Secret of the Runes (album)

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Secret of the Runes
Secret of the Runes.png
Studio album by
Released8 October 2001 [1]
RecordedMay − June 2001 [2]
StudioModern Art Studio (Stockholm, Sweden)
Genre Symphonic metal
Label Nuclear Blast
NB 625-2
Digipack: NB 683-2
Producer Therion, Christofer Johnsson
Therion chronology
The Early Chapters of Revelation
Secret of the Runes
Bells of Doom
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [3]

Secret of the Runes is the tenth full-length musical album by Swedish symphonic metal band Therion. It's a concept album based on Norse mythology, where each song describes one of the nine worlds. Cover artwork was made by Thomas Ewerhard, it features nine Scandinavian runes, each corresponding to a certain mythological world.


Album also includes two cover versions as bonus tracks. A music video was filmed for the Summer Night City cover.

Track listing

All songs written by Christofer Johnsson.

  1. "Ginnungagap" - 6:10
  2. "Midgård" - 5:04
  3. "Asgård" - 4:07 Loudspeaker.svg sample  
  4. "Jotunheim" - 3:43
  5. "Schwarzalbenheim" - 5:18
  6. "Ljusalfheim" - 3:53
  7. "Muspelheim" - 2:13
  8. "Nifelheim" - 4:33
  9. "Vanaheim" - 4:02
  10. "Helheim" - 3:18
  11. "Secret of the Runes" - 4:30

Digipak edition

Digipak contains two bonus tracks:

  1. "Crying Days" (Scorpions cover) - 4:32
  2. "Summer Night City" (ABBA cover) - 4:55

Limited edition

Limited edition also contains two bonus tracks:

  1. "The Wings of the Hydra (live)"
  2. "Black Sun (live)".


Runes shown on the front cover (and also in the booklet) are Nordic runes with the Elder Futhark alphabet. On the back cover every song has its own rune character:

  1. Runic letter uruz.svg "Ginnungagap (Prologue)"
  2. Runic letter jeran.svg "Midgård"
  3. Runic letter gebo.svg "Asgård"
  4. Runic letter naudiz.svg "Jotunheim"
  5. Runic letter iwaz.svg "Schwarzalbenheim"
  6. Runic letter dagaz.svg "Ljusalfheim"
  7. Runic letter sowilo variant.svg "Muspelheim"
  8. Runic letter isaz.svg "Nifelheim"
  9. Runic letter ingwaz.svg "Vanaheim"
  10. Runic letter haglaz.svg "Helheim"
  11. Runic letter fehu.svg "Secret of the Runes (Epilogue)"

Secret of the Runes title is written in the Elder Futhark alphabet on the front cover as:

Runic letter sowilo variant.svg   Runic letter ehwaz.svg   Runic letter kauna.svg   Runic letter raido.svg   Runic letter ehwaz.svg   Runic letter tiwaz.svg · Runic letter othalan.svg   Runic letter fehu.svg · Runic letter thurisaz.svg   Runic letter ehwaz.svg · Runic letter raido.svg   Runic letter uruz.svg   Runic letter naudiz.svg   Runic letter ehwaz.svg   Runic letter sowilo variant.svg

and it is transliterated as: "sekret of þ e runes".


Vocal and string soloists


String ensemble

Woodwinds (solo and ensemble)

Brass ensemble

Choir and orchestra on Bonus Tracks


Chart (2001)Peak
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100) [4] 74
Polish Albums (ZPAV) [5] 38

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  1. "News on October 8th, 2001". October 8, 2001. Archived from the original on 2004-08-08. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  2. "About recording of "Secret of the runes"". May 11, 2001. Archived from the original on 2001-11-10. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  3. O'Neill, Brian (2001-11-13). "Allmusic review". Retrieved 2012-06-04.
  4. " – Therion – Secrets Of The Runes" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
  5. "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. 2001-10-14. Retrieved 2012-06-04.