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Therion Les fleurs du mal album cover
3.21 | 61 ratings | 6 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Poupée de cire, poupée de son (France Gall) (2:52)
2. Une fleur dans le coeur (Victoire Scott) (3:03)
3. Initials B.B. (Serge Gainsbourg) (3:44)
4. Mon amour, mon ami (Marie Laforêt) (4:36)
5. Polichinelle (France Gall) (2:29)
6. La Maritza (Sylvie Vartan) (3:54)
7. Soeur Angélique (Annie Philippe) (3:06)
8. Dis-moi poupée (Isabelle) (3:24)
9. Lilith (Léonie) (2:31)
10. En Alabama (Léonie) (2:39)
11. Wahala Manitou (Léonie) (2:35)
12. Je n'ai besoin que de tendresse (Claire Dixon) (2:14)
13. La Licorne d'or (Victoire Scott) (2:46)
14. J'ai le mal de toi (Betty Mars) (2:51)
15. Poupée de cire, poupée de son (France Gall) (2:30)
16. Les Sucettes (France Gall) (2:40) *

Total Time 47:54

* CD bonus track

Line-up / Musicians

- Thomas Vikström / tenor vocals, arrangements
- Lori Lewis / soprano vocals, arrangements
- Christofer Johnsson / rhythm guitar, keyboards, church organ, clarinet, harp, double bass, programming, tubular bells, timpani, arrangements, producer
- Christian Vidal / lead & rhythm guitars, electric sitar
- Nalle Påhlsson / bass
- Johan Koleberg / drums

- Snowy Shaw / lead vocals (3,8)
- Johanna Naila / vocals (3)
- Mari Paul / lead vocals (4)
- Mattias Torell / 6- & 12-string acoustic guitars (4,13)
- Mattias Olsson / keyboards & Mellotron & percussion (4,9,10)
- Stefan Jernståhl / accordion (11)
- Anders Åkered / violin
- Fredrik Syberg / violin
- Hanna Ekström / violin
- Isa Holmesund / violin
- Lars Wehlin / violin
- Natalia Migdal / violin
- Anna Manell / cello
- Pär Lindqvist / cello
- Eva-Tea Lundberg / horn
- Ida Freji / horn
- Johan Ahlin / horn
- Magnus Wretblad / horn
- Kristoffer Siggstedt / trombone
- Magnus Werner / trombone
- Staffan Findin / trombone
- Erik Rodell / oboe
- Rolf Pilotti / flute
- Johan Norin / trumpet

Releases information

Metal cover versions of French pop songs from 1960s and 1970s

Artwork: Édouard-Henri Avril (1849-1928)

CD End Of The Light ‎- EOL022 (2012, Sweden) With a bonus track

2LP Adulruna ‎- adul-001-1 (2012, Sweden) New cover

Thanks to notaproghead for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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THERION Les fleurs du mal ratings distribution

(61 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(26%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (30%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

THERION Les fleurs du mal reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Les Fleurs Du Mal' - Therion (7/10)

There aren't too many bands out there that can say they have been around for a decade, let alone a quarter of a century. For those few that manage to hit the twenty five year mark, some sort of celebration is usually in order. Some might go on a world tour and appeal to their aging fanbase, while others may record an album or release a collection of shelved demo tracks for the diehard followers to eat up. Of course, Therion have never been known to follow in the footsteps of others. Although the operatic symphonic metal style is all-too common in current metal culture, Therion carved out their own niche, unshackling from their death metal roots and taking a more sophisticated and experimental approach to the symphonic style. With that in mind, it's no surprise that Therion didn't decide to celebrate things the regular way; instead, they went ahead and did an album of 1960's French pop song covers. It's sure to be a head scratcher at first, and while not every fan will get it, Therion's attention to finesse and detail makes this far more than the average covers album.

The beauty of "Les Fleurs Du Mal" lies in Therion's inate ability to take the core material and work it into their own style. By this point in their career, the band has a firm and matured grip on their sound, and a strong idea of where they want to go with it. The operatic soprano, symphonic arrangements and virtuosic neoclassical guitar work is all nothing new to Therion. The fact that Therion are able to so successfully translate these tunes to their own sound is impressive in its own right. Although most of the original songs already enjoyed the backing of a 'big band' style orchestra, many of them essentially remained pop songs, or love ballads. Especially with the peppier selections, the originals have the same head- nodding quality as alot of the Beatles' earliest stuff, with the major distinguishing factor being the female French-language vocals. When you prop the original and Therion's reimagining in comparison, it's effortless to see that they're the same song. Therion puts their own signature on the cover without losing the essence of the original. Instrumental motifs and vocal melodies are retained, transformed by the symphonic metal medium. Even on the originally orchestral-led songs (such as France Gall's "Poupée de cire, poupée de son"), Therion's symphonic element is amped up in complexity. Unless you have the prior knowledge that Therion are paying contribute to France's contemporary equivalent to the Flower Power movement, you may be more easily convinced that these are Therion originals, or at least renditions of classical operatic repertoire.

Although it's about as strange a match-up as I can imagine, Therion have managed to make this experiment work. Although this is a relatively straightforward covers album, Therion have given these tunes the same tender care and consideration they would give their own music. The songs are chosen well, and the rich phonetics of the French language translate well into Therion's music. The appropriately soaring operatic melodies of "Soer Angélique" and film-score quality of "Initials BB" were two of the most memorable moments on the album. The only song here that doesn't seem to fit is their rendition of "Je n'ai besoin que de tendresse", a Claire Dixon track that could have had the staying power of the rest of the album, were it not for the ridiculously over-the-top power metal cheese direction they chose to take it in. The musicianship and production are both excellent, although anyone who has laid ears on Therion's music before shouldn't find that surprising. In particular, operatic soprano Lori Lewis' vocals sound as bright and stellar as anything of the sort you will hear in metal. A covers album this may be, but Therion have given it their greatest effort, and it really shows.

Alot of disappointed fans have gone as far as to say "Les Fleurs Du Mal" is the band's biggest misstep, and a major letdown in the scope of an otherwise illustrious career. I would hope it was a granted that Therion wasn't trying to make a revolutionary masterpiece here. Instead, here is one of the most innovative symphonic metal bands taking a step back from the composition duties in order to stretch their arms and have a bit of fun while they're at it. It's futile to compare this to Therion's real albums. Although an album of new Therion originals may have been preferable, this is a really great way for the band to commemorate the twenty five year milestone. Maybe they'll do some symphonic metal covers for Tibetan throat singing or gamelan music for their fiftieth anniversary? I hope so!

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Review originally written for

I'll be terribly honest to you, this is the first Therion studio album I ever listened, I don't feel ashamed because metal-related music is not my specialty, though I believe I should have listened to some older ones before this newest one. I did know Therion, but only for some songs, not for an entire record, so this is my first true experience with the band, and sadly, not that positive. Probably my feelings have to do with my not-so-keen position regarding this genre, but believe me, when I listen to a metal album I always try the best to appreciate it and even enjoy it.

So 'Les Fleurs du Mal' is a 2012 release that features 16 songs in a 55-minute album, so as you guess the tracks are really short (2:30-3 minute average) and that was my problem, I could not fall in love with any single track, I tried and listen to them and I found nothing but repetitiveness and even boredom. I am sorry, because I know the band is big in the genre and I know purists will kill me, but I simply feel this is just an average album that could perfectly disappear and remain unnoticed.

The album begins with an explosive song, since the first seconds we can listen to a fast and powerful sound, featuring female-opera vocals and dark textures. 'Une Fleur dans le Coeur' is the second song, here the atmosphere changes with a softer tune at least for the first minute, later it becomes a bit darker and in the final minute more emotional. There are some songs like 'Polichinelle' that sounds even funny, I don't know, ridiculous to me, it sounds like Saint-Seiya soundtrack or something like that.

Some of the things I like is the use of instruments that produce a neo-classical sound, sometimes well fulfilled with some gothic schemes, an example of this is 'Soer Ang'lique'. In fact, I can say the band is really talented and colorful, I like how they use reminiscences of ancient times, elements that transport us to old eras, however, it is the music that in moments fails to create the desired enthusiasm on me.

This time I did not want to review song by song, it would be so tired (and tiring for the reader) so I let you my overall feelings in the above paragraphs. Sorry Therion fans, just not my cup of tea. Final grade 4 stars. However'

Enjoy it!

Review by Warthur
2 stars Therion get their Serge Gainsbourg on with this collection of generic metal-flavoured covers of classic French pop songs. It's an interesting experiment in exploring what metal can learn from this unexpected quarter, but all it makes me want to do is go listen to the originals rather than sit through these Therion-by-numbers adaptations of old material. I can sit through one or two of these at the time, but the schtick begins to wear thin after five minutes or so and perhaps Therion would have been better simply taking this style of songwriting and adding motifs reminiscent of the genre to original compositions of their own rather than adhering to the original tunes as strictly as they do here.
Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars Who would have ever thought that metal would come to this way back in the late 70s and early 80s when the genre was really picking up some serious steam? Symphonic power metal versions of French chanson probably didn't cross anyone's minds in those days, however in Sweden when the Mayan calendar turned over in 2012 it did. Of course everyone knows that THERION were innovators in popularizing their brand of symphonic power metal with the release of "Theli" way back in the 90s and have released one stellar album after another since but they have been seriously in danger of the whole thing becoming a little stale despite the high quality of interesting tracks they laid upon us. Well, on their 15th studio album LES FLEURS DU MAL (The Flowers Of Evil) they decided to unleash their romantic side by taking tracks by 60s and 70s French chanson artists and adding a healthy dose of Nordic aggression to make an unlikely combo.

The French artists covered here include France Gail, Victoire Scott, Serge Gainsbourg, Marie Laforêt, Sylvie Vartan, Annie Philippe, Isabelle, Léonie, Claire Dixon and Betty Mars. The cast of musicians on board is the regular army with six full band members plus 24! guest musicians adding all kinds of orchestral sounds like trumpet, flute, oboe, trombone, horn, cello, violin, accordion, mellotron and additional guitars and vocals. The sound is full and rich and extremely well produced. The clash of the modern symphonic metal world with 60s / 70s pop music really is a test of one's eclectic nature and acceptance of strange ideas merging into an unlikely union, but THERION manage to pull this off with ease because they are obviously professional and passionate about every detail of the music they put out.

I have to admit that upon first listen i was scratching my head with this one. There are tracks where the vocals are ridiculously over the top despite being more than impressive but somehow once my mind was blown way open i have to say that this works for me. This is a noble experiment that deserves a chance to shine but personally i wouldn't want to hear a repeat of this idea for despite my growing to appreciate it, it just doesn't quite hit me as enjoyable as pretty much all the albums since "Theli." So hopefully this is a one album fulfillment that doesn't have to be repeated. Still though an excellent experiment that takes a stab at the unlikely pairing of Scandinavian Viking sounds tackling the subtle intricate sensualities of a Romance language such as French. You probably won't hear French metal bands like Deathspell Omega or Blut Aus Nord taking this on! Pleasant listening and well done but still not quite as good as the albums ranging from "Theli" to "Sitra Ahra." 3.5 stars rounded up

Latest members reviews

5 stars Therion have always been a little bit different from regular Metal bands but when I heard that they would release their new record on their own and without the support of the visionary German Nuclear Blast label, I was quite surprised. When I later heard that the new release would feature fifteen ... (read more)

Report this review (#896725) | Posted by kluseba | Sunday, January 20, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars An art project by Therion this album consists entirely of old french folksy symphonic cover songs from the 1950s and 1960s. The album is most similar to the previous "Sitra Ahra" release and has the same line up as Sitra Ahra. In some ways it is better that Sitra Ahra, but unlike Sitra Ahra there ... (read more)

Report this review (#830888) | Posted by 33948 | Sunday, September 30, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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