Therion - Vovin (1998) - Elegy and majesty in a perfectly balanced mixture - 96% (06/01/15)
Therion continues to evolve on Vovin as mastermind Christofer Johnsson gathers a new guitarist and drummer around him and invited a total of twenty guest musicians and singers including big names like guitarist Waldemar Sorychta of Grip Inc. and Voodoocult, Ralf Scheeper of Primal Fear and Gamma Ray fame and Sarah Jezebel Deva who had been invloved in bands such as Cradle Of Filth and her own group Angtoria in the past. While the previous genre milestone Theli contained maybe seventy percent of bleak heavy and gothic metal music and thirty percent of orchestral arrangements, Vovin is even more balanced and comes around with a mixture close to fifty percent of occult and yet melodic metal and fifty percent of majestic orchestrations and even more impressive male and female choirs of the highest kind. While the songs on Theli covered completely new ground and managed to touch me emotionally, Vovin is a more elegant, intellectual and sophisticated output. One really gets the impression to witness elaborated classical symphonies of the grandest kind but the songs are also a little bit more distant from an emotional point of view. While I slightly prefer Theli over Vovin, it is great to see that Therion moved on and tried out new things again on this excellent release.
There is not one single bad song on this release. "The Rise Of Sodom And Gomorrah" is a perfect opener. It feels like you were listening to a Beethoven symphony as the song starts in a really dramatic and cinematic fashion. You can really see the downfall of the two famous cities in front of your eyes while listening to this sacral metal masterpiece. The male and female choirs are spot on and create an elegant yet apocalyptic atmosphere. There is no doubt that this song is one of the best in Therion's stunning career. "Birth Of Venus Illegitima" is a little bit more elegic and convinces with a dark yet harmoniously chilling atmosphere. This is not just music, this is a very fine piece of art. The epic yet accessible "Clavicula Nox" and the more emotional and guitar driven "Eye Of Shiva" also share a more elegic feeling as they are rather slow and appeasing songs that convince with enchantic angelic female vocals that make me think of several impressive new-age artists like Enigma or Vangelis for example.
"Wine Of Aluquah" differs from the more elegeic and elegant tracks as it has a slightly Middle Eastern folk infused feeling, truly catchy female choir passages and it is overall a little bit faster and heavier than most of the other tracks on the album. The fastest track and only song that clearly harkens back to Therion's earlier outputs is probably "The Wild Hunt". It's a fast and almost power and thrash metal orientated song with dramatic choirs, vivid melodic guitar solos and a hectical yet catchy chorus performed by Ralf Scheepers. This is one of the few songs that clearly has more metal than classical symphonic elements and should definitely please to the power metal community.
Every single song on this release is worth mentioning and "The Draconian Trilogy" even resumes all the stunning qualities of Therion again but I simply suggest you to purchase Theli and Vovin and discover these artistic masterpieces of classical music and metal on your own. You really miss out on something if you don't get in closer contact with the most imaginative metal band of the nineties along with Amorphis and Moonspell.« King Diamond - Dreams of Horror (2014) - Flawless overview of an outstanding career - 97% (06/01/17)In Flames - Clayman (2000) - Where old and new meet in reconciliatory harmony - 92% (13/01/15) »
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