Les Fleurs Du Mal

SKU: ETL-CD-22
Label:
End Of The Light
Add to wishlist 

"‘Les Fleurs du Mal’ is a conceptual album by Swedish band THERION that features only French lyrics and consists of cover versions of old French pop songs from 60-70s. THERION celebrates by "a special art project", headlining by the material, its 25 anniversary. It was also said that the album is available only during the tour and from THERION online store; it is sponsored by the only founding member, Christofer Johnsson. But you can buy it i.e. on Amazon as well. I am not going to go at length comparing THERION old and new and trying to rationalise things. The reason is simple, as this album was actually the first that caught my full attention. I start from the cover: it's full of topless females. Obviously, Charles Baudelaire's legacy is quite reminiscent there. The cover is made of a quite rich artwork of Saturno Butto, themed mainly erotic and varying from matte painting to charcoal sketches.

Most of the songs here are quite short, yet powerful. Why these songs? I have at hand some lengthy explanations from the press kit, but in fact it boils to one single thing: the overall direction of French songs that are dark and telling some quite grim stories. Yet we all aware of a largely poetic language and melodic music background of French culture. Christofer has a great, fluent knowledge of musical styles and approaches, so he claims influences from King Diamond, Candlemass to folk music and ABBA. The album is beating with energy, in carries you along with its set of 15 songs performed mainly by the lead opera singer, soprano Lori Lewis.

Of course I was curious about how exactly the original songs were altered. It's too much of effort to get past all these tracks, so I picked few favourites. ‘Mon amour, mon ami’ by Marie Laforet is a playful pop song, performed originally in circus-like up-tempo, but THERION specialists worked closely in order bring about the "inner darkness", toned down tempo and timbre and added traditionally "darker" music instruments such as organ - so song became indeed heavier and more minor, yet more powerful and strong. ‘Polichinelle’, performed with a cute teenage girl's voice by France Gall, is initially a pretty love ballad that relates to a Commedia dell 'arte character (note that comedian masks are worn by the naked ladies on the album booklet. (Thumbs up for the throughout conceptual work!) THERION ended up with an operetta rendering of the song, making of it somewhat of an opera house hymn, this type of sound you would expect from contemporary French musicals. Despite being one of the most experimental pieces on the album, it would be, probably, one of the most noticeable tracks.

Finally, Victoire Scott's ‘Une fleur dans le coeur’ - Christofer did not like very much a feature you can hear in original, the honky-tonk (tuned-off) piano that he only describes as "dreadful". Instead, THERION interpretation is deeply lyrical, with plenty of acoustic guitar and strong soprano of Lori multiplied by the riffs you might expect from Jann Tiersen, metal additions and whole lot of different styles changing one to another. One drawback that I see is that the vocal style often remains of the same across album, so if you listen to 15 songs in a row, you might be tired a bit with the similar style. Yet the band paid enough attention to insert pleasant breaks by quest vocalists. The album sounds sound, fresh, and original and there is additional fun to compare originals to the covers." - Reflections Of Darkness

There are no review yet. Be the first!

Product Review

You must login or register to post reviews.
Laser Pic

customers also bought

SEE ALL
  • Third album from this excellent Norwegian band.  Arabs In Aspic is yet another prog band influenced by the sounds of the 70s.  Lots of similarities to Black Bonzo.  Vintage keyboard sounds and nice heavy-ish guitar leads.  Vocalist Rune Sundby of the 70s Norwegian band Ruphus guests.  That band would be a pretty good comparison but you can definitely hear undercurrents of Uriah Heep and Deep Purple but there is more going on here. On the longer, jammier tracks the music takes on the psychedelic feel of Echoes period Pink Floyd.  Beautifully done.  Highly recommended.
    $24.00
  • Debut album from this Swedish folk metal band formed by members of various black metal bands.
    $12.00
  • Finnish supergroup play an excellent and interesting mix of progressive rock and death metal. If it wasn't for the death vocals a lot of this would pass for old school prog. Plenty of clean vocals as well but do expect a free pass. In many ways there are similarities to the older Opeth albums and I'll bet there is a large contingent of their fans that wished they sound like this. Conditionally recommended."Gaining a huge buzz in the underground for the sextet’s previous work in groups like Amorphis, Moonsorrow, Swallow The Sun, and Kreator among others, this Finnish progressive death metal act return for their second full-length album The Devil's Resolve. Fortunate enough to expose myself right from the critical start with their 2009 Our Twilight EP, one can easily be drawn to the multiple clean, atmospheric and growling vocal approaches and the equally expansive musical sounds, drawing from a multitude of doom, pagan, progressive rock, and death genres.Keyboardist Kasper Martenson throws down some 70’s Jon Lord organ parts against pagan rhythms and dual clean mystical vocals and death roars on my first highlight “The Rains Begin” and then ramps up the proceedings with some classic Dennis DeYoung inspiration during the chorus and solo section of “As it is Written." Fret not all guitar aficionados as Sami Yli-Sirnio and Janne Perttila showcase a number of distinct and colorful riff and harmonic moments, almost as if transporting the best in American and UK progressive rock to fuel Barren Earth’s heavier, underground orientation motives, especially on the exotic, fluid “Oriental Pyre."There’s something very Pink Floyd-meets-Nektar-like about Mikko Kotamaki’s softer, tranquil clean melodies, and it’s a wonder he doesn’t destroy his larynx with some of his acidic underwater bellows from opener “Passage of the Crimson Shadows” or the medieval marching macabre mood throughout “Vintage Warlords." Overall, the seasoning on the road both in Europe and on the Finnish Metal Tour 2 with Ensiferum and Finntroll improves the band’s attention to maintaining memorable hooks amidst the winding riffs, tempo changes, and nuances in roller coaster emotional atmosphere.With Opeth charting their own 70’s laden path on Heritage to mixed reception, I believe Barren Earth can scoop up a wide throng of their castoffs who desire a metal foundation amongst the progressive, creative think tank. Scandinavia rules again." - Blistering
    $8.00
  • This is the second album from the Dutch post-progressive band.  The music of A Liquid Landscape has a very cinematic feel.  This is a band that is more about emotion than complexity.  If you enjoy Pineapple Thief and Gazpacho you'll find much to dig into here.
    $15.00
  • Lethal third album from this German heavy stoner/psych quartet.  Waiting For The Flood clocks in near 50 minutes and consists of only four tracks (!).  While mixing in Eastern motifs and instrumentation(dig the sitar), the band explores some of their heaviest terrain.  Bass lines distort, drums pound away, and then the wah wah laced soloing blasts into the deepest realm of the cosmos.  Ocassionally some keys will crop up adding a nice effect.  The music effortless morphs from doomy Sabbath metal into Guru Guru sonic explorations that will definitely rattle your cage.  Think Masters Of Reality meets Hinten. A total mind blower that scores a 6 on the vaporizer scale.  BUY OR DIE! 
    $15.00
  • "It is such a rare feat these days that a band can boast a back catalogue of such highly acclaimed albums. Nightwish’s career has not stagnated once in their nearly 20 years of existence, and despite highly publicised vocalist changes that has quartered the fanbases, their popularity has gone nothing but up. Why? Their music is simply immense. So here we are with album number 8, but after throwing so much into their previous effort ‘Imaginaerum‘, have the band finally run out of steam?If the opening track of ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful‘ has anything to say about it, absolutely not. The album opens with Richard Dawkins, the figurehead in the album’s theme of evolution, speaking to provide a brief introduction to the loose concept. Without hesitation the album bursts into life with ‘Shudder Before The Beautiful‘, orchestras blaring, keyboards frantic, and suddenly a wall of guitars thickening into one of Nightwish’s heaviest tracks in their career. The band have gone all out in this one, from a massive chorus transitioning to a prolonged solo battle between guitars and keyboards. It purely represents the things to come on the album, a raw Nightwish that has tapped all the highlights of their career into a transcendent epic.Moving straight on to ‘Weak Fantasy‘, the band does not immediately lift up the power and aggresion, yet makes an immediate impact of the spectrum of elements the instrumentalists now have to offer on the album. From a massive heavy chorus of ominous choirs transitioning into folk guitar melodies and tribal drumming, overlaid by the diverse vocals of Floor Jansen marking her Nightwish recording debut. The further addition of Troy Donockley as a full time member proves to be one of the wisest of investments as they make use of his talents with the vast array of unique instruments evident with tracks such as ‘Elan‘ and ‘My Walden‘.There are moments of this album that represent pure passion and take us on a journey of reminiscence of styles throughout Nightwish’s career, whilst building on top of them with the vast resources of choirs and full orchestra the band now have at their disposal. The softer ‘Elan‘ takes us to the softer metal with hook that Nightwish singles in recent years, while the heavier ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful‘ and playful ‘Alpenglow‘ revisit the ‘Century Child‘ days with a diverse range of Emppu Vuorinen’s erratic guitar work with memorable guitar melodies, and dramatic choruses that completely define Nightwish as a musical force.As the album draws to a close, we come to expect a poetic closure of such an exquisite palette of music, however the higlights of the album are only to come. The beautiful instrumental ‘The Eyes of Sharbat Gula‘ serve as dramatic solace before the storm in the centerpiece of the album – the 24-minute monster of ‘The Greatest Show on Earth‘. This progressive epic highlights the songwriting brilliance of Tuomas Holopainen, taking on the theme of ‘life and evolution by natural selection’, the track takes on the aggressive, the beautiful, the mysterious and everything that the band have to offer in one neat package, making full use of the massive vocal range of Floor Jansen and the masculine prowess of Marco Hietala. One of the finest tracks in Nightwish’s career if I may say so!‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful‘ simply put is sheer brilliance. Where the previous opus’ of ‘Dark Passion Play‘ and ‘Imaginaerum‘ continued a theatrical progression off of the success of ‘Once‘, this album has taken a renewed and raw approach to songwriting, revisitng the process of old and writing songs to highlight talents of band. The broad and experience-laced musicianship has put to full use just englightening us again as to why this band has made, and will continue to make history, and should be very proud of their 8th album. Forget about the past controversies, put aside your vocalist disputes, Nightwish has produced a fantastic album that can be adored by all." - The Metalist
    $6.00
  • 2CD live recording from the Paradise Theater in Boston.  Recorded on April 15, 1988.  If you don't know 3 was the one shot band that featured Keith Emerson, Carl Palmer, and Robert Berry.  Besides sporting mullets the band ran through a set list that relied heavily on their album as well as a little ELP, a little Emerson solo material, and even The Nice.  It seemed like a good idea at the time...
    $17.00
  • Hardbound mediabook edition with one bonus track."I haven't had anything similar on my musical plate for a while, so Gazpacho's eighth album Demon was an interesting, beautifully surprising and absolutely brilliant variation. Again Gazpacho mixes progressive sounds with electronic elements and folk instrumentation with the addition of dynamic riffing and amazing vocals. The outcome is a unique sound that is quite inimitable and rare to find. How much you enjoy the new record will mainly depend on how you respond to this incredible mix and the singing style used by the vocalist. Anyway Gazpacho rules, especially at night.I'm a great fan of these guys and for those of you that still don't know who they are, Gazpacho is a band formed in Oslo, Norway in 1996 by childhood friends, Jon-Arne Vilbo and Thomas Andersen, along with Jan-Henrik Ohme - later joined by Mikael Krømer, Lars Erik Asp and Kristian Torp; they released their debut album Bravo in 2003.Demon, the upcoming record, is a concept album based on the true story of a manuscript found in an apartment in Prague where the writer, a previous resident, had detailed his chase of an evil, “The Demon”. Demon is for sure full of emotion and humanity and the way the Norwegian band reproduces in music the diabolical story and the psychosis of the protagonist is wonderful.The story is told in four parts and it starts with 'I've been walking – part 1' and it couldn't start in a better low-key fashion way. There’s something disarmingly powerful about loud vocals from Jahn Henrik Ohme that add incredible depth to a song. The intermittent piano notes are just perfect and the delicate violin sound is like a nice shade of color you don't notice on painting but that painting wouldn't be the same without it. A great bonus.The second part of 'I've been walking' – that is the third track of the album – starts exactly where the first movement of the piece ends but adding a dark shadow to the overall atmosphere. There are still vocals but now are slower and they mix perfectly with the other instruments. The bass is gorgeous and the way the song turns into a more ambient and atmospherical dimension is great. It's such a damn good track and together, 'I've been walking' parts I and II, might be the best tunes that Gazpacho has ever written.The mix of sounds of the opening track changes completely in 'The Wizard of Altai Mountain' becoming electronic in the first part of the track and turning into a sort of gipsy or Yiddish sound in the second half. We are all crossing lands pursuing the demon.The story ends with 'Death Room' and the motifs of the 'The Wizard of Altai Mountain' come back like creating a circle with that song. Oriental sound, progressive rock and folk are all mixed together and the resulting fusion sound is incredible. I rarely make direct comparison among artists but this time I cannot avoid to think of Radiohead's music mixed with folk elements to create an intricate yet beautifully original tone. Other times they make me think of the Scandinavian prog-rock band Airbag but again Gazpacho find their way to be definitely unique.The story ends here and Demon too, a captivating and intriguing album that is absolutely brilliant. I like the way it flows song by song and the variety of sounds blended in it. Such experimentalism is the proof that the Norwegian guys are really talented and they deserve to be considered one of the best progressive rock bands on the scene today.Demon is an album that requires time and patience to be understood and to gain the listener's estimation and it will reward open minded audience. Play it in the dark to fully experience its great music." - Echoes And Dust
    $13.00
  • "It only seems like a couple of weeks since Caravan announced in August 2013 that they were to record a new album that would be financed by money pledged by fans, and yet here it is already!What should have been a joyous time for the band and fans alike was sadly marred by the death of long-time drummer Richard Coughlan on December , however it is fitting that the digital download of the album was released to fans who had pledged on December 20, the day of Richard’s funeral!Musically this has classic Caravan stamped all over it. It is not, however, a hark back to the halcyon days of the 70′s and In the Land of Grey and Pink or For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night, there are not anywhere near as many long instrumental sections in there for a start and the longest song I’ll Be There For You clocks in at a mere 6:14. What we do have here is a stripped down, and updated 2013 version of everything that Caravan fans look for. The classic songwriting is there, as is the excellent musicianship and whimsical lyrics, and let’s face it, with that instantly recognisable, trademark voice, Pye Hastings could re-record Never Mind The Bollocks and it would probably still sound like Caravan.All This Could Be Yours is a belter of an opener, and despite what I said above, this is one track that would not have been out of place on Grey and Pink or Girls Who Grow Plump! With an excellent, albeit short, viola solo from Geoffrey Richardson, and a great hook in the chorus, it skips along merrily in classic Caravan style.One of the ways of financing the album was to get people to pledge extra to go to the studio and get involved in the recording, I don’t want to pour cold water on anything but sadly I think this is where the band have shot themselves ever so slightly in the foot. Despite being a great song, I’m On My Way, has some awful, flat backing vocals in the chorus which almost ruin the song. The same applies to This Is What We Are where a slightly naff chorus comes close to ruining what is otherwise a very strong song, being slightly heavier than we are used to from Caravan including an infectious piano motif and an excellent, soaring guitar solo towards the end.The slower Dead Man Walking is the perfect pacer, leading into the very emotive Farewell My Old Friend. As an ode to the passing of a close friend, this song is made all the more poignant following the death of Richard Coughlan and brings a lump to the throat!In typical Caravan style, no-one is allowed to get too maudlin, as the next two songs Pain in the Arse with the vitriolic closing line ‘I don’t care if you sue me now, you are insane’, and Trust Me I Am A Doctor put the collective tongues firmly back in the cheek. Doctor takes an irreverent stab at a GP, who I’m quite sure, given the amount of names dropped in the song is a real person and should have no difficulty in identifying himself! But it is all done in good fun and I’m sure no umbrage will be taken!The album finishes on a mellow note with the wistful I’ll Be There For You and the title song Paradise Filter which kicks off  really slow and  melancholy with a late night jazz feel, before breaking out into a middle section that is very reminiscent of the instrumental break in The Dog, The Dog, He’s At It Again!Overall this is an excellent return for a band that has been absent from the recording studio for too long (it is ten years since the release of The Unauthorised Breakfast Item in 2003). Not that they have been resting on their laurels as they have still been playing live gigs, but it is nice to know that they can still cut it and write well crafted, catchy and extremely listenable songs.It also proves that the pledging route is a very viable way of financing studio time and album releases, sadly, however, I doubt very much that would work for new bands as you would have to have a name for yourself in order to create the initial interest. Maybe extensive gigging and as the old saying goes ‘paying your dues’ would help. Now there’s an idea (take note potential XFactor and The Voice contestants)!" - jonb52
    $20.00
  • "Henry Fool's Men Singing is an ambitious four track instrumental album featuring members of No-Man, I Monster and Roxy Music. Equal parts dynamic drums, spiky guitars and atmospheric washes of fluttering flutes and vintage keyboards, the album was produced and arranged by Stephen Bennett (keyboards) and Tim Bowness (guitar), and mixed by Jarrod Gosling (I Monster/Regal Worm), who also contributes Mellotron, glockenspiel and artwork. Appearing on two of the four tracks, Phil Manzanera's legendary guitar skills can be heard in the context of long-form instrumental music for the first time since his celebrated stint in 1970s mavericks Quiet Sun. Other contributions come from Peter Chilvers (bass), Michael Bearpark (guitar), Andrew Booker (drums), Myke Clifford (sax/flute) and violinist Steve Bingham. A vibrant and instinctive contemporary take on Progressive, Psychedelic and Jazz Rock styles, Men Singing is available as a limited edition cd in vinyl replica artwork. Mastered by Pink Floyd sound engineer, Andy Jackson."
    $15.00
  • This one came out of left field.  Solisia are a female fronted metal band based out of Rome.  Led by Elie Syrelia they don't go down the well mined gothic metal style.  Instead the band incorporates a strong symphonic element and pack more than a little bit of a power metal crunch.  Ms. Syrelia is quite the revelation.  She sings accent free with a lot of emotion and power.  In many ways she reminds me of Amy Lee.  Definite star power going on and I suspect we may be hearing a lot more from this band in the future.  Highly recommended.
    $8.00
  • "After 4 studio albums, Papir unleash their first live album. It’s surprising it took so long, since the band’s shows have long been revered amongst fans.The music-biz has also noticed Papir’s stellar live performances: like when Mojo Magazine singled them out from the hoards of bands at danish music-showcase Spot 2012 as THE show of the entire festival - as well as the holy rite of passage for any cosmic Stoner Rock band: The Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, The Netherlands, where Papir was asked not to perform no less than 3 times during the festival in 2014! It’s the first and finest of these shows in full that Papir havde chosen for this release, and it’s all here: Christoffer Brøchmann’s jaw-dropping drum chops, easing from delicate jazzy drumrolls one second into deranged math-psych explosions the next - creating a diving board for Nicklas Sørensen’s vast array of guitar-styles, blending post-rock drones with majestic wah-drenched soloing. With Christian Becher keeping it all together with his bouncing and booming bass lines, as well as utilizing his groovemaker to make blistering ethereal soundscapes.While Papirs albums have always been based on live performances during intense studio sessions, there’s still a different element present at Live at Roadburn - maybe due to the drunken barks from the ecstatic crowd, or the fact that the band is not just playing for the tape machines. There’s an extra layer of adrenaline present - the added aggressive tone of fluttering fuzz and sizzling cymbals, an extra punch and and grit of their build ups. From the first note, Papir show just how far they’ve travelled over the span of a few years, catapulting a motoric track off their self produced DIY debut release into new soaring heights. The show also reworks “Monday” and “Sunday #2” from Stundum - their first El Paraiso-release, as well as drop a highlight from last year’s “IIII” into the equation. As if this wasn’t enough, they premiere two brand new tracks with the same stamina, making sure that Live at Roadburn is not just a roadmap of where they’ve been, but very much an up to date snapshot of one of Europe’s hardest working instrumental outfits.The album was mixed and mastered by Causa Sui’s Jonas Munk from a 24bit multitrack recording."
    $18.00
  • Beauty and beast metal featuring Helena Michaelsen on vocals.
    $14.00