Therion celebrated their 25th Anniversary, by taking again a new creative path and presenting a cover album “Les Fleurs du Mal” (‘Flowers of Evil’) released on the 28 of September at the starting day of their tour.
The band has shown over the years a love for deeper, creative meanings and once again the choice of the title of this album is not random at all. “Les Fleur Du Mal” is the title for a collection of poems from French poet Baudelaire (maybe this is a reason why the entire album is in French?). In these poems, he stated all the negative qualities of human nature, by insulting people, believing they do not have the willpower to overcome them and in the end they become ‘puppets’. Thus the first song “Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son” is referring to people’s thoughts and feelings with a macabre and ironic way. This song is twice in the album, one only with Lori’s vocals and the other with Lori’s and Thomas vocals and is faster and more up-tempo than the first one.
All the songs of the album are covers of French pop songs back in the 60s-70s, a genre of music that I am not really a fan, but thankfully the ‘touch’ of Therion in these songs make the process of hearing them quite exciting. The orchestrations through the songs are magnificent; in some you can hear traditional little ensembles, while others have melodies that strongly resemble operas from the famous opera composer Verdi. The vocals in this album are operatic, giving a big credit to Lori’s amazing and very well-worked voice, accomplishing singing in French in an exceptional way. The main vocalists in this release are Lori and Thomas, either singing alone or accompany each other, along with several guest appearances in couple of songs from Snowy, Mari Paul and Johanna. The theme of the songs varies from bittersweet and light – “Polichinelle” and “Soeur Angelique” – to some with melancholic and darker atmosphere – “La Mariza”, “Mon Amour Mon Ami” and “Lillith”. There are powerful male vocals in “Dis-moi Poupée” and a beautiful dramatic ballad “J’ai Le Mal De Toi”, that I wished it would last longer.
Although there is a change in atmosphere in the songs, they are all covers from old French songs and in spite of the orchestrations they still have a pop ring to them and the tempo in most of them is slow to medium. There certainly are songs more up-tempo: “Initials B.B.” presents a metal-oriented sound and “Je N’ai Besoin Que De Tendesse”, but their melody and style didn’t approach me at all.
Therion took a risky choice to release a whole album cover (and in French!), but they managed to give a uniqueness and a personality of its own. It would be mostly appreciated by open-minded listeners and fans of the band in its latest style and obviously less by black metal Therion fans.
|Track List||Line Up||01. Poupée de cire, poupée de son
02. Une Fleur dans le cœur
03. Initials B.B.
04. Mon Amour, mon ami
06. La Maritza
07. Sœur Angélique
08. Dis-moi poupée
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
16. Les sucettes
|Christofer Johnsson – rhythm guitars, synths, programming
Christian Vidal – solo guitars
Johan Kullberg – drums
Lori Lewis – soprano and main vocals
Nalle Pahlsson – 4 chord and 8 chord bass
Thomas Vikstrom – tenor and main vocals