Beyond Sanctorum

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Beyond Sanctorum
Beyond Sanctorum.jpg
Studio album by Therion
Released January 1992
Recorded 1991
The Montezuma Studio, Stockholm, Sweden
Genre Death/doom
Length 49:56
1:09:43 (reedition)
Label Active Records
Nuclear Blast (reedition)
NB 578-2
Producer Rex Gisslén, Christofer Johnsson, Peter Hansson
Therion chronology
Of Darkness...
(1991)Of Darkness...1991
Beyond Sanctorum
Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas
(1993)Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas1993
Alternative cover
The Early Chapters of Revelation reedition cover

Beyond Sanctorum is the second studio album released on January 1992 by Swedish band Therion. The album was re-released on 27 November 2000 under Nuclear Blast label as a part of The Early Chapters of Revelation box-set. It contains remastered songs, as well as four bonus tracks.

Recording and production[edit]

The band signed a contract with Active Records after the deal with previous label Deaf Records was signed only for one album and relations between band and label [Deaf] weren't positive. Therion began to record a second full-length album in The Montezuma Studio in 1991. Before the recordings started bass guitar player Erik Gustafsson decided to leave the band in order to return home to the U.S., but Therion continued as a trio with Peter Hansson, Oskar Forss and Christofer Johnsson filling in on bass guitar.[1]

Songs, lyrical themes and influences[edit]

In Beyond Sanctorum Therion began progressively including classical and other elements to their sound. The record shows a more experimental edge to the death metal music, with keyboard instruments, clean male & female vocalists used sparingly, and also some Persian folk music tunes.[2] However, the riffing sections can be compared to most Stockholm death metal (see Scandinavian death metal) bands with power chord riffing in classical harmonic sense, its melodiousness, and lead riffing focusing on melodies.[3] Overall structuring of narration and music dynamics is quite similar to European death metal conventions.[3] The sound is comparable to the band's earlier productions, having typical sound for Sunlight studios.[3]

The lyrical content had changed into an occult theme.[1] Therion began being inspired by H. P. Lovecraft writings. The song title "Cthulhu" refers to Lovecraft's fictional deity Cthulhu that appears in Cthulhu Mythos.[4]

2000 re-release album contains original remastered songs, and four bonus demo songs.


After recording album, Therion started to play their first live shows in central Europe, mainly in the Netherlands and Belgium although simultaneously band ran into a few personnel problems. Forss decided to leave the band, Hansson quit the band after health problems. The shows were played using a new line-up. Piotr Wawrzeniuk, from the band Carbonized in which Johnsson also played, took up drumming duties. The guitar was taken up by Magnus Barthelsson, an old school friend of Johnsson's, while Andreas Wahl took up the bass.[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[5]

Beyond Sanctorum received many good opinions being acclaimed as genius melodic death metal[6] and classic of death metal.[3] It has received 3 of 5 rating by Allmusic,[5] and 3.66 of 5 by Rate Your Music community being number 201 in its 1992 ranking.[7]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Future Consciousness" – 5:00
  2. "Pandemonic Outbreak" – 4:21
  3. "Cthulhu" – 6:12
  4. "Symphony of the Dead" – 6:49
  5. "Beyond Sanctorum" – 2:36
  6. "Enter the Depths of Eternal Darkness" – 4:46
  7. "Illusions of Life" – 3:20
  8. "The Way" – 11:06
  9. "Paths" – 2:03
  10. "Tyrants of the Damned" – 3:43


2000 re-release version contains following bonus demo version tracks:

  1. "Cthulhu" (demo version) – 6:10
  2. "Future Consciousness" (demo version) – 5:07
  3. "Symphony of the Dead" (demo version) – 6:13
  4. "Beyond Sanctorum" (demo version) – 2:29


1992 Beyond Sanctorum main line-up
Guest musicians
  • Magnus Eklöv – lead guitar on "Symphony of the Dead" & "Beyond Sanctorum"
  • Anna Granqvist – vocals on "Symphony of the Dead" & "Paths"
  • Fredriq Lundberg – vocals on "Symphony of the Dead" & "Paths"


  1. ^ a b c "Biography". Official website. Archived from the original on 2010-06-29. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  2. ^ "Beyond Sanctorum". Official website. Archived from the original on 2008-02-16. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Cynical" (2004-10-09). "The fourth best death metal album of all time". Encyclopaedia Metallum. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  4. ^ Hill 2006, p. 74.
  5. ^ a b "Beyond Sanctorum". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  6. ^ "Abaddon". "Beyond Sanctorum". (in Polish). Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  7. ^ "Beyond Sanctorum". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 


  • Hill, Gary (2006). The Strange Sound of Cthulhu: Music Inspired by the Writings of H. P. Lovecraft. ISBN 1-84728-776-X. 

External links[edit]

Audio samples