Le Grand Guignol from Luxemburg...
I can imagine that you have nor ever heard of this band, nor
of a band from Luxemburg. Well, that much will change soon,
as this Le Grand Guignol has the possibilities to appeal to
a wider audience. Some of you might remember the band Vindsval
(Falkenbach fans perhaps): well, as the band thought they had
evolved so far away from their old sound, Vindsval decided to
change their name into Le Grand Guignol, a macabre theatre show
from a Parisian theatre that operated for sixty years (1897
? 1962). I think the new name fits the concept of "The
Great Maddening" very well.
The intro refers heavily to the
last Therion, Arcturus and the origin of the band?s name, as
it has a kind of circus-vari?t?-like feeling, a tune which returns
in the first actual song, ?Degenesis ? Amor & Seuche?. On
this album the band brings forth a music that is between gothic,
theatrical avant-garde black metal, light classic music, a touch
of folk, soundtracks and cabaret tunes: now there is a combination
you don?t hear that often, especially not as outbalanced and
fluent as this one.
The keyboards are very important to the band?s music: they are
mixed in at just the same volume as the guitars. In fact, Le
Grand Guignol could be seen as one of the bands that could fill
in the gap after Arcturus? end: in fact, I can see the two Pierrot-like
dancers of Arcturus easily on stage with this outfit, their
dances would fit in just as well with this band. All around
the album the band builts in passages that could just as well
be fitted into movies: as my girlfriend Kim said, it made her
think of the movie ?The Nightmare Before Christmas?? And I can
only agree to that.
The vocals are mostly in a kind of rasping way, like The Covenant
and other black metal acts have ?m. Those who want their music
straight forward might dislike the passages that show up throughout
the album, but certain songs are very much appreciable to Covenant
Fans, such as ?The Healing Process?, or ?Finis Coronat Opus?,
in which guest female singer falls in with her opera-like and
sometimes maniac voice. In 'Lucilinburhuc' the band comes forth
with a pagan like feeling: these descriptions might give you
an idea of what to expect from this album.
Is Le Grand Guignol the new Arcturus?
No, for metal fans, I think that this is aimed a bit too high.
Yet fans of gothic and avant garde black metal, who do not think
it is necessary that the guitars dominate the album, this ?The
Great Maddening? is most certainly an album they should check
out! A very nice album, especially when you consider the demanding
mix of genres that Le Grand Guignol brings to us. As a mix of
such genres, I think it is the best I have heard since a long
time, but be warned: Le Grand Guignol is not easy listening,
and it demands something from the listeners. Yet if you are
willing to try it out, it might very well reward you with an
album that stands out of the masses.