Therion
Les Fleurs du Mal


2.0
poor

Review

by Dylan Longstreet USER (4 Reviews)
October 1st, 2012 | 57 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Poupée de cire, poupée the album.

To call Les Fleurs Du Mal ”Therion’s latest effort” would already be giving it far too much credit. Even with their constantly revolving door of personnel, a group with so much vocal, instrumental, and songwriting talent should have no problem taking their distinctive sound and crafting a listenable album.

Despite this, mastermind and founder Christofer Johnsson has managed to create two consecutive albums full of pomp and devoid of substance. Where Sitra Ahra attempted to razzle dazzle with extended track lengths and cheese, Les Fleurs Du Mal opts for focused tracks that are brief but numerous. As a result, when Sitra Ahra ultimately annoyed and grated on one’s ears, Les Fleurs Du Mal instead slips harmlessly by as it is drowned out by the sound of snoring.

Each track is roughly equal in its lack of ideas and its ability to flow into the next harmless snoozer, making no individual song particularly infuriating nor any song particularly enjoyable. I will throw a single bone and nominate Dis Moi Poupée, with its simple yet gratifying progression and the album’s most memorable melody, for as much of a standout track as an album of background noise can produce. However, with one potentially enjoyable track comes an equally obnoxious one in the form of Je N'al Besoin Que De Tendresse with its fast-paced sloppy riffing and high-pitched catawallering.

Even with its 16 tracks, Les Fleurs Du Mal boasts a welcome 48-minute run time, having all but one track land between two and four minutes in length. The brevity of these rather tame and uneventful songs are their greatest strength, giving the listener a feasible chance to make it through the entire album before walking away or falling asleep. The album is noticeably softer than either Gothic Kabbalah or Sitra Ahra, showcasing a subdued but still-present metal backbone. These aspects makes Les Fleurs Du Mal perhaps more listenable than Therion’s previous blunder, which practically drove the listener away with its obnoxious and unfocused romping. It falls short the most, even more so than Sitra Ahra, by not containing any interesting musical ideas. Where Sitra Ahra haphazardly, and rather schizophrenically, tossed in countless stolen and uninspired scraps from music of all eras and worldly locales, Les Fleurs Du Mal instead sticks mostly to a single uninspired concept of French Romanticism (and thus is sung almost entirely in French). This makes for a slightly more focused album, albeit one that introduces nothing remotely surprising or captivating.

After the nearly unlistenable mess that was Sitra Ahra, the future of Therion was uncertain. Should Christofer Johnsson have put the beast to rest after the respectable, if not a tad laborious, Gothic Kabbalah? Would the new members rebound from their recent stumble to rally a strong follow-up and put fans’ fears to rest? With Les Fleurs Du Mal, the questions have been answered. It seems that Johnsson will continue to lazily lob records to whatever fans remain, collaborating with whoever will work with him and with little regard to the integrity of Therion.

Les Fleurs Du Mal is a forgettable experience that further cements Therion’s trajectory into irrelevance. Don’t expect any of its plain melodies to become endearingly stuck in your head, don’t even expect to have the impulse to gently bob your head to any of its insipid riffs, and certainly don’t expect any galvanizing release from Therion moving forward. When discounting the bonus track, one who manages to make it through this album while remaining conscious will notice that it is curiously bookended by the same song, Poupée De Cire, Poupée The Son. It seems appropriate, then, as Therion’s latest offering is tastelessly bland and, in every way, a poupée sandwich.


user ratings (33)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
itchy
October 1st 2012


244 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It's been quite some time since I felt like writing a review. The disappointment that boils within me when this band releases a record these days is exactly the motivation I needed.

BallsToTheWall
October 1st 2012


44375 Comments


That bad? Damn. Fine review.

Digging: Pharmakon - Abandon

Dreamflight
October 1st 2012


1760 Comments


Ace review man. First listen led me to believe this is another nail in Therion's coffin, wonder if this will change with further listens.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2012


1877 Comments


Woah, didn't know there was a new Therion album! I'll still listen to it regardless of any reviews. 'Sitra Ahra' was just superbly average, so i don't know what to expect from this.

Digging: Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2012


7391 Comments


Great review! You should write more.

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2012


1877 Comments


Yeah, Gothic Kabbalah was their last truly great album in my opinion. Sitra Ahra just disappointed everyone so it seems.

bloc
October 1st 2012


34853 Comments


Beyond Sanctorum was great but I heard a bit of this and did not like.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

itchy
October 2nd 2012


244 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks for the kind words and pos-ing, guys! (except for that one neg!) I loved Gothic Kabbalah, although many
seem to dislike even that album. It's a shame that the last two albums have taken this turn, but honestly they
have so much great stuff that I feel like they have already given all they can offer.

KjSwantko
October 2nd 2012


9277 Comments


The flowers of bad lol, wtf

MO
October 2nd 2012


18680 Comments


evil dude

MrElmo
October 2nd 2012


1955 Comments


Love how the tittle of the tracks show that this record has nothing to do with beaudelair's work, actually their the opposite

XfingTheSullen
October 2nd 2012


2616 Comments


Holy shit, a shitty Therion album, and the worst of it, sung in French. I'm fucking allergic to anything French, I'm not even coming near that album. Fuck.

Digging: Kalisia - Cybion

Mike08
October 2nd 2012


607 Comments


Best review I've read this week. Well deserved feature

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2012


1992 Comments


Yeah, nice review, for sure. Pos'd.

stereonpl11
October 2nd 2012


57 Comments


I'm french and I find the song titles a little bit ridiculous...

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2012


19756 Comments


nice feature. It's fun writing negative reviews isn't it?

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

itchy
October 2nd 2012


244 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

@Dreamflight: After repeat listens, my view hasn't changed and I still lose attention and fall asleep.
@greg: I intend to write more, one of the difficulties for me is finding something I truly want to write about!
Maybe I can get into a groove.
@stereonpl: I am not French but I can tell the song titles are hilariously ridiculous.
@Atari: Thanks! And yes, it is very therapeutic. And I wouldn't have been able to call it a poupée sandwich
if it had been a positive review.

"Dis Moi Poupée" is the only song that channels the essence of past great Therion works, but it could have
been so much more interesting. I hope 2 nails are enough to hold down the lid of a coffin.

die666
October 2nd 2012


2 Comments


I, personnaly, found the song "mon amour, mon ami" amazing.
A few songs are from a famous french song writer and singer : Serge Gainsbourg.
U should try to know him, he was a great great song writer.
The song "les sucettes", was sang by France Gall. This song has a double meaning :
It's the story of a young girl, annie, who likes lollipops. In the song, lollipop is like a dick, and when the syrup flows in her throat, she's in heaven Watch the clip ans see France gall sing this song, it's quite funny it was in 1966!

Anyway, i really love covers and i love Therion. Even if it's clearly not Therion's best album, i'm very glad they made this. i'll see them sunday, cant' wait!!

Wizard
October 2nd 2012


19406 Comments


Nice to see you back around here Itchy. I wouldn't consider giving Therion a moment of my time.

Digging: Khonsu - Traveller

KILL
October 2nd 2012


71795 Comments


theli was ok but yea

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes



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