Released on: 1998-05-04
VOVIN is already the second album in a row THERION in their love for the occult named after their favorite pet. As Theli in Hebrew, Vovin means "dragon" - in the secret language of black magic Enochian. Therion's or as we should say Christofer Johnsson's (because as we will see later, he is Therion these days) affection for winged and firebreathing wyrms might be profoundly esoteric, yet the dragon seems to be a fitting symbol for this kind of music: mighty, not of this world, but at the same time enigmatic, defying nature's laws and bestowed of a strange sort of strength.
With their last two albums, Therion achieved an extraordinary position in a Metal scene torn between tradition and innovation. After getting rid of their gloomy Death Metal roots the band started to unleash a bombastic sound blast taking influences both from traditional Heavy Metal and Mainstream classical opera. The result was some sort of mixture between Guiseppe Verdi and Iron Maiden. Only the dragons and magicians that dwelled in the fantasy like old Heavy Metal songs had to submit to a very rigid conception of occult sciences which always played an important role in Therion’s lyrics. Alchemistic allusions are omnipresent and the ultimate goal of alchemy is well known: the philosopher's stone.
In musical terms and by their own standards "Vovin" has brought Therion remarkably close to this philosopher's stone. To get there a new approach had to be chosen. Therion mastermind Christofer Johnsson gave up the idea of a proper band, one that rehearses and records the songs he writes. Instead he employed studio musicians: a drummer and a bassist as you would expect, but also a full choir and a string orchestra. The solo vocals are performed by two well-known female singers, Sarah from CRADLE OF FILTH and Martina from DREAMS OF SANITY. Also, one song was done by Ralph Scheepers (PRIMAL FEAR).
Christofer himself apparently feels very confident in his role as the composer and supervisor in the background. And obviously there is a need for this distance and overview to make the intricate compositions between Power Metal, pompous orchestral parts, delicate string arrangements and exotic oriental sounds work. The elegance of arrangements, the sensuality of the melodies and the subtly different styles save "Vovin" from being a simple case of musical over-bombing. "Vovin" proofs that Christofer with all his love for big bombastic sounds hasn't lost his sensibility as an artist. "Lepaca Kliffoth" and "Theli" explored new realms of sound, but it is "Vovin" which claims Therions rule over these lands. "Vovin" certainly is a milestone for modern Metal.
|Track list||Total runtime|
|1||- The rise of Sodom and Gomorrah||6:45|
|2||- Birth of Venus Illegitima||5:15|
|3||- Wine of Aluqah||5:04|
|4||- Clavicula Nox||8:50|
|5||- The wild hunt||3:49|
|6||- Eve of Shiva||6:19|
|7||- Black Sun/Draconian Trilogy||5:10|
|9||- Morning Star||3:34|
|10||- Black Diamonds||2:58|
|11||- Raven of Dispersion||5:57|