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Old 06-17-2007, 05:16 PM
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Therion -- Gothic Kabbalah





THERION- Gothic Kabbalah (Nuclear Blast)




One of the most progressively evolving metal bands ever, Sweden’s THERION return with another epic in Gothic Kabbalah. Following up the monster double album release Lemuria/Sirius B would likely pose a challenge for many bands, but THERION have no trouble pushing the envelope once again and creating not just another high quality album, but another 2-disc epic. They have always been a unique, forward-thinking band since even their early death metal days, with founding member Christofer Johnsson anchoring THERION amidst a revolving door of band members that have come and gone since the band’s inception in the early 1990's. Since 1995's Lepaca Kliffoth, the band has continued to morph into the progressive symphonic metal beast they are today through a consistent slew of high quality releases. Gothic Kabbalah blends more new elements to their already impressive arsenal of sound, creating yet another grandiose work of art. This is the kind of music truly can be called art, as the amount of attention to detail and effort put into every composition is above and beyond what the vast majority of metal bands are doing these days, even those considered to be in the same genre. THERION are the most exciting and unique band still active from Swedish scene of the early 90's, and have branched out enough to the point where they have been able to enjoy widespread recognition and the success that they deserve through years of perseverance and an unfailing dedication to making great music.

While there are indeed many orchestral and folkish elements to the music, as well as the metal aspects that draw from a variety of distinct styles, the way THERION combine them all without any one dimension taking over makes this a complete album all the way through. The use of piano, keyboards, and even a Hammond organ are some of the coolest parts, as they all give a distinct flavor to the music. Another unique thing about THERION is their use of a wide range of singing, from generic clean male vocals, to female singing, choral vocals, just about everything one could expect (strangely though, there is an absence of any harsh vocals or growling). It also helps that there are several different individual singers performing, including ex-KING DIAMOND drummer Snowy Shaw. The title track “Gothic Kabbalah” is a great example of how the variety of vocal styles mesh together well, not to mention it is musically also one of the strongest tunes of either disc, with a strong 80's metal vibe in the riffing mixed with some tasteful folk elements. The female vocals in the ballad “The Perennial Sophia” are incredible too, though the male vocals seem a bit awkward to me during the chorus, which is a little irking because the music is so good. “Tuna 1613" features some flat-out awesome thrash riffing after the misleadingly power metal intro, along with some of the edgier vocals on the album to fit with the metallic drive of the music of the song. I should mention that apparently there is some concept behind the lyrics, as there is with just about every THERION album, but much of it is rooted in mythology and is not very easy to follow, though lyrically its nothing that is likely to jump out and make much of an impact anyways; the vocal melodies are enough to carry by themselves. The guitar solos don’t take much precedence throughout most of the album, though the one in “Son Of The Staves Of Time” is certainly worth mentioning. More of the heavy metal influence comes across during “Trul”, a cool mid-tempo song with a memorable lick during the main riff. Atmospherically, songs like the exotic “Three Treasures” and “The Wand Of Abaris” provide some great vivid imagery, with the latter making good use of the Hammond. Ending with the lengthy cinematic epic “Adulruna Redivivia”, the album leaves quite a deep impression that signifies a need for repeated listening’s to let all of it digest and fully sink in.

The strength of this album lies in its masterful melding of a unique fusion of styles that span nearly every genre of music, including the excellent use of vocals that add another wonderful dimension to the album. Gothic Kabbalah is an all-encompassing work of art and one of the finest representations of progressive metal today.

Last edited by ADD; 06-17-2007 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 06-17-2007, 05:29 PM
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Great review. Although I think the guitar solos slay...

If you want I can run a track by track run-down of the concept behind the album if you want, I find it pretty cool. But if you don't care I won't waste my time.

Definitely going to be in my top 3 for 07 as of right now.
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Old 06-17-2007, 05:41 PM
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Great review. Although I think the guitar solos slay...

If you want I can run a track by track run-down of the concept behind the album if you want, I find it pretty cool. But if you don't care I won't waste my time.

Definitely going to be in my top 3 for 07 as of right now.
Oh yeah I'd love that
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Old 06-17-2007, 07:09 PM
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This album was another "could've been better" album for me. It's hit and miss I think, but when it's on, it's really fucking on. A good deal of it bored me, especially on disc 2 (I think, it's been a while), but there are a good deal of classic moments delivered with such magnificence as only Therion can offer (see "Wisdom and the Cage," 2:02-2:40, and "Son of the Staves of Time," 1:37-2:08).
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Old 06-17-2007, 07:31 PM
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Alright well the whole album revolves around Johannes Bureaus, a Swedish religous visionary, and rune magician. In addition to both of those things, he was the teacher of the Swedish King Gustav II and a huge influence on him throughout his reign. He was the first to catologue the swedish rune stones and make a runic alphabet. Without getting overly complicated here's a watered down version of the concept. ( An in-depth analysis would take forever )

Der Mitternactsl÷we

Translating to " Midnight Lion " this song is about the prophecy of the alchemist Paracelsus, about a " lion from the north " who would come and introduce a new kingdom, and restore the true religion of the ancient Goths. This intrigued Johannes, and after some time and much later in life, he concluded that he is none other than the lion from the prophecy. King Gustav also earned the nickname " lion from the north " by the Protestants, but I think that is unrelated to this song. This song basically sums up the lion prophecy.

Gothic Kabbalah

Bureaus created a philosophy known as Gothic Kabbalah, where he invoked the ancient gods Odin, Thor, and Frey as well as the sibyls of ancient times. He also used to rune stones and beleived he could see the future and made prophecies that some believe are prevelant today. This song sums up the whole idea of the Gothic Kabbalah

The Perennial Sophia

THe next few songs deal with alchemy as well as the Gothic Kabbalah, as they go hand in hand. Sophia translates to " Wisdom " and Johannes viewed the Gothic Kabbalah system as an eternal wisdom that is always true and appears throughout the course of history. Sophia in this song is personified eternal wisdom, that can unlock the cage of matter so you may start your ascent to the divine, which is the basic goal of all alchemy. This song doesn't have much to do with Bureaus directly, but more the ideas behind alchemy itself.

The Wisdom And The Cage

Basically the same concept as before. The Gothic Kabbalah is a system to ascend into the divinity, but your path stars in " matters cage " the material world. In this song it would seem Johannes is calling upon the Sophia to unlock his spiritual chains so he can begin his ascension.

Son Of The Staves Of Time

Byrger Tiddeson is a mythical priest who descended from the gods and created the ancient runes. Tiddeson is Swedish surname which translates to " Tides Son. " This song basically touches upon that whole idea.

Tuna 1613: Momentum Excitation

Okay this songs takes up back to Bureau's direct story. In late Autumn of 1613 is Tuna a town in Darlana Sweden, while traveling with Gustav, Johannes had what he refers to as " momentum excitation " or moment of excitement. He saw a flash of light in the sky and heard the words "RIVos IaM ClaVDe pVer sat prata bIberVnt", which translates to " Close up the streams young boy, for the meadows have drunk themselves full. " In this statement the latin letters of 1673 are hidden which Johannes perceived as the year the world would end. This event forever changed his life, and he became more of a prophet and visionary after this event.

Trul

I honestly am very unclear as to what this song refers to. It has been speculated that it's about a cult werewolfs in an Arcadian Grove in ancient times but I really don't know.

Close Up The Streams

Basically just re-hashes what happened in Tuna 1613. It is from the perspective of Johannes himself.

I'll do the rest of the album tommorow if you want, I'm tired now.
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Old 06-17-2007, 07:41 PM
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Wow, that is fucking cool. Thank you so much, and please do the rest of the album when you can.
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  #7  
Old 06-17-2007, 07:45 PM
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Wow, that is fucking cool. Thank you so much, and please do the rest of the album when you can.
Hey thanks! And no problem, I'll do it tommorow as soon as I get off work.
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Old 06-17-2007, 09:02 PM
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Fuckin killer man
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Old 06-28-2007, 01:44 AM
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Album: http://jukebo.cx/archives/2007/01/18...thic-kabbalah/

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Old 08-22-2007, 06:03 PM
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There were alot of good songs on this album, it did get slow in some parts but nothing too bad. I would've appreciated more songs like T.O.F. Trinity and some of the female vocals seemed a bit overdone but those are my only complaints.
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