Therion
Gothic Kabbalah


4.5
superb

Review

by Det_Nosnip USER (9 Reviews)
July 11th, 2007 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Therion takes a few steps outside of their comfort zone to craft a truly unique and interesting album - easily the best that they've done in a long time.

Therion is a band that has gone down a lot of different paths and pioneered alot of unique elements in heavy metal music. However, many of the band's biggest accomplishments are credited to earlier albums...though many of the later albums (particularly "Secret of the Runes) were very well done and praised as good music, the band seemed to have found its niche, and you generally knew what to expect from the latest Therion album.

This, apparently, is no longer the case. "Gothic Kabbalah" is a much different album from past Therion works. The production almost has a classic 70's prog feel to it, as does alot of the writing. The bass is actually fairly prominate, which I like, and the instruments are well balanced, a hefty feat considering the extent of what is going on in most songs. Most of the songs also sound like more of a collaborative effort between band members (compared to the usual formula of Christoffer Johnnson writing everything but the drums and having Niemann add in the ocassional solo or lead), which is a nice change. It feels like there is more variance and effort put into each track, and this easily has some of the band's most impressive technical passages, for those who care. Thankfully, the "techy" sections are well done and actually contribute to the music, and add a nice element to the sound. Whereas Sirius B/Lemuria felt a bit over-long as far as double discs go, this one feels like two fine, solid albums.

A large part of the change probably comes from massive lineup changes. New drummer Petter Karlsson, seems to have contributed alot to the band's sound, adding guitar, keyboard, and vocals in addition to his impressive drumming. Therion seemed to be running through drummers like flies for a while, but it seems that they're (hopefully) going to stick with him. The live chorus that Therion used for a few years seems to have been completely revamped, with more of an emphasis on individual character and sound, somewhat harkening back to the days of Martina Astner and Sarah Jezebel Diva (if you caught that reference, consider yourself an adequate Therion fan ;) ). Mats Leven contributed what it seems will be his last stint with Therion, leaving the band it seems after finishing the album, but Snowy Shaw (Dream Evil) seems to have taken over the spot, for better or worse. Of course, with so many freaking vocalists, it can be hard to tell which one is which, particularly as they're acting more as individual singers than just voices ina choir, but to be honest...it doesn't matter that much to me. The end product is great.

It's nice to see Therion trying something different, particularly something different that's good. It makes the "similar band recommendations" part difficult, though!



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user ratings (127)
Chart.
3.7
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Comments:Add a Comment 
antihippy
July 11th 2007


696 Comments


giving more description on the music sound would be good.

otherwise, nice review.

prominate


prominant?

kalkal50
July 11th 2007


2386 Comments


Love these guys, have only heard Secret of the Runes.
|Prominent|

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
July 11th 2007


3768 Comments


Oh good, a review of this. Wasn't too sure whether or not to get it, but i trust in the almighty Det.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Shattered_Future
July 11th 2007


1540 Comments


Ted, I've seen better reviews, man. This one looks like a soundoff...

Oh well, who am I to judge? This is probably one of my favorite Therion releases, because it's so DIFFERENT. It's a ton better than Lemuria/Sirius B, mostly in part because it was toned down a bit. Those 2 albums were completely over the top in every way possible, and it's nice to see Christoffer tone it down a bit and let the band play.

Det_Nosnip
July 11th 2007


374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

What...do you want me to do a song-by song for a two disc album? :lol:

It's fairly solid all the way through, so hard to really focus on any particular track, as each has its merits. Der Mitternachtslöwe is a great opener, with a dark sort of occultic vibe and some cool little exotic/"Middle Eastern" sounding melodies.
Adulruna Rediviva is really long (13:30) and epic, something I was hoping Therion would do (it felt like all of the songs on Sirius B/Lemuria and Secret of the Runes were the same length). The title track has one of the catchiest choruses the band has done (not really in a poppy way...reminds me more of something like Renaissance). Actually, come to think of it, I can hear a big Renaissance influence on this album.This Message Edited On 07.11.07

antihippy
July 11th 2007


696 Comments


nah, as in you could explain about what it sounds like. all you siad on the subject was that it is heavy metal, has a 70's prog feel and that the instruments are good.

kalkal50
July 11th 2007


2386 Comments


What...do you want me to do a song-by song for a two disc album?

Irony. You're review was so short yet it was a two disc album.

Det_Nosnip
July 11th 2007


374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh. Well, it's Therion...orchestral instruments, Choral/solo/rock/operatic, male+female vocals. It's a hard sound to describe, really...anything and everything? :p

Vocals will trade off between Halford/Dickinson-ish metal vocals, operatic and normal female vocals, full choirs, low basses...the riffs tend to be somewhat NWOBHMish, I guess.

Honestly, I don't know what else more can be said without rambling on incessently.This Message Edited On 07.11.07

kalkal50
July 11th 2007


2386 Comments


ye i guess :P

Zoo
July 11th 2007


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's about time someone reviewed this. Were it not for my inept writing abilities, I would have done it months ago.

For me, the highlight of this album was the brief solo at about 1:13 left in T.O.F - The Trinity.

But Secret of the Runes is still my favorite Therion album.

Det_Nosnip
July 11th 2007


374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ah, this has surpassed it for sure IMO...although Midgard is amazing.

For me right now I'd say the highlight would be the folky chorus of Gothic Kabbalah...the female vocals and flutes work really well to give it a light yet dramatic feel and the melodies are fantastic.

Trul is also awesome.This Message Edited On 07.11.07

Shattered_Future
July 11th 2007


1540 Comments


My personal favorites off of here are Trul and Son Of The Staves And Time. The former is really just something that I haven't heard before from anybody. It's ridiculously cool.

Det_Nosnip
July 12th 2007


374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, that was exactly what I thought...such a great tune.

Altmer
July 12th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

If I liked Theli, would I like this?

kalkal50
July 12th 2007


2386 Comments


ye probably all their shit is good

BallsToTheWall
September 14th 2007


44373 Comments


I just bought vovin and so far im impressed.

Digging: Pharmakon - Abandon

Zoo
September 14th 2007


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[quote=BallsToTheWall]I just bought vovin and so far im impressed.[/quote]

The Rise of Sodom and Gomorrah owns.

Pavelent
December 4th 2007


4 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's a good album. Nothing on it really compares to the song "T.O.F.-The Trinity" though.

mikem1234
January 11th 2008


108 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The shredding on "T.O.F. - The Trinity" absolutely ruins the song for me. Otherwise, I love this album....maybe not as much as the guy from allmusicguide, but it's pretty kickass.

3FingeredHoek
March 23rd 2008


19 Comments


Awesome review.

This has some of the best drumming I've heard on a metal album.



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