Therion - _Secret of the Runes_
(Nuclear Blast, 2001)
by: Brian Meloon (
Therion's latest release continues the development the band has gone through since 1996's groundbreaking _Theli_ [CoC #14]. This time around they've emphasized the elements from progressive / power metal in their sound, making it heavier and more metallic, with less of a reliance upon the orchestral sound that we've come to expect from them. The progressive / power metal elements complement their classical side, and the styles are pretty well integrated. That isn't to say that this is a radical change of style, though. Most of the songs are exactly what you'd expect from Therion, but the addition of some more diverse elements in a few of the songs helps to avoid monotony. As you would expect, the playing and production are top-notch. Overall, this is a good release from Therion. It shows that the band aren't willing to rehash the same material over and over again, but instead are willing to develop and explore their style. It shouldn't disappoint their current fans, but shouldn't change any minds about them either. If at all possible, you should probably search out the limited edition version, to hear their amazing cover of Abba's "Summernight City". Seriously, this is one of the best songs on the album.
(article published 1/14/2002)
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