Label: Hammerheart Records
Three similar bands: Nightwish/Amorphis/Celtic Frost

Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Typhon
2. Uthark Runa
3. Three Ships of Berik, Part 1: Calling to Arms and Fighting the Battle
4. Three Ships of Berik, Part 2: Victory!
5. Lemuria
6. Quetzalcoatl
7. The Dreams of Swedenborg
8. An Arrow from the Sun
9. Abraxas
10 Feuer Overtüre/Prometheus Entfesselt

Christofer Johnsson - lead vocals ("Typhon", "Three Ships of Berik part 1: Calling to Arms and Fighting the Battle"), rhythm guitar, keyboards ("An Arrow from the Sun", "Feuer Overtüre / Prometheus Entfesselt"), classical and choir arrangements
Kristian Niemann - lead guitar, acoustic guitar
Johan Niemann - bass guitar

Of Darkness... (1991)
Beyond Sanctorum (1992)
Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas (1993)
Lepaca Kliffoth (1995)
Theli (1996)
A'arab Zaraq - Lucid Dreaming (1997)
Vovin (1998)
Crowning of Atlantis (1999)
Deggial (2000)
Secret of the Runes (2001)
Lemuria (2004)
Sirius B (2004)
Gothic Kabbalah (2007)
Sitra Ahra (2010)
Les Fleurs du Mal (2012)
Beloved Antichrist (2018)
Leviathan (2021)
Leviathan II (2022)

Steen Rasmussen - mellotron ("Lemuria"), Hammond organ
Jens Nyborg - balalaika, domra
Sven Lindblad - balalaika
Kavi Björkqvist - balalaika
Richard Evensand - drums
Mats Levén - lead vocals ("Uthark Runa"), rock and roll vocals ("Abraxas")
Piotr Wawrzeniuk - lead vocals ("Lemuria", "The Dreams of Swedenborg", "Feuer Overtüre / Prometheus Entfesselt")
Peter Mossman - narration ("Lemuria")
Orchestra: Prague Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Adam Klemens and Mario Klemens)
Choir: Kūhn Mixed Choir (conducted by Mario Klemens)

Producer: Lars Nissen and Therion
Cover artwork by Thomas Ewerhard

Released 2022-09-09
Reviewed 2022-11-20


läs på svenska

Lemuria is the eleventh album by Therion, and the fifth of the six Hammerheart reissues that I review. Of the six it was the one I had most hope for beforehand as it has the best-looking cover, and the most interesting title. The twin album Sirius B that was released the same time in 2004 also has a great title that is about as interesting, but its cover is worse. On Lemuria I read that they tone down the symphonic a little, and that main man Johnsson sings for the first time in almost a decade.

This is a more direct album that several of those that I have written about, more metallic with the symphony taking a bit less space than in albums like Vovin or Deggial. I think it is more akin to Secret of the Runes, it is also in that same fashion a bit shorter, that combined with good variation makes it an album that feels very dynamic and profound. It is also an album that stands the test of time to still feel fresh today, rather than old and dated like Deggial to name one example. It is more build like a popular music album with more rock vocals, the choirs take a backseat, and I find that it makes Lemuria seem like a more relevant album than at least half of the albums by Therion that I have reviewed. Some of them feels more like indulging ideas than making great music, this is better structured, better produced, and they even gave it a great looking cover.

Beforehand I had the highest hopes for this album, I hoped it would be a timeless classic, or at least really prove Therion to be something that I regretted missing out on. I don’t quite think it is, it kind of confirms what I thought about the band without really hearing it, while other albums actually lowered my view on their music. And it wasn’t even the best, I think Secret of the Runes holds that position with Lemuria being closely following. I like how they this time do great songs rather than indulge some delusions of grandeur as songwriters, this has way fresher ideas than Deggial to name an example of a poorer album. Some feels like symphonies rewritten in an attempt to make them metal, while this is more like an actual album they have really written to be a good album.

Lemuria is definitely an album that a fan of symphonic metal should have a look at, with its great melodies and songs it is an album I will return to. I think Lemuria and Secrets of the Runes are albums that I will bring along for the future while discarding the rest of the six that I got, not that all the others are bad but there are only so many albums that you can really care about. I just find it a bit sad that none of the albums we got could be considered a timeless classic, Lemuria and Secrets of the Runes might be the closest – they are great, but not that special.