|Review: Therion - Lemuria|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2004
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Review online: June 7, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 4.24/5 (84.8%) (25 Votes)
I was hoping this would be another first-rate album like Therion's last CD, the epic "Secret Of The Runes", and while it is a really good album, it doesn't quiiiite measure up. "Lemuria" was just released along with its companion album "Sirius B", and while I think that one is the better album, let's look at this one first.
For those who don't know, Therion have left their original Death Metal style far behind in favor of an eclectic and varied sound. Usually that means a band is getting out of metal territory altogether, but despite their experimentalism, Therion remain unquestionably a metal band. "Lemuria" is filled with the big, epic tracks fans of the band's recent work have come to expect. There are some death-style vocals on the first track, which may put off some people, but they don't recur much at all on the rest of the CD. While the vocals on "Secret Of The Runes" were entirely operatic, here they are a mix of female operatic voices, choirs, growls, and some more traditional clean vocals. This is a bit less symphonic and more direct than "Runes" was, but no less big or elaborate. There are fewer keys and more guitar, and overall the album is more metal, which to me is a good thing. It's hard to put a finger on it, but I'd have to say the album as a whole just isn't quite as cohesive or catchy as "Secret Of The Runes", with some odd letdowns in quality such as the absurdly short and dull instrumental "Three Ships Of Berik Part 2" – a whole 40-odd seconds of silly marching music, and the winceable choruses on "The Dreams Of Swedenborg".
Overall this is a very good album, with a lot of very cool music, it's just not a great album. If you liked "Secret Of The Runes" you will like this too, and in fact if you like any of Therion's recent works, or symphonic metal in general, this is a worthy purchase. If you are new to Therion, "Secret Of The Runes" is a better place to start, but this one is good too.
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Interview with Christofer Johnsson (Guitar) on February 22, 2003 (Interviewed by Barbara Williams (Crowley))
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