Swedish mavericks Therion will see their second album, 1992’s Beyond Sanctorum, reissued through Hammerheart Records this April!
The album, which is a collector’s item in CD and LP formats in it’s original form on legendary Swedish label Active Records, has been remastered for the occasion.
The band’s relatively unknown beginnings as a “standard” death metal band seem to be misunderstood by many metal listeners. Although the general consensus seems to be that Beyond Sanctorum is just “straight up death metal” while their later releases are neoclassical style, upon closer inspection, the opposite seems to be true. Although Beyond Sanctorum uses mainly instruments and performance aspects of standard death metal, the songs are already composed in a style more similar to actual classical music.
Future Consciousness starts the album off with a churning Morbid Angel style intro alternating with dark tremolo melodies and some heavy groove. Other bright spots include Cthulhu, featuring deep, cavernous doom sections evoking the famous sunken city, alternating with frantic fast passages. Enter the Depths of Eternal Darkness goes from a sludgy opening section to fiery death metal, with some eerie lead guitar moments and is also quite satisfying. Symphony of the Dead has an early The Gathering feel, that bursts into death metal later on. The highlight of this album is definitely The Way. This is where the bands developing symphonic style is most obvious, so Theli fans should definitely hear this song first. We cannot recommend it enough – The Way is not only the best song on the album, but one of the best examples of adventurous, progressive (yet uncompromising) death metal one is ever likely to hear.
This album released originally around the time when death metal was abandoning its primitive roots and going off into more complex territory. For anyone willing to take the time to really listen to music beneath surface level aesthetics, this is actually a surprisingly complex and rewarding listen. This album is light years ahead of their debut, the previous year’s Of Darkness…