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Therion - Les Fleurs Du Mal

Les Fleurs Du Mal
by Wendy "MettleMaiden" Francisco at 14 January 2013, 4:34 PM

I have been a THERION fan for about 12 years, ever since by husband Michael “MettleAngel” Francisco introduced the band to me, when we first met. I am astonished that this magnanimous    throng of threnodies has endured in one form or another for over 25 years! In 2005 we had the wonderful opportunity to see them live when they toured the US, and we were even uniquely privileged to hang out with Christofer Johnsson and the “Sirius B” / “Lemuria” line-up. It was truly an amazing experience for us both.

When Michael initially introduced me to so many unique acts in the Metal vein, I never knew there were bands like SKYCLAD, MAGO DE OZ, ALMORA, etc. out there who mixed other Classical, Mid-Eastern, Arabesque, and orchestral elements into their music. Like with CHILDREN OF BODOM, I have always been excited with the covers THERION has attempted. Sadly, with this album, I do not know the original material at all. Furthermore, I do not know a lick of French.

With such an illustrious career, and after having attempted almost everything, I have to ask myself why, for their fifteenth album, would THERION want to re-create covers by older era French artists whose heyday was during or before my childhood? Why would they then name the album after the mysterious work of famous French poet Charles Baudelaire, when the chosen songs seldom match his merit? Only the shadowy side of Johnsson can answer that question. Maybe it is all meant to remain an enigma?

I also am amazed that this was an independent release for the Canadian End Of The Light label, and not put out by Nuclear Blast, who have supported the band for nigh two decades. Perhaps, this is because the band only want to indulge themselves, and their diehard fans. It is of no consequence, because, even if you have no idea of the original material, THERION have added their own magic formula to the mix, and the music is just majestic, and utterly captivating. In fact, I am reminded of what they enacted on such landmark epics as “Vovin”, “Deggial” or “Secret Of The Runes”. I also must comment on the explicit cover artwork which is an erotic blasphemy similar to what JANE'S ADDICTION once depicted. This is not pornographic, and from what I have read about the material presented, it does justice to the atmospheric music portrayed, and the quasi-misogynistic message portrayed.

Essentially, I can still enjoy this work immensely, even if I am consigned to ignorance, and can only feign unfamiliarity. Then again, when I think about it, this is not the first time THERION have sung in another language, played nebulous Arias, or succeeded to mesmerize, fascinate, and enthrall me in their essence.

3 Star Rating

1. Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son (France Gall cover)
2. Une Fleur Dans Le Cœur (Victoire Scott cover)
3. Initials B.B. (Serge Gainsbourg cover)
4. Mon Amour, Mon Ami (Marie Laforêt cover)
5. Polichinelle (France Gall cover)
6. La Maritza (Sylvie Vartan cover)
7. Sœur Angélique (Annie Philippe cover)
8. Dis-Moi Poupée (Isabelle cover)
9. Lilith (Léonie Lousseau cover)
10. En Alabama (Léonie Lousseau cover)
11. Wahala Manitou (Léonie Lousseau cover)
12. Je N'ai Besoin Que De Tendresse (Claire Dixon cover)
13. La Licorne D'or (Victoire Scott cover)
14. J'ai Le Mal De Toi (Betty Mars cover)
15. Poupée De Cire, Poupée de son (France Gall cover)
Lori Lewis – Vocals
Thomas Vikstrom – Vocals / Flute
Christofer Johnsson – Guitars
Christian Vidal - Guitars
Nalle Pahlsson - Bass
Johan Koleberg – Drums
Record Label: End Of Light Records / Hansel & Gretel


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Edited 06 December 2022

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