Power of Metal.dk Review

Les Fleurs du Mal
Style: Symphonic Opera Metal
Release date: 19 October, 2012
Playing time: 45:08

This review has taken a relatively long time to be completed. But then how can one possibly summarise a Therion album after just a few listens and in a just few sentences? Anyway let’s start with some perfunctory observations…


Therion have made a name for themselves for producing musically and thematically intricate albums. “Les Fleurs Du Mal” appears to follow this approach, even though it’s not as earth-shatteringly complex as, say, “Sitra Ahra” (2010). The concept is definitely odd though, even by Therion standards. “Les Fleurs Du Mal” (“The Flowers Of Evil”) is a reference to an anthology of poems of the same name by Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867). Inspired by the controversy and scandal that shook France in the wake of Baudelaire’s poems, Therion have reinterpreted a series of 1960s/1970s French Pop songs.


This must be the first Symphonic Metal album I know of to use French lyrics (with just a few verses in English) – a particularly unusual choice when one considers the band’s Swedish origins. And yet the melodies are sung with authentic passion. Speaking of which, the soprano vocals of Lori Lewis are absolutely stunning. The orchestrations are gorgeous and the neo-classical guitar licks of Christian Vidal are electrifying, despite occasionally having a ‘squeaky’ sound. Male vocalist Thomas Vikström (Candlemass, Brazon Abbott) reaches notes so high that not even Felix Baumgartner can reach.


All in all the songs are quite short and sometimes the Pop vocal harmonies give the Symphonic Metal music a bizarre feeling. Some fans will find it hard to come to terms with the French aura of the album but there’s no doubt that once again Therion have managed to challenge our perception musical conventions. More importantly they have done this with a display of top-notch musicianship.


So, as they say in the francophone world, allez et obtenez-le!


Video-clip of ‘Poupée de cire, poupée de son’.

01. Poupée de cire, poupée de son
02. Une fleur dans le coeur
03. Initials B.B.
04. Mon amour mon ami
05. Polichinelle
06. La Maritza
07. Soer Angélique
08. Dis-moi poupée
09. Lilith
10. En Alabama
11. Wahala Manitou
12. Je n‘ai besoin que de tendresse
13. La licorne d’or
14. J‘ai le mal de toi

15. Poupée de cire, poupée de son
Label: Adulruna Records
Promotion: Focusion PR
Reviewed by: Chris Galea
Date: 15 Nobember, 2012
Website: www.megatherion.com