RSS Feed

Les Fleurs Du Mal

Adulruna (2012)
Rating: 9/10

Les Fleurs Du Mal is an album full of French pop cover tunes presented in Therion’s style. While not necessarily a concept album, the songs are presented as responses to the controversial decadence of author Charles Baudelaire’s works. While the title translates to “Flowers Of Evil” the sound of Les Fleurs Du Mal is far from evil sounding, although the Swedish band do run through a myriad of other emotions in a symphonic rock and metal style throughout.

This album is extremely operatic, even more so than anything in Therion’s history. So, if you don’t like that aspect of music then turn back now. Also, if you are bothered by lyrics all sung mainly in French then you might as well piss off too. But if you can handle both of those things then you are in for a quite moving experience.

There are a number of highlights here. In fact, I would risk to say that there isn’t a single dull moment. The back to back ‘Sœur Angélique’ and ‘Dis-moi poupée’ are certain highlights. The female vocals are strictly operatic in ‘Sœur Angélique’, and while it gets off to a slow start, by mid-song when the symphony really takes over as the driving force behind the vocal, it becomes genuinely beautiful and incredibly moving (which amazes me considering the fact that I have no idea what the hell she is singing about). ‘Dis-moi poupée’ then crawls out from underneath it with a grander sound twisted into an almost Eva O (ex-Christian Death) sounding bit of vocal work. The song has a stronger bounce to it, brought alive by the rock steady drum work and the marching vocals that pop in and out.

There are a few moments here that find the band walking the path of the last few albums. ‘En Alabama’ (which has some English lyrics) has that classic gothic sound to it and some very, very nice guitar lead work that keeps your attention throughout. ‘Initials B.B.’ has the most contemporary bounce to it, reminding me a bit of what the band did on the Gothic Kabbalah (2007) album but, at the same time, seeming much more primal when all is said and done.

In my opinion, Therion has been stuck for awhile now. Each of the last few albums are either entirely overblown or run of the mill goth tinged symphonic rock. Les Fleurs Du Mal is even more over the top than anything in the band’s catalogue, but going the extra mile has paid off in spades. By going farther than anyone thought they should have they perhaps rekindled the very essence of what made them great. Their uniqueness.

Mark Fisher

<< Back to Album & EP Reviews

Related Posts via Categories