Secret of the Runes (2001 – album)


Click song title for lyrics



  • Anna Rodell: Violin (1st)
  • Elisabeth Lagergren: Violin (2nd)
  • Petter Axelsson: Viola
  • Erik Rodell: Oboe
  • Ingela Bolin: Soprano (ensemble and solo), Alto
  • Anna Artursson: Soprano, Alto
  • Henrik Holmberg: Tenor, Baritone
  • Pierre Pettersson: Tenor (ensemble and solo), Baritone
  • The band
    • Christofer Johnsson: Rhythm guitar, Keyboard, Percussion
    • Kristian Niemann: Lead guitar, Rhythm guitar
    • Johan Niemann: Bass guitar
    • Sami Karppinen: Drums, Percussion
  • Vocal and string solists:
    • Marika Schonberg: Solo soprano
    • Erika Andersson: Solo alto
    • Carl Rahmqvist: Solo tenor-baritone
    • Anna Rodell: Solo violin
    • Asa Akerberg: Solo cello
    • Thomas Karlsson: Whispering voice
    • Piotr Wawrzeniuk: Lead vocals
  • Choir
    • Kristina Hansson: Coloratura soprano
    • Anna-Maria Krawe: Soprano
    • Anna Artursson: Alto
    • Marika Schonberg: Alto
    • Henrik Holmberg: Tenor
    • Patrik Forsman: Tenor
    • Carl Rahmqvist: Tenor-baritone
    • Joakim Berg: Bass-baritone
  • String ensemble
    • Anna Rodell: Violin (1st)
    • Josef Cabrales-Alin: Violin (1st)
    • Malin Samuelsson: Violin (2nd)
    • Johan Moren: Violin (2nd)
    • Linda Svedrup: Viola
    • Niklas Sjunesson: Viola
    • Asa Akerberg: Cello
    • Monica Jonsson: Cello
  • Woodwinds (solo and ensamble)
    • Fareidah Hildebrand: Flute, Alt flute, Piccolo
    • Erik Rodell: Oboe, English
    • Horn Henrik Blixt: Bassoon, Contrabassoon
  • Brass ensemble
    • Mikael Sorensen: Trumpet, Fluegelhorn
    • Ayman Al Fakir: French horn, Wagner tuba
    • Kristina Borg: French horn
    • Rune Bodin: Trombone

Comments from Chris

The concept of this album is based on the ancient Nordic tradition. In this tradition exists a world tree called Yggdrasil. This tree consists of nine worlds on which the album is focused around. The songs describe each of the worlds. However, there are also a prologue and an epilogue. The prologue, “Ginnungagap”, is the void of creation, where the world was once shaped. The giant Ymer was slayed and the land was created from his body and the seas of his blood. The epilogue is the title track, which is the quintessence of the whole concept: Odin’s journey when he was hanging himself from Yggdrasil fornine days and nights. He then received the knowledge of the runes. The word “rune” (or “runa” as it is called in Swedish) means “secret” and therefore the meaning of the title is “The Secret of the Secrets”. The secret hidden in the concept of runes is that they are more than just letters to write with; they are also magical signs and each has an esoteric meaning. Runes have existed in various forms and in different traditions. The Nordic tradition is based on the “Futhark” or more rarely the “Uthark”. The Nordic tradition is the most known and today it is basically the only one used among serious occult groups and pagan believers that are using runes; it should not be mixed up with the other existing ones, even though a few of the rune letters in the different rune alphabets may be the same or look a bit similar. The themes Librettos of Richard Wagner were based on the myths and legends from the Nordic-Germanic tradition. Wotan is just another word for Odin. So as the musical influence from Wagner is huge, it is very suitable using related lyrical contents on this album.

Other Info

Produced by C. Johnsson and Therion.
Engineered by S. Karppinen.
Assistant engineering by K. Niemann and C. Johnsson.
Mixed by Mikko Karmila.
Mastered by Mika Jussila and Mikko Karmila.
Recorded during the spring 2001 at Modern Art, Stockholm, Sweden.
Mixed and mastered in June-July at Finnvox, Helsinki, Finland.
All songs on Secret of the Runes were written by Christofer Johnsson/Thomas Karlsson, except “Ginnungagap” which was written by Kristian Niemann/Christofer Johnsson/Thomas Karlsson.
All classic and opera arrangemants by C. Johnsson.
German translation on “Schwarzalbenheim” by Christian Ratsch.
Cover & Layout by Thomas Ewerhard.
The bonus tracks on this CD: Recorded at DA Studio, Stockholm, winter 1999 by Sami Karppinen.
Remixed at Finnvox Studio July 2001 by Mikko Karmila.
Mastered at Finnvox Studio July 2001 by Mika Jussila and Mikko Karmila.
Additional melodies and classic arrangements by Christofer Johnsson.

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