"The Great Maddening" - CD

"Imperium Grotesque" - CD


Imagine this: your wife/husband is out for the night and you’re home alone. Well, have I got a great recipe for an evening on your own (warning to all wankers; masturbating is not part of the plan so stop reading here). Throw some wood in your fireplace, light some candles, pour out a powerful red wine, read Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ (or De Sade’s ‘1000 Days Of Sodom’) and slide ‘The Great Maddening’ in the faithful stereo. I guarantee you that it will be a very spherical evening in ye olde casa.

Le Grand Guignol is a band from Luxembourg and with ‘The Great Maddening’ they present us an excellent piece of avant-garde metal. This collective used to be known as Vindsval but they changed their name into Le Grand Guignol in 2000. Le Grand Guignol’ was the name of a grotesque genre-theatre in France at the beginning of the 20th century and the gloomy atmosphere of those days is translated perfectly into the music of this band.

Fans from the infamous outfit Arcturus will welcome this release like an SM-addict waiting for that whip to crack. The resemblances between LGG and Arcturus are obvious and tracks like ‘Circus L.’ and ‘Madness And Her Thousand Young’ breathe the same vampiristic melancholy like ‘La Masquerade Infernale’ (Arcturus, 1997).

But LGG is much more than a Luxembourgian answer to that Norwegian band. Thanks to the excellent musicianship and the great vocals from Philip Breuer this release easily lifts itself from the borders of normality to a higher level of eclecticism and musical experimentation. ’Dimension: Canvas’ reminded me a lot of the lesser-known band Angizia and tracks ‘Finis Coronat Opus’ and ‘Lucilinburhuc’ have an unmistakable aura of Vintersorg and Falkenbach surrounding them. The resemblance with this last band shouldn’t be a surprise knowing that quite a few members of LGG contributed to Falkenbach albums in the past.

Only minor in my opinion is the artwork. I love the work of Kris Verwimp but this time the drawings don’t contribute to the overall atmosphere of the album. The album cover does not reflect the theatrical and grotesque sound of the music and that is a pity. But don’t let this last remark spoil the fun; ‘The Great Maddening’ is an excellent album that has the potential to please everyone who’s looking for emotion in music. To quote mister Vlad Tepes himself: ‘Ah, listen to them, the children of the night, what sweet music they make.’

Avon Moltoy