Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., Feb. 8, 2013
TherionLes Fleurs du Mal (End of the Light)
The band's 25th anniversary album, Les Fleurs du Mal ("Flowers of Evil," title courtesy of Charles Baudelaire), showcases what makes Therion great – or awful, depending on your perspective. The Swedes pioneered the "beauty and the beast" format, combining female opera singers, symphonic arrangements, and death metal, with the result as brilliantly ridiculous as one might imagine. Lori Lewis' piercing soprano dominates everything, even as the strings, synths, drums, and power chords struggle manfully to overcome. The craft involved is damned impressive, but the over-the-top result will likely appeal only to certain widescreen sensibilities.