10.2010 at 21:45

Written by Yojimbo on 06.10.2010 at 21:01

You started listening to metal in 98? Noob.


And when did you start, noob? How old were you?


I think that may have been a joke...



Well, you never can tell without any smilies added
Marcus - 06.10.2010 at 23:15  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 06.10.2010 at 23:11

Written by Marcus on 06.10.2010 at 23:09

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 06.10.2010 at 21:45

Written by Yojimbo on 06.10.2010 at 21:01

You started listening to metal in 98? Noob.


And when did you start, noob? How old were you?


I think that may have been a joke...



Well, you never can tell without any smilies added

Ahh this is very true. Plus sarcasm is almost impossible to notice in text form.
Yojimbo - 07.10.2010 at 02:23  
I was just kidding. Though I am four years his senior in metalogical studies. I started listening in '94 I was 12 years old.
Lovecraft - 07.10.2010 at 05:47  
I agree with almost everything.
BudDa - 07.10.2010 at 09:45  
Well, I like the album. Mayb not as much as u do, Roz. What I do like about Sitra Ahra is the 'expansion' in sound. Oh, plus the bass..
MeTalRea|istiK - 07.10.2010 at 10:19  
I dont like therion..give it a try n comment later
Sworn - 07.10.2010 at 12:12  
This album is truly a masterpiece.
RafaRata - 07.10.2010 at 13:12  
Boring album, it's the first time Therion Dissapointed me.
Jeeers - 07.10.2010 at 13:13  
Written by Guest on 06.10.2010 at 20:15

I really love their whole discography (my favourite album is Lepaca Kliffoth, btw), even Gothic Kabbalah despite all its flaws... But to me this album is complete garbage...

I agree 100%!
Introspekrieg - 07.10.2010 at 13:50  
Wasted a lot of time on this one, I think their albums are getting progressively worse. The music just sounds uninspired, lacking any segment that really grabs you. I'm going to listen to Gothic Kabbalah now because it is better by comparison.
Marcel Hubregtse - 07.10.2010 at 14:05  
After having endured this piece ofextreme boredom I really need a good old fix of Of Darkness and Lepaca Kliffoth again.
Marcel Hubregtse - 07.10.2010 at 14:12  
It all started to go horribly wrong with this band after Secret Of The Runes, culminating into this monstrosity.
Dominus - 07.10.2010 at 14:45  
Written by Sworn on 07.10.2010 at 12:12

This album is truly a masterpiece.


Agree!!
MeTalRea|istiK - 07.10.2010 at 19:26  
Sorry to say..its boring!!
Shadowcross - 08.10.2010 at 09:33  
"I learnt from them is that if a Therion album is good, it has to captivate you from the very first listen."

It is the opposite for me, most of their albums on first listen I didn't appreciate as much as subsequent listens, progressively growing on me to the point where I consider many a 'classic'
bodi10 - 08.10.2010 at 13:18  
Totally overrated IMO. I liked Gotthic Kabbalah but this one is boring and unoriginal.
BloodTears - 08.10.2010 at 14:46  
Curious about this one.
enumaelis - 08.10.2010 at 18:46  
Written by RafaRata on 07.10.2010 at 13:12

Boring album, it's the first time Therion Dissapointed me.

+1 Exactly my thoughts
advent - 08.10.2010 at 20:44  
Another disappointment , i just have to listen to their older albums again to forget about this boring album.
Sahen - 10.10.2010 at 00:45  
It's maybe not the best work of Therion but it is quite good. I liked it much more than Kabbalah. Probably because it seems closer to Lemuria/Sirius B while Kabbalah was a bit more focused on an heavy/operatic way than real symphonic.
Vonpire - 10.10.2010 at 01:10  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 07.10.2010 at 14:12

It all started to go horribly wrong with this band after Secret Of The Runes, culminating into this monstrosity.


I can't believe Marcel... First part of this album is awesome. But i agree second paryt could have been much better. But, monstrosity??!!?? LOL

It really isn't! And not only IMO, thankfully!

But, for me Gothic Kaballah was a masterpiece, so i may be suspicious. All in all i gave 9 to this album. But you have to listen to it at least 4 times to really start enjoying it, Specially Kings of Edom and Land Of Canaan, which is one of best songs i heard this year (if not the best).

P.S. - After looking at Marcel tastes i got it was impossible for him to like this album xD. Not that your tastes are bad, just different! Hug!
Derwood - 10.10.2010 at 06:50  
So am I the only one who thinks that the last 1:30 or so of "Land of Canaan" is very reminiscent of Boney M's "Rasputin?"

Oh well, at least it contains more actual metal than Kamelot.
TyrannicalGOD - 11.10.2010 at 01:04  
Everybody Complaining about this album need to stop living in the past and comparing...only retards compare shit....take it for what it is as a Whole ....99% of the retards on this site dont even have the albums they bitch about or just have it downloaded to thier piece of shit Ipod...cuz you know you get the best quality sound out of a shitty pre-amp..
Opethian - 11.10.2010 at 08:19  
Written by TyrannicalGOD on 11.10.2010 at 01:04

Everybody Complaining about this album need to stop living in the past and comparing...only retards compare shit....take it for what it is as a Whole ....99% of the retards on this site dont even have the albums they bitch about or just have it downloaded to thier piece of shit Ipod...cuz you know you get the best quality sound out of a shitty pre-amp..


Biased reviews and 'Comparing' is what FAILStorm has been all about since day 1
DerRozzengarten - 11.10.2010 at 13:01  
If it is Failstorm as you say, then why are you here? Everyone has an opinion and he states it, whenever it is a review or a post underneath or a post somewhere in the forum or anything, even in a good or bad manner, but what is good or bad in what you express is subjective, like the term opinion.
MeTalRea|istiK - 11.10.2010 at 14:41  
Compared or not...its still suck..big time!!
RavenKing - 11.10.2010 at 15:06  
Written by DerRozzengarten on 11.10.2010 at 13:01

If it is Failstorm as you say, then why are you here? Everyone has an opinion and he states it, whenever it is a review or a post underneath or a post somewhere in the forum or anything, even in a good or bad manner, but what is good or bad in what you express is subjective, like the term opinion.


I agree with you. Problem is fanboys are offended as soon as someone doesn't praise an album they like and give it a 9+ rating. Fanboys/fangirls never learned to deal with criticism or simply ignore it when they disagree.
RavenKing - 11.10.2010 at 15:14  
Written by TyrannicalGOD on 11.10.2010 at 01:04

Everybody Complaining about this album need to stop living in the past and comparing...only retards compare shit....


It is perfectly normal to compare the new albums of a band to their old ones and expect at least the same quality or better. That's also how we measure musical evolution. Because there's a huge difference between change and evolution. A difference lots of people miss quite often nowadays.

As for "taking it for what it is", some albums just suck, no matter how you look at them. If you push this reasoning too far, it becomes a way to encourage mediocrity by saying crappy albums are good.
ponderer - 11.10.2010 at 16:52  
Quote:
"Taste the tempting Fruit and be an Outcast from the Paradise."


Is this a direct quote from the lyrics or something? One of non-native speakers biggest difficulties is the proper use of THE. "THE" isn't used for things that are general like locations including PARADISE. Unless this "paradise" which is mentioned loosely in that particular set of lyrics has been mentioned before more specifically as being a special paradise related to the song and or story, THE is being used improperly. You wouldn't say I'm going to The New York, The Hell, or The Mars. Hopefully that's the only mistake otherwise I'd be a bit apprehensive about listening to something grammatically flawed throughout.
Array - 11.10.2010 at 17:00  
This is funny, I admit.
MeTalRea|istiK - 11.10.2010 at 17:10  
Written by Array on 11.10.2010 at 17:00

This is funny, I admit.


yeah me too!!
Opethian - 13.10.2010 at 20:41  
This site should have an article on Encyclopædia Dramatica because of all the LuLz it brings...HAHAHAHA
advent - 14.10.2010 at 06:28  
Written by Opethian on 11.10.2010 at 08:19

Written by TyrannicalGOD on 11.10.2010 at 01:04

Everybody Complaining about this album need to stop living in the past and comparing...only retards compare shit....take it for what it is as a Whole ....99% of the retards on this site dont even have the albums they bitch about or just have it downloaded to thier piece of shit Ipod...cuz you know you get the best quality sound out of a shitty pre-amp..


Biased reviews and 'Comparing' is what FAILStorm has been all about since day 1

So what are you still doing here?
SKELETOR - 15.10.2010 at 16:54  
Almost cool -back to last hail of bullets album::metal::devil::gunner:suicide:
Vonpire - 18.10.2010 at 15:40  
Written by ponderer on 11.10.2010 at 16:52

Quote:
"Taste the tempting Fruit and be an Outcast from the Paradise."


Is this a direct quote from the lyrics or something? One of non-native speakers biggest difficulties is the proper use of THE. "THE" isn't used for things that are general like locations including PARADISE. Unless this "paradise" which is mentioned loosely in that particular set of lyrics has been mentioned before more specifically as being a special paradise related to the song and or story, THE is being used improperly. You wouldn't say I'm going to The New York, The Hell, or The Mars. Hopefully that's the only mistake otherwise I'd be a bit apprehensive about listening to something grammatically flawed throughout.


You are wrong here :

"Taste the tempting Fruit and be an Outcast from the Paradise" has a different meaning than Taste the tempting Fruit and be an Outcast from Paradise, at least in my language (Portuguese)

Check google translation
DerRozzengarten - 18.10.2010 at 16:38  
Written by Vonpire on 18.10.2010 at 15:40

Written by ponderer on 11.10.2010 at 16:52

Quote:
"Taste the tempting Fruit and be an Outcast from the Paradise."


Is this a direct quote from the lyrics or something? One of non-native speakers biggest difficulties is the proper use of THE. "THE" isn't used for things that are general like locations including PARADISE. Unless this "paradise" which is mentioned loosely in that particular set of lyrics has been mentioned before more specifically as being a special paradise related to the song and or story, THE is being used improperly. You wouldn't say I'm going to The New York, The Hell, or The Mars. Hopefully that's the only mistake otherwise I'd be a bit apprehensive about listening to something grammatically flawed throughout.


You are wrong here :

"Taste the tempting Fruit and be an Outcast from the Paradise" has a different meaning than Taste the tempting Fruit and be an Outcast from Paradise, at least in my language (Portuguese)

Check google translation

Same works in my language as well, it gives a more specific meaning with emphasis on THE paradise, or something like that.
Marcel Hubregtse - 18.10.2010 at 16:52  
That mght be the case for a lot languages but it still is incorrect in English.
Daniell - 18.10.2010 at 16:59  
Written by ponderer on 11.10.2010 at 16:52

THE is being used improperly.


so is the Passive Voice of the Present Continuous Tense in this sentence.
ponderer - 18.10.2010 at 17:33  
Wrong, wrong and extra wrong across the board. Regardless of how well it translates into your own language and then translates into English, THE PARADISE is an incorrect use of THE in the English language.

I'm an English teacher and do professional translations in my spare time. Asking me to check Google translation is fucking laughable at best. Daniell, nothing you said makes any sense considering everything I wrote is grammatically correct. Therion's use of "THE" is being used improperly. Go wrestle with that one.

Any time you non-native speakers want to step up and test me feel free. I get paid R$50+ an hour for this shit and accept payments via PayPal. Thanks for stopping by and please come again.
Vonpire - 18.10.2010 at 18:57  
Send a mail to google then, you found (another) bug there! Congrats!

You're a English teacher? Ohh.... I see checking google Fucking Translate made you laugh! And you thought i was a warlock to guess that, nice one!!... Duh !

Your arrogance is kind of displaced also, btw

Thanks for sharing. No money for you, you native! (ever )

P.S. - Anyway i give you credit, and i do believe you are totally right, just 4 u to know.

""THE" isn't used for things that are general like locations including PARADISE." - Hmmmmm Gimmie the directions to Paradise!

"Unless this "paradise" which is mentioned loosely in that particular set of lyrics has been mentioned before more specifically as being a special paradise related to the song and or story" - And it isn't ???
dismaleuphony - 18.10.2010 at 23:12  
So much drama for an album that still not even available in the US . I feel like I've grown up with the album already, watched it mature, and then became bored with it. I'm skeptical about the review, since the samples sound monotonous online and I haven't cared much for this band since Deggial and a few random songs after, but I'll still check it out. That is, when Nuclear Blast decides to stop holding it hostage.

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