Metal Storm logo
Therion - Vovin review


723 users:
Band: Therion
Album: Vovin
Release date: May 1998

01. The Rise Of Sodom And Gomorrah
02. Birth Of Venus Illegitima
03. Wine Of Aluqah
04. Clavicula Nox
05. The Wild Hunt [feat. Ralf Scheepers]
06. Eye Of Shiva
07. Black Sun
08. Draconian Trilogy
    1 - The Opening
    2 - Morning Star
    3 - Black Diamonds
09. Raven Of Dispersion

String instruments such as violins have been around in heavy music since the days of Led Zeppelin. Tracing back the earliest 'symphonic metal' band is a challenge, due to the vagueness of what defines it, but Therion, no doubt, took the genre to new levels, virtually abandoning their death metal roots. Many metal bands before the release of Theli and Vovin - and even hitherto - tend to use orchestras to enhance their music, but, in the case of Therion, symphonic metal truly is a unique genre. Therion's second (or debatably third) actual symphonic metal achievement, Vovin, softens on the metal side and embraces a rather avant-garde approach, exploring and twisting through a world of odd melodies and esoteric themes.

Led by the genius Christofer Johnsson, Vovin doesn't feature any other permanent members, and yet everything is meticulously crafted. Opening with "The Rise of Sodom and Ghomorah", the track sucks the listener in with its foreboding strings, and maintains its rich, complex composition throughout. There isn't a trace of death metal on the album, and most of the vocals are done by a choir. Beginning with haunting keys, "Wine Of Aluqah" explodes into a near power metal like speed. Due to the avant-garde nature of the songs, some of the tracks are unpredictably structured, such as the nearly nine minute "Clavicula Nox", but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. "Black Sun" starts with a mysterious melody and keys, and blooms into a very catchy piece, instrumentally and vocally.

At times, the album does seem to drift just a little, and some of the guitar work - although great in most cases - seems a little under-produced in contrast to the other string arrangements, but these problems are overshadowed by the overall sheer complex, beautiful work on Vovin. Despite being the major innovators of symphonic metal, to this day, their work, particularly Vovin, is still incredibly unique. This is by no means a commercially friendly album, so it may take quite some time to get use to and even love, but there is a lot here to discover. Vovin stands as one of the most important symphonic metal albums.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Production: 8

Written by Night Theater | 27.03.2014

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 4   Visited by: 121 users
27.03.2014 - 20:57
Dark Phoenix
As Vovin was the first album by Therion I ever heard, it holds a special place in my heart up until today (oh, how romantic I am). Beautifully written review, to which I agree completely. The position of songs on this album is just miraculous, I love how it starts epically and then holds the dynamics and ends with the Draconian Trilogy and Raven Of Disperson, which is one of my all time favourite tracks by Therion. Truly, one of the highlights in Therion's career.
You think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it. Molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was a man. But it was nothing to me but blinding.
27.03.2014 - 22:47

Vovin was the first of Therion´s albums I heard (I´m the 2nd who wrote it but I think not the last one). I almost cried with it´s composition and fluency of the music. And this keeps the entire album but Bith of Venus Ilegitima is the vortex.

I regard this album is the starting point of Symphonic Metal in its own meaning and uniqueness. Maybe talk about Masterpieces is mundane in our subjective days but if Vovin is not a masterpiece, I don´t know what the hell is then.

I believe the production of guitar work you wrote about was Ex Professo and they want it. Is something to think about I would say.

Is just my opinion, but if I compare Vovin´s Clavicula Nox an the "Remix" from Crowning of Atlantis I chose without babbling the second one. I just enjoy it more.

I haven´t heard at the moment, another symphonic metal band reaching the same levels as Therion in this album and other ones so I friendly receive options

Good Review!
28.03.2014 - 02:30

It was Birth of Venus Ilegitima and Clavicula Nox that opened my eyes to this band and subsequently the genre as a whole. It completely changed the way I looked at metal,obviously in a good way. It opened me up to all the bands that came after,it even predates Nightwish and the like for me. Masterpiece is an apt description and I still love Therion to this day,though I am not sure Kristoffer could ever match this album
04.05.2016 - 23:45
Rating: 10

Written by Migtanteot on 27.03.2014 at 22:47

I regard this album is the starting point of Symphonic Metal in its own meaning and uniqueness. Maybe talk about Masterpieces is mundane in our subjective days but if Vovin is not a masterpiece, I don´t know what the hell is then.

100% Agreed.

Actually my favourite version of Clavicula Nox is the live symphonic version on The Miskolc Experience, but I listen to all 3 versions because there's really something special in each version. Truly one of a kind song.

Hits total: 5912 | This month: 8