THERION — Lemuria

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THERION - Lemuria cover
3.62 | 25 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2004

Filed under Symphonic Metal
By THERION

Tracklist

1. Typhon (4:36)
2. Uthark Runa (4:41)
3. Three Ships of Berik, Part 1: Calling to Arms and Fighting the Battle (3:19)
4. Three Ships of Berik, Part 2: Victory! (0:44)
5. Lemuria (4:15)
6. Quetzalcoatl (3:47)
7. The Dreams of Swedenborg (4:58)
8. An Arrow From the Sun (5:54)
9. Abraxas (5:21)
10. Feuer Overtüre / Prometheus entfesselt (4:39)

Total Time: 42:19

Line-up/Musicians

- Christofer Johnsson / Vocals (Tracks 1 & 3), Guitars, Keyboards (Tracks 8 & 10)
- Kristian Niemann / Guitars (Electric, Acoustic)
- Johan Niemann / Bass

with
- Mario Klemens / Conductor (Orchestra & Choir)
- Adam Klemens / Conductor (Orchestra)
- Kuhn Mixed Choir / Vocals (Choirs)
- The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Orchestra
- Peter Mossman / Narration (Track 5)
- Piotr "Docent" Wawrzeniuk / Vocals (Tracks 5, 7 & 10)
- Mats Levén / Vocals (Tracks 2 & 9)
- Steen Rasmussen / Mellotron (Track 5), Organ (Hammond)
- Richard Evensand / Drums
- Kavi Björkqvist / Balalaika
- Sven Lindblad / Balalaika
Jens Nyborg Balalaika, Domra

About this release

Released by Nuclear Blast, May 24th, 2004

Thanks to DippoMagoo, UMUR for the updates

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THERION LEMURIA reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
The period around the “Secret Of The Runes” album was one of the most prolific for Christofer Johnsson and his symphonic metal project THERION who not only had released a string of successful albums with “Vovin” being the largest seller of the lot but also engaged in a massive tour that would yield a live album called “Live in Midgård.” During this period Johnsson along with the Niemann brothers (Kristian on guitars and Johan on bass) amassed an amazing amount of material to work with. With 55 unreleased songs in the coffers, THERION picked out the strongest which resulted in 21 of them being released at the same time. Instead of simply cranking out a double album per se, it was decided to release two individual albums instead. Both LEMURIA and its counterpart “Sirius B” were released on 24 May 2004 both as single albums as well as a twin-pack with two titles.

Since these two albums were released simultaneously the obvious question of which one comes first in the discography. No chicken and egg scenario here as they were released exactly at the same time so it seems that through the sophisticated occult practices of contacting demons or a scryer or whatever sort of supernatural forces intervened, it was decided that the alphabetical method was the determining factor and therefore LEMURIA, which refers to the other sunken continent like Atlantis, is officially THERION’s 11th studio album. It does get a little confusing since the two albums were released as a twofer as well as separately but they are indeed separate albums and each has its own personality despite being culled from the same repository. LEMURIA is the shortest of the two and only exceeds past the 42 minutes in contrast to “Sirius B” which just skirts past the 57 minute mark.

To call these works ambitious is an understatement. On these two recordings there were a total of 171 musicians involved in one form or another which included the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra as well as a 32-member choir. These two albums found a new lead male vocalist with Mats Levén who had worked with many artists before most notably with Yngwie Malmsteen and a continuing guest appearance of vocalist Piotr Wawrzeniuk. LEMURIA follows in the footsteps of “Secrets Of The Runes” with the heavy metal aspects of the band’s sound in the forefront. But then again any given THERION album from “Theli” on incorporates a massive sound spectrum of classical symphonic elements, choirs and on this one even includes some ethnic instruments such as balalaikas, a domra and even a little proggy mellotron and Hammond organ. While the title suggests a concept album, LEMURIA is all over the mythological map covering Greek themes (“Typhon,” “Abaris”), Germanic (“Futhark”), Aztec (“Quetzalcoatl”), Gnostic (“Abraxas”) and even closer to home Swedish occultism with the track “The Dreams of Swedenborg” about 18-century occultist Emanuel Swedenborg.

While LEMURIA emphasizes the heavy metal thunder for much of its playing time, it’s actually more like “Deggial” in that it has lots of softer parts like acoustic guitar arpeggio segments, classical non-metal moments but alternates with more bombastic bravo however the metal is often more brutal as on “Secret Of The Runes.” Basically THERION takes established formulas and changed up the recipe ever so slightly. Every tune is crafted extremely well as you can expect instantly catchy classically inspired melodies rocking it out with classic 80s metal that showcase those classic Iron Maiden guitar gallops as well as other elements from hard rock, doom metal and even a faint reference to the band’s death metal origins at times such as blastbeats, tremolo guitar picking or even a growl or two but mostly this is just another excellent display of symphonic operatic metal that spares no expense. There is even a Rammstein sounding track with the closing “Feurer Overtüre / Prometheus Entfesselt ! ”
Warthur
Whenever bands do the "two albums recorded at the same time" deal, I always get a little suspicious. Do they not have the confidence in the material to put it out as a double album? Are they going through a creative crest, or are they simply letting their quality control get slack?

On Lemuria, companion album to Sirius B, Therion seem to be spinning their wheels a little. It's fast-paced symphonic metal which doesn't really distinguish itself very much from superior material from this phase of the band's career like Secret of the Runes - heck, both Vovin and Deggial had more standout moments than this. If you are very, very fond of Therion's early-2000s sound, then more of the same might sound like a good deal to you, but I am left feeling unsatisfied.
bonnek
With the turn of the millennium, Therion changed from an inventive and creative force into a stale opera-metal merchandising unit, tossing out double albums crammed with formulaic song writing that may have boosted them to the top of the metal charts but also to the bottom of my ‘exciting music’ list.

The only thing they prove for me is their inability to come up with anything new and inspired. Most of the 4 minute songs here wear thin by the time they get halfway; the few exceptions that you might live through are sure to bore you to death after 3 listens. The song writing is really poor, sticking to unimaginative hard rock and metal riffs that have been around for 35 years.

Therion aren’t capable to come up with anything interesting anymore. Every note on this album has been played before, either by other bands, or by Therion themselves, as they do not shy away from self-plagiarism. This album sounds completely uninvolved. It’s sterile, polished, monotonous, dull and flat, operatic metal at its most cliched and hollow impersonation.

The only reason I’ve been able to churn out two stars is the opening tracks Typhon and Uthark Runa which still offer a hint of what Therion used to be.

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