Therion - Sitra Ahra review



Reviewer:
8.5

367 users:
7.74
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

Comments: 70   Visited by: 575 users
06.10.2010 - 19:04
anditcametopass
Account deleted
Love this album...Very nice review
Loading...
06.10.2010 - 19:24
Vonpire
I liked your review a lot and agreed with you in almost everything.

Well Done.
----
Beware the Shadows of Dusk
Loading...
06.10.2010 - 19:25
AnarChrist
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.
----
oh my fucking god, fucking dinosaurs
Loading...
06.10.2010 - 20:15
Kenos
Account deleted
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...
Loading...
06.10.2010 - 20:19
Janne
Hugin
Great review! agreed in many things.
----



-FOLK METAL HUNGARY-
Loading...
06.10.2010 - 21:01
Yojimbo
You started listening to metal in 98? Noob.
Loading...
06.10.2010 - 21:18
DerRozzengarten
Odysseus
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.
----
Dec. 30, 1334.

...And the whiskey and wine entered our veins when blood was too weak to carry on.
Loading...
06.10.2010 - 21:45
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
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?
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

Loading...
06.10.2010 - 23:09
Marcus
Doit Like Bernie
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...
Loading...
06.10.2010 - 23:11
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
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
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

Loading...
06.10.2010 - 23:15
Marcus
Doit Like Bernie
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.
Loading...
07.10.2010 - 02:23
Yojimbo
I was just kidding. Though I am four years his senior in metalogical studies. I started listening in '94 I was 12 years old.
Loading...
07.10.2010 - 05:47
Lovecraft
Account deleted
I agree with almost everything.
Loading...
07.10.2010 - 09:45
BudDa
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..
----
Freeze! Step away from the hubris.
Loading...
07.10.2010 - 10:19
MeTalRea|istiK
I dont like therion..give it a try n comment later
Loading...
07.10.2010 - 12:12
Sworn
This album is truly a masterpiece.
Loading...
07.10.2010 - 13:12
RafaRata
Boring album, it's the first time Therion Dissapointed me.
Loading...
07.10.2010 - 13:13
Jeeers
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%!
Loading...
07.10.2010 - 13:50
Introspekrieg
Totemic Lust
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.
Loading...
07.10.2010 - 14:05
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
After having endured this piece ofextreme boredom I really need a good old fix of Of Darkness and Lepaca Kliffoth again.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

Loading...
07.10.2010 - 14:12
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
It all started to go horribly wrong with this band after Secret Of The Runes, culminating into this monstrosity.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

Loading...
07.10.2010 - 14:45
Dominus
The Shooter
Written by Sworn on 07.10.2010 at 12:12

This album is truly a masterpiece.


Agree!!
Loading...
07.10.2010 - 19:26
MeTalRea|istiK
Sorry to say..its boring!!
Loading...
08.10.2010 - 09:33
Shadowcross
The Summoner
"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'
Loading...
08.10.2010 - 13:18
bodomdragon
Totally overrated IMO. I liked Gotthic Kabbalah but this one is boring and unoriginal.
Loading...
08.10.2010 - 14:46
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Curious about this one.
----
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
Loading...
08.10.2010 - 18:46
enumaelis
Written by RafaRata on 07.10.2010 at 13:12

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

+1 Exactly my thoughts
----
http://enumaelis.blogspot.com/
Loading...
08.10.2010 - 20:44
advent
Another disappointment , i just have to listen to their older albums again to forget about this boring album.
Loading...
10.10.2010 - 00:45
Sahen
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.
Loading...
10.10.2010 - 01:10
Vonpire
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!
----
Beware the Shadows of Dusk
Loading...

Advertise on Metal Storm

Hits total: 12303 | This month: 35