The fiery Therion is back! Having kept the promise that they will return after a short break at 2010, Sitra Ahra is already travelling us through the symphonic music fields of the imagination of this great Swedish band. After few great announcements from their producer and the gossip story of the departure and return of Snowy Shaw the album is at our disposal to be judged.

The feelings are mixed. There was a great anticipation that just fell apart after the first listening. No it was not that bad. It just wasn’t something new, refreshing that would blow our brains out. Surely the musical craftsman’s hand, that of Christofer Johnsson, couldn’t offer us something of bad quality but this is not the point. The core of the problem is that we expected all this stuff. Great production, heavy riffs, variable choirs, mystical lyrics. The recipe is the same. Still when the recipe is good, the food tastes nice.

So don’t listen to the other part of me that spoke until now. The album is fine and you will enjoy it as much as i did. Great vocal lines from the ex-Candlemass Thomas Vikstrom who filled the seemingly irreplaceable Mats Leven (check the Amaseffer album) as the lead singer, brutal outbursts, huge variation of choirs (including children – no I’m not a pervert), lovable female solo vocals. A great many different instruments create the signature sound of Therion. Symphonic, heavy, prog, folky. This time maturity led them to present their ideas nude, each instrument’s melody being extremely distinct not trying to confuse the audience with loads of information in dense, complex structures. Everything is clear and beautifully performed for your ears only.

So Therion is not the megatherion of the past but it’s no harmless puppy of any kind, for sure. They seem more mature but less enthusiastic. As much as i would like to worship Sitra Ahra, I have some good reasons not to. Theli, Vovin, Lemuria/Sirius B, Gothic Kabbalah just to name a few. Let’s hope the future will force them to explore new soundscapes. Until then my two halfs give them a…

Track List Line Up
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 Part 3
09. The Shells Are Open
10. Din
11. Children of the Stone: After the Inquisition
Christofer Johnsson – Guitars
Johan Koleberg – Drums
Nalley Pählsson – Bass guitars
Christian Vidal – Guitars
Thomas Vikström – Vocals