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Therion - Gothic Kabbalah

Label: Nuclear Blast
Format: CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: The Goat

I am greatly disappointed. OK, so it has been awhile since I was a fan of Therion. I was a fan of their sound back when they were much more black metal oriented and aeons more twisted. What happened to them? What is this? Weak guitars. Operatic female vocals which are too light and airy. Pathetic sounding keyboards. What is going on here? What exactly is Gothic Kabbalah anyway?


I have an issue with that album title. A) Gothic is such a misused term. B) Kabbalah is an ancient Jewish mystical tradition. What in the world is Therion pulling here? OK, so they like conceptual albums but this is just Odin awful.

The songs are ruinous. They are poor in their construction and remind me of weak 80s metal (just listen to the bass thubbing in the title track - Eegads.). Therion seems to be trying to be progressive metal. What in the highest levels of Hl are they trying to do with this? Is this the Celestine Prophecy of metal? It seems to be trying to be profound by making up its own mystical conceptualizations. It is so disjointed and mish mashed. Lyrically, it is so ridiculously pompous that I laugh each time I hear it. Conceptually, I think they are trying to equate Norse imagery with Jewish Mystical traditions. I am sorry but this is inane. You cannot make a polytheistic pantheon of gods equivalent to a monotheistic cultural faith. They cancel each other out, never mind the fact that I don't think the Norse and the Jewish Diaspora ever really interacted (I could be wrong though). This is so bogus.

Then, as if it couldn't get any worse, they toss in a Dante-ism, an alchemical archetypal formulation of knowledge, Sofia. I have no patience for this false formulation of profundity. Perhaps, if the music and the quality wasn't so weak I could enjoy it.

I am so removing this from my CD player. Perhaps it will find new life as a coaster on my coffee table. Or perhaps a trivet.

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