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Therion - Beyond Sanctorum Award winner

Beyond Sanctorum
by Allen Peters at 23 May 2022, 12:41 AM

 THERION, the Swedish Metal legends, have re-released their 1992 classic, “Beyond Sanctorum,” here again in 2022, celebrating its thirty-year anniversary. Wide open from the start, the shredding of the guitar is there from the beginning, along with the exploding of the drums, making this one a super aggressive classic!

This is a re-issue from the good old days, but I missed this album years ago when it was new, and I was in pre-internet high school. I didn’t see it on The Headbangers Ball, but certain tracks could have been. It’s pretty cool that I’m getting to review a piece that I missed from my glory days.

Pandemonic Outbreak,” fitting for the times, starts out big with a great rhythm. A spooky tune with some unexpected things added in the middle wrapping up with a great ending. Sliding in at number two, it starts out sounding like an angry lost tribe, primal and straight to the point, setting the tone for things to come.

 “Cthulhu,” (inspired from the METALLICA classic?), this one starts out very respectable in its style and has some NAPALM DEATH speed at the end which isn't always successfully done that fast.

Did Rob Zombie steal his whole sound from the “Symphony Of The Dead,” intro from back in the day, who was first? You will find it a haunting piece; one takes you on quite the journey of emotions with its different tempos.

Just over halfway through I found probably my favorite song so far, “Enter The Depths Of Eternal Darkness,” it has a nice grind, picking up speed as you go. I will let it surprise you in its intentions, give it a listen, you won’t be disappointed.

Mixing it up on “The Way,” it is a change of pace but it's working well here, with the theatric sound evolving into a grand horror show of sounds taking you down “The Path,” the title of the number nine track. The angels of heaven welcome you to this one, but that quickly changes. A short one but I'm glad that it wasn't left out and finally, saving the heaviest for last, the bonus track “Tyrants of The Damned” is a nice addition to bring up the rear.

Initially released in January 1992, this death doom classic was was originally a Nuclear Blast release, it is a collector’s item if you can find it but has been re-released by Hammerheart Records and was remastered at Toneshed Studio. According to Christopher Johnson, “Beyond Sanctorum”, saw the band exploring different elements, like Persian traditional music, also the increasing of their keyboard experimentations. Layering their melodies, this album would lay the groundwork for future Black Metal and Death Metal bands. This inventive album of the early 1990s is typical of early Swedish Death Metal and burnt a thirty-year trail for many other bands to follow, a much-loved classic.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1.  Future Consciousness
2.  Pandemonic Outbreak
3.  Cthulhu
4.  Symphony Of the Dead
5.  Beyond Sanctorum
6.  Enter The Depths of Eternal Darkness
7.  Illusions Of Life
8.  The Way
9.  Paths
10. Tyrants Of the Damned
Christofer Johnsson – Guitar
Thomas Vikstrom – Vocals
Lori Lewis – Vocals
Christian Vidal – Guitar
Sam Karppinen – Drums
Nalle “Grizzly” Pahlsson – Bass 
Record Label: Hammerheart Records


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Edited 28 January 2023

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