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Release date: 2001
Style: Symphonic metal


8.7 | 473 votes


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01. Ginnungagap (Prologue)
02. Midgård
03. Asgård
04. Jotunheim
05. Schwarzalbenheim
06. Ljusalfheim
07. Muspelheim
08. Nifelheim
09. Vanaheim
10. Helheim
11. Secret Of The Runes (Epilogue)
12. Crying Days [Scorpions cover]
13. Summernight City [ABBA cover]

Top 20 albums of 2001: 19

Lyrics (13)

Kristian Niemann - guitars
Christofer Johnsson - guitar, keyboards, percussion
Sami Karppinen - drums, percussion
Johan Niemann - bass

Additional musicians:
Marika Schonberg - vocals (solo soprano)
Erika Andersson - vocals (solo alto)
Carl Rahmqvist - vocals (solo tenor-baritone)
Anna Rodell - violin (solo)
Asa Akerberg - cello (solo)
Thomas Karlsson - whispered vocals
Fareidah Hildebrand - flute, alt flute, piccolo
Erik Rodell - oboe, English horn
Henrik Blixt - bassoon, contrabassoon
Mikael Sorensen - trumpet, fluegelhorn
Ayman Al Fakir - horn, Wagner tuba
Kristina Borg - French horn
Rune Bodin - trombone

Choir: Kristina Hansson, Anna-Maria Krawe, Anna Arthursson, Marika Schonberg, Henrik Holmberg, Patrik Forsman, Carl Rahmqvist, Joakim Berg. -

String ensemble:
Violin: Anna Rodell, Josef Cabrales-Alin, Malin Samuelsson, Johan Moren -
Viola: Linda Svedrup, Niklas Sjunesson
Cello: Asa Akerberg, Monica Jonsson

Additional info
Produced by C. Johnsson and Therion.
Engineered by S. Karppinen.
Assistant engineering by K. Niemann and C. Johnsson.
Mixed by Mikko Karmila.
Mastered by Mika Jussila and Mikko Karmila.
Recorded during the spring 2001 at Modern Art, Stockholm, Sweden.
Mixed and mastered in June-July at Finnvox, Helsinki, Finland.
All songs on Secret of the Runes were written by Christofer Johnsson/Thomas Karlsson, except "Ginnungagap" which was written by Kristian Niemann/Christofer Johnsson/Thomas Karlsson.
All classic and opera arrangemants by C. Johnsson.
German translation on "Schwarzalbenheim" by Christian Ratsch.
Cover & Layout by Thomas Ewerhard.
The bonus tracks on this CD: Recorded at DA Studio, Stockholm, winter 1999 by Sami Karppinen.
Remixed at Finnvox Studio July 2001 by Mikko Karmila.
Mastered at Finnvox Studio July 2001 by Mika Jussila and Mikko Karmila.
Additional melodies and classic arrangements by Christofer Johnsson.

This album was also put in a paper folder in the back of a German limited
edition of the Uthark book, written by Thomas Karlsson, discussing the Uthark-theory first advocated by the Swedish professor Sigurd Agrell in the in the 1930's. It basically meant that there was a deeper, (darker), secret (magic) side of the runes that only the runemaster knew about.

Staff review by
Demonic Tutor

I knew it! Since I listened to the last Nightwish and didn't enjoy it too much... Something was missing. Now listening to Secret Of The Runes, I have the answer: thrash metal! For those who don't know Therion, I can say that it's the perfect combination of symphonic metal and thrash metal. Therion's frontman and founder, Christofer Johnsson, is a real genius. I understand now that he claims to be the founder of symphonic metal, a long time before Nightwish Theli in 1996]. Honestly, Secret Of The Runes is my first Therion album but I want to do the review because I've just found what I was looking for since the discovery of symphonic metal... Unlike the Finnish band, Therion uses a full choir registry - including tenors, sopranos, altos and baritons - as lead vocalists. Even if I love Tarja's voice, it's clear that the result is different here. One other difference is the fact that Therion uses a 'real' orchestra instead of keyboards and flute. These are the differences between Therion and Nightwish on the symphonic aspect of their music but, of course, the main difference is that Therion has also gothic thrash metal backgrounds. Well, I hope you understand that, in my mind, Nightwish and Therion sound very different! But let's talk about Therion now! Concretely, Secret Of The Runes is a concept album about Nordic mythology. That's why it contains songs with such names as 'Asgard' or 'Midgard'.

published 20.10.2003 | Comments (15)

Found in 19 lists
Top lists

Introspekrieg Beginner's Guide To Building A Prog Collection (Standards, And A Few Unorthodox Choices)  | #269
Mikyz My Favorite Albums: 2000s  | #30
IronAngel Iron Recommends: A Metal Selection  | #59
Damned-In-Black Top 50 Metal Albums Of The 2000's  | #28
Angel_Lament Top Symphonic/Atmospheric Albums  | #27
moonsorrow1992 Top 30 Albums Of 2001  | #30
Dzidziafon My List  | #49
darkgalder My 50 Favorite Album All The Time  | #8
More lists with this album (19) | Create a list! ››


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Comments: 7  
Users visited: 312  
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musicalkaratekid - 11.02.2012 at 21:58  
Rating: 9 A very good therion album, and perhaps one of their best for the 21st century. The ABBA cove isn't shameful either, which kind of helps;)
Rhiannon - 23.04.2013 at 20:00  
Rating: 9 My favourite Therion album besides Lemuria. The opening, Ginnungagap is so powerful, sets the mood perfectly, and from that the album has a nice flow. The bonus tracks are good too.
Unhealer - 25.04.2013 at 05:39  
Rating: 9 Best Therion album, yes sir. I was so happy when they played it on it's entirety in their last tour...
Valentin B - 01.01.2014 at 15:54  
  That solo in Ginnungagap is absolutely epic! I get a feeling I am flying through deep valleys and mountains when I listen to this album and that song in particular
indexqwest - 17.05.2015 at 23:59  
Rating: 10 Great, great album!
Hex_Omega - 01.01.2016 at 20:46  
Rating: 10 Probably their best album. Not only great production, atmosphere, vocals and symphonic parts but also riffs. Amazing work, amazing music.
masterofdisguise - 01.01.2016 at 22:32  
Rating: 10
Written by Hex_Omega on 01.01.2016 at 20:46

Probably their best album. Not only great production, atmosphere, vocals and symphonic parts but also riffs. Amazing work, amazing music.

Totally agree, definitely their best. This album is pure magic, each track is a travel through the respective world, all you can do is relax and let the music carry yourself away.

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