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Secret of the Runes

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$10.24

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Average Rating
★★★★★
(35 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • Therion’s amazing & groundbreaking album Secret Of The Runes. A Masterpiece combining Power Metals heavy riffing and complex bass lines with operatic Choirs tends to mix’s well with Melodic and Classical arrangements. The power of this album is unbeleviable, Its as if this were a score to an Opera depicting the gods of yester-year. As some of you know Therion started as a Death Metal band.. Well times have changed and they take to a more melodic approach very well! If you wish to get into Therion’s entrancing music I would suggest picking up THIS album
    first then later buy the others. To actually show you the man power that went into the making of this gem I will have to literally list those who were involved in the making of this album.. Here are ALL the musicians that take a part in Secret Of The Runes..

    The Band:

    Christopher Johnson – Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards & Percussion
    Kristian Niemann – Lead & Rhythm Guitar
    Johan Niemann – Bass Guitar
    Sam Karppinen – Drums & Percussion

    Vocal & String Soloists:

    Marika Schonberg – Solo Soprano
    Erika Andersson – Solo Alto
    Carl Rahmqvist – Solo Tenor-Baritone

    Anna Rodell – Solo Violin
    Asa Akerberg – Solo Cello
    Thomas Karlsson – Whispering Voice on “Liusalfheim”

    Choir:

    Kristina Hansson – Coloratura Soprano
    Anna-Maria Krawe – Soprano
    Ana Artursson – Alto
    Marika Schonberg – Alto
    Henrik Holmberg – Tenior
    Patrik Forsman – Tenior
    Carl Rahmqvist – Tenior-Baritone
    Jorkim Berg – Bass-Baritone

    String Ensemble:

    Anna Rodell – Violin (1:st)
    Josef Cabrales-Alin – Violin (1:st)
    Malin Samuelson – Violin (2:nd)
    Johan Moren – Violin (2:nd)
    Linda Svedrup – Viola
    Niklas Sjunnesson – Viola
    Asa Akerberg – Cello
    Monica Jonsson – Cello

    Woodwinds (solo and ensemble):

    Fareidah Hildebrand – Flute, Altflute & Piccolo
    Erik Rodell – Oboe & English Horn
    Henrik Blitx – Bassoon & Kontrabassoon

    Brass Ensemble:

    Mikael Sorensen – Trumpet & Fluegelhorn
    Ayman Al Fakir – French Horn & Wagnertuba
    Kristina Borg – French Horn
    Rune Bodin – Trombone

    Now imagine this type of force mixed with The Band’s melodic and instrumental form of Power Metal. Note their are a lot of excellent Guitar solos on this album by Kristian Niemann and the band does not hold back. Numerous of the these songs are heavy & yet still very melodic as true Power Metal should be. The Choir work is some of the best i’ve heard blended with any metal band! and the Classical intrsumentals within the songs, Fit well with Therions powerful metal. This is a piece of Metal History to me, This album should be in your collection allready! If it is not you are missing out on a Masterpiece! Note the Booklet is beautifully done as well with both Text & Art that explain the meaning of the songs so you are not left in the dark! Now heres my rating of Secret Of The Runes tracks.

    1. Ginnungagap ***** The Perfect Opener Depicting Both Therions Heavyness & Melodic Melody.

    2. Midgard ***** Excellent Choir, More Melodic Guitar is used on this one! Guitar Solo!!

    3. Asgard ***** This is a much more up tempo number, Very Powerful Rhythm Guitar. Guitar Solo!!

    4. Jotunheim ***** Back Down Tempo, Some Good Drum Work seen here!

    5. Schwarzalbenheim ****** Very Distinguished Rhythm and Ends with a beautiful classical ensemble.

    6. Ljusalfheim ***** Acoustic Guitar Is Beautiful and eventually turns to one of my fav Guitar Solos on the album.

    7. Muspelheim ****** The most fast paced guitar work on the album. Just a short outburst of power at 2:14 long.

    8. Nifelheim ***** The Choir really shines on this one. Excellent Violin Solo!

    9. Vanaheim ****** My fav track on the album. The guitar work here is masterful,Both Accoustic & Electric. Amazing Elec Guitar Solo!!

    10. Helheim ***** Beautiful Vocal work. Yet again the Rhythm Guitars stand out.

    11. Secret Of The Runes ***** The Title Track, This song is very balanced, The Rhythm & Lead playing against one another.

    *being worst – *****Being Best – ******Being Personal Favorites

    I can not stress enough how powerful,melodic and just.. Amazing this is!! If you are interested even slightly, You should buy this. I would pay well over 20$ for this album, And be extremly happy to have it! But this is all I can tell of the tales that Therion has laid before ye. For you.. Must decide what paths you will take. And whether you will ever learn.. The Secret Of The Runes.

    Posted on January 31, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I was hooked by the very first chord and couldn’t say a word till the last fading riff off “Summernight City”. This has been the most exciting music I’ve heard in a long time. Deggial was already near perfection, just surpassed by this latest opus “Secret of the Runes”. Although it’s a bit of a cliche, I must say there is not a single filler here, the whole album is pure bliss. One strong aspect which makes it so perfect is the storyline. “Secret of the Runes” is based in the nordic mythology and each song represents a world and a rune, besides the prologue, epilogue and the covers. Christofer describes in an interview perfectly the way it all works: the theme of each song is traduced in its atmosphere, besides the great lyrics. i.e. Muspelheim is the world of fire and the song is fast and heavy riff pounding. Nifelheim is the world of ice and the song is somber and “cold”. Ljusalfheim is the world of light, faeries and elves and the song is so beautifully gentle. And so on. I highly disagree with the one who said the album is “predictable”. Absurd!!! It is geniously well-balanced and highly technical, that’s what it is. I was only skeptical about the covers before I heard them. ABBA????? Incredible! One who hasn’t heard the originals would never guess where they came from. I would take them by Therion songs! As “Flesh of the Gods” off Deggial, a different song but this one an original Therion song. All in all, this band’s talent is undeniable. Secret of the Runes is DEFINITELY a must-have. DEFINITELY. By far my best CD.

    Posted on January 31, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • When I was browsing through all the Nightwish stuff that Amazon has to offer, I happened to see the list of `Similar Bands’ and Therion was one of them. I listened to the sound samples, and was beginning to get interested. I then went to the website to get more lengthy clips, and boy, was I impressed. This band is similar to Nightwish (so if you like them, check Therion out) but they are more operatic and mixed i.e male and female opera rather than female opera alone.

    This is my first Therion album, as it’s all I can buy for now (I bought it along with Nightwish’s `Once’ and `Wishmaster’.) But wow…please consider this band. They are amazing, Secret of the Runes talking about mythology that involves elves, dwarves and giants. Need I say more?

    Now onto the songs:

    1. Ginnungagap- This is my least favourite song. IMO, there is no melody whatsoever. Not too bad though. Maybe a few more listens will convince me. 7/10

    2. Midgard- Great! I loved this song the moment I heard the sample, with the female singer singing her heart out in the chorus. 10/10

    3. Asgard- This is one of my favourite songs, the beginning and the vocals clashing with each other in such a graceful way (does that make any sense?). 10/10

    4. Jotunheim- This song ain’t bad, but it’s just a tad bit slow for my liking. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s definitely worth a listen. The female vocals are sweeping and beautiful. 9/10

    5. Schwarzalbenheim- The beginning is quite interesting and I was quite amused listening to the trumpets. However the vocals are quite breath-taking and I dare not criticise this song, for it is easily one of the best songs that Therion have made. 9.5/10

    6. Ljusalfheim- A nice song. When I first heard the opening, I first thought of an Avril Lavigne song. However, the song couldn’t be more different and beautiful from Avril’s `punk’ singing. Definitely worth a listen. 8.5/10

    7. Muspelheim- The beginning is quite slow, but then the guitars just take off, along with the female opera. Quite nice. 10/10

    8. Nifelheim- Ah, perhaps one of my favourites. The harmony in this song just amazes me every time. Although it gets quite repetitive, I still enjoy this one. The orchestra is…wow. 11/10

    9. Vanaheim- Another favourite. When the violin solos in the beginning, I don’t know what to think. Classic, perhaps? A great one. 10/10

    10. Helheim- When I first heard the sample for this one, I was bored out of my wits. However, I heard the full song when I received the CD in the mail only to realise how wrong I was. Don’t be fooled by audio samples, people! I loved the male and female contrast. 10/10

    11. Secret Of The Runes- Great song, but it gets tiring as it goes on. It has its highlights, however, and I would say that it makes a great closer to a classic album.

    Overall, there is a con: it finished too fast! I wish that there was more to this album! A must-buy for any fan of Therion or even Nightwish!

    Posted on January 31, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • There’s been a lot of discussion about this album on Therion’s band site, with even Christofer Johnson commenting on it himself in interviews.

    Each Therion album is different. This album is mainly focused on really cool drumming by the ex-drummer Sami and really well orchestrated classical singing (opera/choir). It is a very Opera oriented album. Therefore if you like classical music and opera singing and choirs you are going to be impressed by the brilliant choir performance. If you are more into the heavy metal part of the music you’ll like the album but get a bit bored with it. It is mainly an almost Wagner like Choral Opera work with heavy metal drums, guitar and bass backing it up. It also has a lot of brilliant guitar solos and a classical orchestra that plays some folkish violens and wagnerian trumpets and such along with the music.
    The first thing to understand about ALL Therion albums is that you must listen to them several times before it sinks in. They almost always don’t sound so good the first listen until you have given it time to sink in.

    Usually hard core Therion fans think this is their favorite Therion album along with people who are really into Opera singing. Heavy metal fans consider the album a bit weak. Symphony wise it is in the middle it has some symphony which is pretty good but not a whole lot. Personally it’s my favorite Therion album. The theme is very facinating and it has some really good album cover work and such. But I hope that explains the very mixed reviews.

    Posted on January 30, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • After having heard Deggial, one of the best symphonic masterpieces Christopher Johnsson and Therion have created, I bought the Secret of the Runes. It’s about ancient Nordic tradition, and specifically talks about all the worlds in Nordic Mythology, such as Midgard, Asgard and Nifelheim. The mythological information one can get is tremendous, which is introduced to you through the most melodic music I’ve ever heard from a metal band.The album starts with Ginnungagap, the old void from which everything came out and is destined to return. The music is wonderful, creating tension and awe. Then follows Midgard, the world of man, which is a soft song, that depicts the frailty of man and this world. And then comes Asgard, the land of the gods. The importance of this world and the power of the gods is shown to the listened through a majestic series of chords and Wagnerial singing by the choir. Then comes Jotunheim, home of the ancient giants, a powerfull song, that is succeded by Schwarzalbenheim, a dark song which talks about the dwarfin and Elfin blacksmiths. Ljusalfheim comes next, talking about the Elves of the light. Then is Muspelheim, a powerful song which talks about the firegiants. After that is Nifelheim, the land of the icegiants, a melodic song with nice choir orchestration. after that comes Vanaheim, talking about Frej and Freja, the gods of magic and fertility. Helheim, the land of Hel, the godess of Death, as well as of fulfillment is next, a dark song which depicts very accurately the darkness. Last comes the Secret of the Runes, the essence of the album. It talks about the 18 runes Othat were revealed to Odin, after he sacrificed his body to himself.After the Secret of the Runes follow two cover songs, Summernight city by Abba and Crying days by the Scorpions.The album made to me a very good impression and I highly recommend it to any potential fans of Therion or of truly melodic music.

    Posted on January 30, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now