Three ships of Berik
Right after Deggial I had ideas for a new album, but one day I woke up and felt I needed to make a Nordic concept album for some reason. Secret of the Runes was then written more or less in 2 months; however, the 7-8 songs for this original follow-up to Deggial were put on ice for the time being.
After finishing the world tour for Secret of the Runes, making Live in Midgård, recording a Demonoid album, and having a small vacation, those 7-8 songs had grown to 55 songs and pieces that could be developed into songs. This was partly due to my own productiveness and also because Kristian had become well synchronized with his song writing, delivering both complete songs and parts that I could put together with my ideas into songs (and the other way around too) – not to forget Johan, who had also written a bunch of songs.
We went through the songs and realized that we had enough good material for three albums. Recording one after the other, promoting, and touring each one separately would have taken several years and would have been a bad idea; and being so productive, we would have had another 55 songs waiting when we finally came to the end of it.
Recording all three at once would have been too much work on our shoulders, so we made a compromise and recorded two at once for a simultaneous release and saved songs for the third one. The way of dividing the songs was to take the more progressive songs for the future third album, the songs that were more straightforward and heavy metal inspired to Sirius B, and then the rest were put on Lemuria (thus making it the most diverse of these 3 albums). However, after recording the two albums we swapped a few of the songs between the albums, which made them slightly more similar to each other but also more varied in themselves.
These albums had 171 people participating in the recordings and the huge orchestra and choir were very different sounding compared to the more close and intimate sound created on the previous album, Secret of the Runes.
All drums, bass, guitars, balalaikas, domras, mandolins, rock/metal vocals and most of the opera soloists were recorded at the Modern Art Studio, Stockholm (April-July and September 2003). Engineered by Sami Karppinen. Assistance engineering by Kristian Niemann.
Orchestra, choir and additional opera soloists were recorded at Smecky Studio, Prague, Czech Republic during September 2003. Egineered by Jan Holzner. Assistants: Michael Hradisky and Zdenék Pekarék.
The mixing and the recordings of hammond organs, mellotrone and narration were done during September/October 2004 at Sun Studios, Copenhagen, Denmark. Engineering and mixing by Lars Nissen. Assistance engineering by Andreas Hviid.
Produced by Therion and Lars Nissen.
All classical and choral arrangements by Christofer Johnsson.
Cover and layout by Thomas Ewerhard.
Orchestra was recorded with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra (see individual credits above) and was conducted by Adam and Mario Klemens.
The choir was recorded with the Kühn Mixed Choir (see individual credits above) and was conducted by Mario Klemens.