Therion - Sirius B
Nuclear Blast
A Metal, Opera, and Classical Infusion
11 songs (57:23)
Release year: 2004
Therion, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Jason
Album of the month

Although I’ve known of Therion for quite some time, it’s only until I discovered Mozart’s Requiem Mass that I truly began to love and understand Therion’s music. I’d been looking for some Lacrimosa MP3’s on the net shortly after reading Alex’s review quite a ways back, and by matter of chance, Mozart’s Lacrimosa (an excerpt out of the larger Requiem Mass) showed up in the search engine. After a few careful listens of this classical masterpiece, not only was I blown away and left with goose bumps, but my perception and passion for music widened once more. Many of us know that bands such as Metallica, Nightwish, and Dimmu Borgir to name a few have successfully experimented with orchestras, but I believe that Therion is perhaps one of the only bands that can truly infuse Metal with that divine, authentic and classical sound so well that it would possibly make Mozart proud had he been alive today. Therion’s brand of metal is truly a musical feast for the ear, and their latest releases Lemuria and Sirius B are no exception to the rule.

A casual listener may find most of Therion’s albums very similar, but while each album shares a strong resemblance stylistically, a careful listener will eventually distinguish the distinct moods and sounds in each release. As Jeff accurately points out, “The main difference between Sirius B and Lemuria is that Lemuria is more rock/metal orientated and easier to listen to, whereas Sirius B is more experimental and will probably take a few more listens to sink in” and this is exactly why Sirius B scores a tad higher than Lemuria in my books.

Though Sirius B doesn’t go “back to the basics” with some blackened vocals as Lemuria does, it still experiments with a wide variety of instruments, vocal styles and sound effects that make this album a delight to listen to. With each spin, I guarantee that you will pick up on something that slipped passed the other listens, but unlike bands Opeth whose music follows the same vein of depth, the songs are not only deep and soulful but catchy enough that you may find yourself humming the chorus.

The album kicks off with The Blood of Kingu, which if I had to describe in one word I would call suspenseful. The tune begins with a brief orchestral interlude which bursts into a galloping riff and is one of the few songs that features some clean Metal-esque vocals that are backed up by the angelic choirs. The reason why I’d call this track suspenseful is because of its high energy that serves as a build up to the song’s beautiful chorus. The transitions, riffs and vocals are just so smooth and perfect that almost anyone who knows their music will be impressed.

Everything on this album just flows magnificently. No instrument, vocal or sound effect stands out more than another, making this perhaps one of the most well balanced albums I’ve ever heard. The violins, wind instruments, and even what sounds like a balalaika just flows so perfectly with the soulful guitar soloing double pedals. My favorite track on the album, Son of the Sun, is no exception to the rule. This somewhat up-beat track with female-led operatic vocals is downright amazing as it manages to incorporate such a diverse amount of melodies and instruments without going overboard. Though both Christofer Johnsson and Kristian Niemann don’t bust out outlandish, guitar-neck-incinerating solos, anyone will notice their talent shine through their deep and hair-raising musicianship.

The mood of this album follows a downward bell curve. It begins somewhat up-beat, slows down and becomes a tad melancholic halfway through, and picks up a bit towards the end. Though songs like Kali Yuga Part1 slow and dark, you can’t help but be entertained by the music through the marvelous sound effects that are brought out by the great production. The dark mood of the album ends at the last track Voyage of Gurdijeff (The fourth way), whose chanting sounds much like a Russian anthem but whose instrumental sound sounds purely metal with fiery double petals and killer riffs and solo’s that will have you pounding your fist in fury.

This is a truly marvelous and eclectic album that infuses metal with classical and opera in utter perfection. Along with Lemuria, Sirius B is worth being in anyones music collection. Though The Secret of the Runes has always been my favorite album, with a few more listens, Sirius B may just change that. One thing is for sure, this is one CD that won’t be leaving my stereo soon. All hail mighty Therion!

Killing Songs :
All of them have you in musical euphoria
Jason quoted 94 / 100
Jeff quoted 90 / 100
Alex quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Therion that we have reviewed:
Therion - Leviathan reviewed by Goat and quoted 73 / 100
Therion - Beloved Antichrist reviewed by Goat and quoted 30 / 100
Therion - Vovin reviewed by Jared and quoted CLASSIC
Therion - Les Fleurs du Mal reviewed by Olivier and quoted no quote
Therion - Of Darkness.... reviewed by Goat and quoted 79 / 100
To see all 11 reviews click here
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