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Secret of the Runes
November 2001
Released: 2001, Nuclear Blast
Rating: 4.7/5
Reviewer: El Cid

Well, here it is - DEGGIAL’s successor. First I must say that I didn’t like DEGGIAL, it was plain boring and the only track that did something for me was “Flesh of the Gods” in which Hansi Kürsch, of Blind guardian fame, made a guest appearance to sing. The CD was really boring to me because the orchestral arrangements were (in my opinion) overdone and the metal riffing was neglected to the point that each song had only one riff that made it stand.

So on to the new release! SECRET OF THE RUNES is the logical evolution fro last year’s DEGGIAL, I sort of expected something that would sound something like this, but this CD is really beyond my expectations. Every single problem I had with DEGGIAL has been fixed (unfortunately Hansi’s presence was fixed too). The mood is extremely somber, the arrangements are top notch as always, but the main about this new Therion offering is that it is actually pretty heavy. The guitar work has been improved a lot and the riffing and soloing are actually really interesting again and not just a repetitive noise behind the choirs! Also, Therion have managed to sound even stronger vocally than before. The choir’s work is absolutely magnificent, I loved the arrangement of it all.

You’ve probably heard that SECRET OF THE RUNES is also a concept album based on Norse mythology. The album takes us through the 9 worlds of the world tree Yggdrasil, each one of these worlds being represented by a track (special mention for Asgard which is by now my favorite track on the CD) and to complete the album there’s a Prologue and an Epilogue that open and close the cycle.

This is by far my favorite Therion CD Since THELI and I urge all of you Metalheads out there to run and buy it!

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