Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Therion - Vovin CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.08 | 167 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars 'Vovin' (meaning Dragon) is Therion's 8th full length album. Therion's version of symphonic metal has always intrigued me as their music is not just symphonic, but it is operatic also. This is their best selling album to date, however, Christofer Johnsson always considered it his solo album, because he is the only band member from Therion performing on it. All other personnel on the album are guest performers. The choir consists of two of each of the vocal parts, namely soprano, alto, tenor and bass. There are also 2 soprano/alto soloists. All of the vocals are done by the choir, except for one track. The orchestra is The Indigo Orchestra which consists of 2 violins, a cello, viola, a double bass and a contrabass, though at times it seems like the orchestra is larger.

'The Rise of Sodom and Gomorrah starts off with repeated notes from the violins and a bass line created by cellos. At one minute, full on drums and guitar join the orchestra, and a male chorus sings which is soon joined by a female chorus. The orchestra riff is very exciting and fast tempo. Except for acting as a foundation, the guitars let the orchestra and the singers take the lead here.

'Birth of Venus Illegitima' is lead by the rock instruments, but with the choir still singing of course. As far as I can tell, only the rock instruments play on this one except for a short passage around the 4 minute mark. The vocals are more dominated by the male parts.

'Wine of Alluqa' is led out by cello and a tinkling piano, but a sudden burst of energy takes off early with equal amounts of energy in the regular instruments and the orchestra. The drums are fast, like in speed metal. The vocals are dominated by female vocalists this time. There are a few great guitar solos placed throughout the song. The guitar/violin riff is fast and energetic. Great track.

'Clavicula Nox' is a slower and darker track exceeding 8 minutes. Guitar and drums drive the song, and the vocals are sung by the soloists for the most part. A pounding bass accompanies a guitar solo before the choir joins in. The second verse and chorus repeats the same pattern. There is an instrumental break with some nice shared parts with guitar and orchestra. Even though this is structured more like a standard song, it is still quite beautiful and fulfilling.

'The Wild Hunt' is the one song done by any semblance of a lead vocalist, Ralf Sheepers, who has a high-tenor, gruff voice like Rob Halford from 'Judas Priest'. Except for the parts sung by choir, this one is a fairly straightforward up tempo metal song, but it all works very well together.

'Eye of Shiva' has a more mid-eastern sound to it. It is again a slower song, again led out by the soloists, with occasional backing from the choir. Except for a guitar solo at the 4 minute mark, the rock instruments remain restrained through most of this song providing the background and leaving the music to the orchestra and the vocalists.

'Black Sun' starts with a piano solo with help from the strings. The choir suddenly bursts in with a thumping bass and drums. This one is very dark and heavy. This track focuses more on all of the instruments, both the orchestra and the standard rock instruments. It is surprisingly stirring.

The next 3 tracks are the three parts of the 'Draconian Trilogy'. Starting with 'Part one: The Opening', which is instrumental except for a quick choir part with the orchestra and the guitars, no percussion. 'Part two: Morning Star' features a dark male choir at first, later the soloists take over. The music is driven by the rock instruments and the melody is very dramatic with some great vocals. 'Part Three: Black Diamonds' is driven more by the choir with all instruments providing only a foundation except the ending where stings and piano close out the trilogy. I have a slight problem with this trilogy mainly because it is too short and underdeveloped especially for a suite. I just felt the idea could have been better developed.

The last track is 'Raven of Dispersion' which is another dark track with a thumping bass and the male chorus again, later followed by the soloists. There are some strange guitar sounds going on in there, which seem a little out of place. The choir sings the choruses with the viola following their parts. This track seems to be one of the weaker ones on the album, which is too bad, because after hearing this album, you expect a huge ending, but you don't really get it.

So, overall, this is another great album of symphonic and operatic metal that fizzles out towards the end. The Trilogy would have been much better if it could have been fleshed out, and the last track comes off a little weak. Those things detract from a great album, unfortunately, but it still manages to be an excellent album overall. It's still good enough for lovers of this style of metal and lovers of symphonic rock in that it is not quite as loud as you might expect, but it still has enough metal in it to appeal to that crowd.

TCat | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this THERION review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives