LES FLEURS DU MAL
Les Fleurs du Mal has returned on the 22nd of March with "Idolatry", the second single from their upcoming album, "Concrete Ravings", which will be released in May this year. With this new episode, the Swedish duo adds some nuances to their recognizable style. This new pair of tracks (four, along with the remixes) is strong, clean, impulsive and it's directly tuned with the heyday of goth as it might be expected, but this time the noir component is more intense in Les Fleurs du Mal formula. As the expressionists did, the Stockholm ensemble reflects the bitterness, angst and isolation of the modern society individuals through a renewed goth language. They reveal a pessimistic message through dark and catchy structures, but this apparent paradoxe is just an intended artistic licence. Thus, while the powerful machine-made beats and the stringth riffing strike, the gloomy synth and guitar melodies fit to Axel Grim's cold and deep vocals, catching altogether the listener's emotive side by surprise.
The digital maxi-single starts with "Idolatry: In Vain". The dark groove formed by sharp bass and guitar lines, and the persistent drum machine rhythms, is alternated with solemn passages where mournful guitar melodies and lament vocals drive the pulse gradually into melancholy. Following track, "Idolatry: In Pain", slows down slightly the rhythm. The sound becomes darker supported by haunting keyboards and classic string programming. So as the title remarks, the bitterness is rather tangible here. The two remixes that complete this EP, are an hyperbolic re-interpretation of the originals. Thus, DJ Stargeyser's one takes the groove approach present in "Idolatry: In Vain" and drives it into a danceable techno environment. In contrast, the goth rock act Dr. Arthur Krause reinforces the underlying dramatism from "Idolatry: In Pain" and intensifies it through his Railway Remix, surrounding Axel's voice with hair-rising organ notes and sacred chorus samples, while the menacing cadence in percussion and strings make the atmosphere suffocating, almost painful.
Once again, brothers Grim (Axel & August) have put a solid brick in the tumbledown wall of goth rock. Les Fleurs du Mal are making a space for themselves in the scene, providing a confident and contemporary burst of the 80's pomp and power.
Review by Billyphobia