"The Great Maddening" - CD

"Imperium Grotesque" - CD


Name of this band maybe does not ring any bells to you, but the guys in Le Grand Guignol are in no way beginners in metal scene. They are from Luxembourg and they started out under the Vindsval moniker and were threading in more of Pagan waters at the beginning. They have released “Imperium Grotesque” on Skaldic Art (independent label led by Vratyas of Falkenbach) and already then their leanings for more bizarre compositions were evident. In regards to the new direction the band has taken, the name change was on board so Le Grand Guignol was born and Maddening Media unleashed their first offering, appropriately titled “The Great Maddening” unto the masses. A lot of preparations were taken for this release, years of studio work passed in crafting of these tunes. Also regarding the technical side of the release, nothing is left uncovered – Kris Verwimp did the front cover and the album was mastered by twice Grammy-winner Darcy Proper, who worked with such luminaries as Porcupine Tree and Manowar, so you can bet that the sound is nearly perfect. Now, let’s go to the most important aspect – music, that is. The band refers to its style as “grotesque metal” and that is fitting description. I have checked some reviews online and many people compare them to Norwegian stars Arcturus, which is not very far from the truth because both bands have the thing for creating evocative pieces. But Le Grand Guignol lays more basis of their style on classical pieces intertwined with their metal. Orchestrations have very large role and they carry the lions share of overall picture. They often feature bizarre and unexpected twists and turns giving the album theatrical feel as if you are watching some grotesque show and not listening to the album. The tempo is mainly in mid waters but outburst of faster playing can be heard from time to time, and also you can find subtle folkish melodies here and there (it should be said that the members of Le Grand Guignol played on latest 2 Falkenbach albums). Also the vocals are various - screams, clean male and female, adding to the mosaic of richness. I have one complain about the “metal” parts as riffs are quite boring from time to time but they are in the background anyway as orchestrations will draw you or scare you away, depends on your stand towards using in it metal. That attitude will have the part in your final opinion about “The Great Maddening”, but if the above description appeals to you, you should check out this album by all means as it is interesting release made by talented musicians with the clear vision.

Trifunovic Slobodan