Review Summary: Therion’s worst album is a laughable effort that badly needed a return to the drawing board.
Symphonic metal is metal with symphonic elements, what else did you expect? I mean seriously, did you expect something else? Did you actually expect it to not sound cheesy? Did you expect something new and exciting? Did you expect the symphonic elements in Sitra Ahra
to be more than just an overused gimmick? Oh. Well then, consider my verbal attack uncalled fo… not. Let us begin, mortal.
Apart from the typical cheese of the symphonic elements, well, there really is nothing else notable. The drummer plays forgettable beats, the guitarists play forgettable and too simple riffs, etc. I suppose Therion can be forgiven since all but two band members left for good, but seriously, this is embarrassing. The only positive aspect of the album is the vocals which are shockingly well done, but vocals alone do not always make a good album. Therion would do well to note this the next time they decide to release an album.
Therion’s Sitra Ahra
is an utterly pretentious effort that sounds more like a band cutting and pasting than putting any actual effort into their music. Ripping off ideas from every cultural music style that they could harvest, they crudely tossed them together and made a poor excuse for a salad, and that’s not all they did. They also made sure to make the orchestra play as simple, as boring as possible. Anyone could compose something so abysmally bland, in fact, I wouldn’t even call this a composition – this is more or less drool slobbered on paper, and then brought to life via a deaf man. Let’s also not forget that a few of the songs attempt “epic” length times of 7:22-10:32, clearly hoping for their songs to be just that - epic. Yet because the compositional qualities of the album are less than admirable, the lengthy tracks are horridly boring. With the combination of annoyingly long tracks, horribly done cultural influences, forgettable instrumentation, and uninteresting orchestration, the whole album falls apart. It really is a shame considering the greatness of their previous release, but it happened just the same.