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Therion: Vovin (1998)

Therion might have started out as just another Black Metal act, but they have evolved into something much darker, and far more beautiful.

The operatic metal of Vovin is a true treat that evokes memories of classic 70s progressive bands like King Crimson and Renaissance, yet also invokes the hellacious fury of Black Sabbath, Venom, and Mercyful Fate. Yet in Vovin, Therion summons a sound that transcends both influences in a kind of auditory alchemy that left me breathless.

Highlights include “Wine of Aluqah” with its stirring violin and guitar finish, the dark sweetness of “Clavicula Nox”, the driving beat of “The Wild Hunt” and the sheer foreboding of “Black Sun”. However, if you only listen for the highlights, you miss the greater beauty, for Vovin is on the whole one of the most elegant black metal albums ever released, surpassed only by Deggial.