Therion – Les Fleurs Du Mal
Therion is a Swedish symphonic metal band formed in 1987 by Christofer Johnsson. They started as a death metal band, but later combined orchestral elements into their music together with choirs and classical musicians. Therion had many changes in line-up and style through its history.
The band celebrates their twenty-fifth anniversary with a special art project. The album ‘Les Fleurs Du Mal’ is the core part. The visual art in the booklet are done by the famous controversial painter Saturno Butto from Italy and layout by Thomas Ewerhard. All tracks on the album are based on old French songs, recorded and mixed by Christofer Johnsson who also financed it.
”Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son” is a very impressive song: the intro brings in massive guitars and beats that instantly captured my interest. As Lori Lewis strong voice sets in, the song really becomes something special. I enjoy the song structure, the combined forces of female vocals and the music fits so perfectly. It is a pure pleasure hearing them merge together. Also the intense instrumental parts and a haunting guitar melody, leaves me with no choice but to hit the repeat button one more time.
Since the first time I listened to “La Maritza” I was deeply moved, the intro is outstanding. I simply love it and it reminds me of something that I cannot indicate. It’s a pleasure hearing Lori Lewis singing and how the music swirls around it. In the middle of the song Thomas Vikström carefully joins Lori before becoming more demanding, when the song pace and moves in smaller circles. This is one of my favorite songs on the album.
“Lilith” sets another tone in my ears and the beautiful picture of a woman with long hair in the booklet sets off my imagination. Interesting to hear the combination of light vocals and almost a whisper in this song, it creates a special atmosphere that I adore. This haunting song got stuck in my head leaving me wanting more and wishing it was longer.
”J‘Ai Le Mal De Toi” is an intense song (suggested by it’s title) where Thomas Vikström passionately delivers the vocals. Remarkable hearing how he manage to transform so much feelings in one melody. Stunning music that carries the vocals, a growing atmosphere in this amazing song.
After spending some time with ‘Les Fleurs Du Mal‘ I am overwhelmed because it is so massive. Nothing is half done, it’s contrary: Therion delevers two hundred precent and even more. The end result is not something I would listen with half attention, this music demands a total focus to be fully appreciated by its listener. Don’t forget the beautiful artwork that comes with all the songs. I had the idea that French would be a problems, because I don’t speak it at all. But somehow it is even more special and poetic: the vocals and music are creating a strong atmosphere. It was interesting to review an album that is part of an art project, looking at the pictures in the booklet as I listened to the songs gave it all something extra.
1. Poupée de cire, poupée de son
2. Une fleur dans le coeur
3. Initials B.B.
4. Mon amour mon ami
6. La Maritza
7. Soer Angélique
8. Dis-moi poupée
10. En labama
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
Christofer Johnsson – Rhythm guitar, keyboards and programming
Christian Vidal – Lead and rhythm guitar (6 and 12-strings), electric sitar
Nalle Påhlsson – Electric 4 and 8-string bass
Johan Kullberg – Drums
Thomas Vikström – Tenor and lead vocals
Lori Lewis – Soprano and lead vocals