|Classic Review: Therion - Beyond Sanctorum|
Label: Nuclear Blast
Year released: 1992
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: January 14, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 4.09/5 (81.74%) (23 Votes)
Well this was the second Therion album from back in the day. Now this band may be the poster children for Symphonic Metal now but when they started they were a pure Death Metal band, and as this album proves, they were a really fucking good one. I am surprised I have not heard good stuff about this one before, as this is a great album.
There are a few touches here and there of the more eclectic sound Therion would eventually come around to, but this is pretty much straight up Death. The cool thing is that even while staying firmly in the genre Therion bring so much more to it than most bands ever do. The riffs on here are just killer, with a mix of thrashy, death-style riffing mixed up with slower Doom crunch and even some more melodic guitarwork that recalls the Gothenburg sound, though that scene would not be born for another five years or so when this was recorded. Almost every song on here is a killer, with the distinction being between 'good' and 'great' songs. Standouts include the doomy "Cthulhu", the melodic "Symphony Of The Dead" and the epic monster "The Way". But there are no skippers here at all. The bonus cuts include one new song and 4 demo versions of songs on the album. It says a lot about the quality here that even though most of the bonus tracks are repeats, I still listen to them, as the sound is almost as good, and they are all good enough to warrant another listen. The production on the proper album tracks is very good: heavy and clear, but with this slightly raw feel that probably results from the whole thing being recorded in ten days. It is also refreshing that the guitar sound bears no resemblance to the 'Sunlight Sound' so common at the time, and shows that even early on Therion were dedicated to doing their own thing.
This is just a jewel of an album than any deathhead will be glad to get. Far from the early 90's standard, this is impressively complex and musical stuff that still does not skimp on the aggression or the heavy attack. In my opinion, this is far superior to the more recent Therion side-project Demonoid, as there is no trendiness to this CD at all. It's just a heap of killer fucking riffs played on crushingly heavy guitars and in service to some great songs. Highly Recommended.
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