Therion Gothic Kabbalah

Therion’s latest monster manages to be refreshing as well as unmistakeable, utterly familiar but thoroughly unpredictable. Classic riffs and leads burst from nearly every crack, exploding from an undeniably metal core, but Gothic Kabbalah is also loaded with the choral and orchestral passages Therion fans have come to expect. That well used classical/metal blend is bent in multiple directions that aren’t unusual in themselves: prog, power, goth, rock, traditional, Eastern and even pop. However, it’s the particular mix more than the ingredients that gives this double record a different texture and atmosphere. The title track is memorable but a bit stiff, a reminder that catchiness is not what Gothic Kabbalah is about. It’s the more dynamic songs — the anthemic, folkish "Trul,” the heavy and sinister "Wisdom and the Cage,” epic finale "Adulruna Redivivia” — that make the biggest impact. (Nuclear Blast)