Thursday, September 18, 2014

Therion - Beyond Sanctorum (1992)

This is one of those albums that sounded SO much better when I first heard it over twenty years ago. Now mind you, I don't think that it sucks by any means and back when Therion were a bona-fide death metal band they were easily one of my favorites but looking back I can pin-point with a fair amount of accuracy all of the signs that reveal a band that was waiting to come crashing, full bore, out of the closet.

It's weird because even though this is their sophomore album there are plenty of moments that feel as though this would have came out first. Moments that feel are somewhat regressed. Also, many of the symphonic elements (that were just beginning to barely emerge here) just sound downright inept. Laughably so. I mean, you'd have thought that Cristofer Johnsson had employed the talents of some brain-damaged amputee who had in their possession a Casiotone 501 with a remedial understanding of the instrument to boot.

On the positive side, this is the last album to feature Johnsson at his bestial best in terms of vocal delivery. Sure, the next few albums feature what one may consider to be death metal vocals but they are horrendously regressed and inept sounding. Like a tired muppet after a solid week of homosexual gang-rape.

For the most part the riffs here are akin to those found on 'Of Darkness', though hardly anything here possesses the catchiness and memorability of that album. Suffice to say, even though there;s nothing rampantly technical about this album, there is no shortage of directionless meandering.

Again, by no means do I think this album sucks or anything even close to that, but hearing this album many years after the fact, flaws can be easily traced and it is without a doubt the very last "straight up" death metal album the band would write and release.

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