Sirius B

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

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. The Blood of Kingu
2. Son of the Sun
3. The Khlysti Evangelist
4. Dark Venus Persephone
5. Kali Yuga, Part 1
6. Kali Yuga, Part 2
7. The Wondrous World of Punt
8. Melek Taus
9. Call of Dagon
10. Sirius B
11. Voyage of Gurdjieff (The Fourth Way)

Christofer Johnsson - rhythm guitar, mandolin ("The Wondrous World of Punt"), classical and choir arrangements
Kristian Niemann - rhythm and lead guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin ("The Wondrous World of Punt")
Johan Niemann - bass guitar, mandolin ("The Wondrous World of Punt")

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)

Richard Evensand - drums, gong ("Kali Yuga part 2")
Steen Rasmussen - Hammond organ
Lars Sømod Jensen - church organ
Mats Levén - lead vocals ("The Blood of Kingu", "The Khlysti Evangelist", "Kali Yuga part 2")
Piotr Wawrzeniuk - lead vocals ("Dark Venus Persephone", "Kali Yuga part 1", "Melek Taus")
Orchestra: City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Adam Klemens and Mario Klemens)
Choir: Kūhn Mixed Choir (conducted by Mario Klemens)
Anna-Maria Krawe - lead and backing vocals

Producer: Lars Nissen and Therion
Cover artwork by Thomas Ewerhard

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


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Last in the big list of albums to review this weekend is Sirius B that was released at the same time as Lemuria in 2004, and it is one of the six Therion albums now reissued by Hammerheart. Like Lemuria it is one of the best album names, it also has one of the best covers but not as good as the one on Lemuria. Sirius B is described in the press material as being more symphonic than Lemuria, and that I very much true as I find it more akin to albums like Deggial and Vovin than to Secret of the Runes or Lemuria. It also draws more towards the longer playing times of albums like Deggial and in no instance I think they sell such long playing times, I am quite bored after 40 minutes and then the album goes on for almost twenty more.

Of course, we know the style of symphonies with some metal elements, lots of choirs, it is the sound we expect from Therion, and that is fine enough. Sirius B is a dynamic album, it has some more straightforward metal stuff along with more classical styled compositions. It alternates some excellent stuff with some terrible stuff, and a few mediocre things as well making it a pretty average album when all elements are weighted together. I think the playing time is a big negative here as the album probably would have seemed way better had it ended much earlier. Cut away the slower parts, keep the uptempo things, and all of a sudden you have something way more interesting.

In many ways Sirius B is an interesting album, some of the songs are great, others is nothing. I think they made a serious attempt here, but not everything turned out as exciting as they were hoping for. They show with their greatest stuff that Therion is a band of higher quality, but then they have average albums like this one, and even really poor albums. Sirius B doesn’t get there, it doesn’t have the magic of the best material by Therion, and eventually I find that it doesn’t really do anything for me – it is a good album, but I don’t really listen to it as it fails to hold my interest for any extended period of time. When finalising this last review of the six reissues I realise that whenever they keep it short Therion makes it great, and it is almost the opposite when they make it too long.

With all that said, I think Sirius B has its moments, some really great, but I doubt it is a positive when one of the best moments is ending this review and starting another album.