Therion - _Vovin_
(Nuclear Blast, 1998)
by: Pedro Azevedo (10 out of 10)
Did you think Therion would never be able to release a better album than _Theli_? They just did. There are two clear improvements in _Vovin_ relatively to _Theli_. The first concerns the voices: exclusively choir and lead classical vox; no 'traditional' Therion vocals were used here -- the result is excellent. Beside the large choir, you may recognize the names of Martina Hornbacher (Dreams of Sanity), Sarah Jezebel Deva (whom you may remember from Cradle of Filth) and Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear). But while the two ladies' contributions are very welcome, Ralf Scheepers is responsible for the album's only poor moments, found in the fastest track, "The Wild Hunt". The chorus he performs ruins the song and is -far- below the quality of everything else on _Vovin_. But that detail is easy to forget, as Christofer Johnsson's superb memorable melodies and arrangements flow with pure genius and are brilliantly performed. The second improvement regards the orchestration: no synths or samples here. The Indigo Orchestra (doublebass, contrabass, viola, cello, and two violins) gives _Vovin_ the extra touch of quality it needed. The metallic side of Therion's music continues its loss of weight, which is understandable -- indeed, this is an album which, regardless of personal taste, is truly excellent.

(article published 7/6/1998)

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