Les Fleurs Du Mal is a book of poems, written by the French author Charles Baudelaires, which had to face some serious difficulties the time it was released. First of all, the first release of this band was blamed to “contravene the public moral” while the latter release was banned because of six “offensive” poems. Read on, if you want to know why the introduction contained this little story and what this has in common with the record.
Les Fleurs Du Mal is an Austrian band and shall not be confused with the (long missing) Les Fleurs Du Mal from Germany. The band was founded in 2009 and it released its debut record Schattenfeuer one year later. I am ashamed to admit, that I don’t know their debut record (yes, again a band I just recognised due to their latest release) and therefore can’t compare anything. Nevertheless, Brunnen consists of five tracks which have a total playing time of 53:27 minutes. They play a mixture of hypnotic black metal and ambient music, which is quite convincing, but it has some major flaws as well..
The record starts with some samples (the noise of water running by, a thunderstorm, the noise wind etc..) and a really slow and hummed version of the old (german) children’s song “do you know how many stars there are?”, which creates a quite disconcerting atmosphere. Sadly, this atmosphere doesn’t really continue after the humming ends, as this passage only features the noise of the thunderstorm (which functions as connection between the “intro” and the “song”) until quite heavy rhythm guitars are kicking in. The next passage also features quite sutble background vocals that reminds me of Urfaust, but the whole structure seems to be borrowed from them. This song is nearly as hypnotic and ritual as the songs of Urfaust are. The sound is full of little details and melodies, which are hardly to hear on the first play-through and I bet that you have to be fully concentrated to hear them all.
The strangely distorted guitars in the last third of the song are featuring similiar melodies the “intro” had and are the reason why the song is really rounded. Sadly, not the whole record is as easy to describe as the previous song, although there are some major similiarities in structure, but also this dichotomy in black metal and ambient parts. Every song starts and ends with an – longer or shorter – ambient part and only three songs feature a black metal middle section: Die Wendeltreppe, Brunnen and Schlafwandler. The kind of black metal is at least a little, different in each song as Brunnen features some impelling parts with blast beats, while Schlafwandler has a really thin guitar sound and cold melodies, that remind me of DSBM records.
The record always creates a slightly threatening atmosphere, that could be use to set Baudelaire`s band of poems to music. You could easily say that Brunnen features everything Baudelaires poems stated: the alienation of the modern man against oneself, accompanied with all the hatred etc. in musical form without being “post-black” metal at any time. Although the record is quite complex and multi-layered with all the qualities an Urfaust record has, (even the monotonous passages) there are some major flaws. The most important one are the lenghts because of the really long-drawn ambient parts (and sometimes the black metal ones are to monotonous as well..). Although I understand why they are so long, it’s quite tiring to listen to them over the period of time.
Les Fleurs Du Mal is one of those projects I just recognised too late, as it is a really good one. When their debut is just slightly as good as Brunnen I guess it should be a record one should have heard as well. The hypnotic black metal passages and the well done ambient ones are full of atmosphere and, as they make reference to each other, really well composed. Sadly, they are too longdrawn as well (no, that’s not an contradiction) and therefore tiring, as well as they could have had more sovereignty instead of these huge Urfaust influences, although they are quite well done. The rating is mostly this “bad”, because of the lenghts, as they disturb the listening pleasure. Nevertheless, Brunnen is a record that should please every fan of Urfaust as well as everyone who likes atmospheric music.
Date of release: April, 27th 2012
|Total Playing Time:||53:27|