Therion Secret of Runes

Hot on the heels of last year's Deggial (their most successful album to date), Therion is back with Secret of the Runes. The album is full of symphonic, classically orchestrated metal of the highest order. While this style of metal has become quite popular in the past few years, Therion was one of the first bands to incorporate large symphony orchestras and full choral arrangements into their music, and they still arguably do it the best. The album is a concept album steeped in ancient Nordic and Germanic traditions. Most of the songs are mid-paced affairs with glorious choruses and bombastic guitar harmonies. The production is really huge this time around and the three cover songs (including Abba and Accept) are very memorable and original sounding, retaining that trademark Therion sound. (Nuclear Blast)