"The Great Maddening" - CD

"Imperium Grotesque" - CD


Avant-garde metal, circus metal, orchestral metal or Le Grand Guignol’s own definition: grotesque metal. My point is that you need to have an eclectic taste in music to truly appreciate Le Grand Guignol’s exceedingly wacky compositions. Le Grand Guignol’s sound is extremely orchestral, rich and intense with haunting orchestration in form of piano, strings and sound effects all around.

All these non-metal elements are mixed together to create a maddening atmosphere. On top of this they manage to preserve the harshness of extreme metal in form of stellar double bass drumming, extreme/harsh vocals in addition to normal and spoken ones and finally heavy guitars rooted in black, gothic and folk metal. Le Grand Guignol formed in 1996 in Luxembourg under the ‘Vindsval’ monicker and decided to change their name in 2006 to meet their new musical and lyrical concepts.

Le Grand Guignol have succeeded in creating an incredibly cool carnival atmosphere. “The Great Maddening” sound as it could be a soundtrack to a bizarre theatre performance or circus act of the 18th or 19th century. These horrors-like dramatically crafted arrangements sound like a nutty mix of Cradle of Filth and Arcturus. “Madness and her thousand young” starts off with insanely cool classical arrangements and the soprano voice to Nina Schromm is introduced for the first time. The feel of this song is so haunting and melodic that it will be stuck on one’s brain for a long time to come. The same is true for “The Healing Process” which is dominated by a couple, yet fantastic catchy riffs.

“The Great Maddening” is a proof of a concept that is out of the ordinary. The lyrical concept is clever and well thought out, all eleven songs gives me much joy and their way of exploring non-conventional musical structures is just about pure class. On top of all this the crystal clear and very audible production literally dots the i.

Don’t hesitate to invest time and money into Le Grand Guignol if you’re intrigued by strong atmospheric music in vein of Arcturus and more extreme experimental bands.