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Secret of the Runes

4.8 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Secret Of The Runes
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Audio CD, November 13, 2001
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Editorial Reviews


Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Ginnungagap
  2. Midgard
  3. Asgard
  4. Jotunheim
  5. Schwarzalbenheim
  6. Ljusalfheim
  7. Muspelheim
  8. Nifelheim
  9. Vanaheim
  10. Helheim
  11. Secret Of The Runes

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 13, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nuclear Blast Americ
  • ASIN: B00005Q4QX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,595 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
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.
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Format: Audio CD
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.
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Format: Audio CD
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.
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