Rating:
8.8
Le Grand Guignol - The Great Maddening
24 August 2007


01. Cirqvs L.
02. Degenesis (Amor & Seuche)
03. Dimension: Canvas
04. Mens Insana In Corpore Insano
05. Madness And Her Thousand Young
06. The Healing Process
07. Finis Coronat Opus
08. I, Who Brought Forth Myself
09. Alsuntia
10. Lucilinburhuc
11. In, Beyond Or Through


The Grand Guignol was a theatre in Paris which specialized in horrific, mad and gory plays, and had the most of its success between the two world wars.

But, what all this has to do with metal?
Just think Arcturus or Unexpect (for the craziness) for a start... What, you've never listened to them? Come on! Anyway, next you add a baroque feel and neo-classical orchestrations.
OK then. Think of decadent clubs in Victorian times. Think about drinking your tea in the moonlight while a jester pokes at you. Think of watching a theatre play full of madmen and freaks while a distorted orchestra plays in the background. This is Le Grand Guignol - the band - for you.

The introducing track, Cirqvs L., invites us to step in and watch the show, as it starts with the rhythm of a circus fanfare before taking in classical orchestrations...
Once you're past that first step, prepare yourself, because many sounds and orchestrations await your discovery. It isn't the point of this review to list them all, it would have no sense and be waaaay too long and uninteresting. Let's just say you'll find catchy, almost danceable tunes (like some parts of The Healing Process, or the waltz in Mens Insana In Corpore Insano); harsh, melodic and/or dissonant vocals (mostly male, but a female singer pops here and there), with some spoken words too; double-bass drumming, and guitars (of course); piano, xylophone, folk guitars... And I haven't spoken about... Let's stop here, shall we?
The metal roots of Le Grand Guignol are in black metal, even if they don't show up too much. That's why it can be reminiscent of Arcturus sometimes, or Notre-Dame... But then again Arcturus never meant to be that grotesque (in a positive sense).

Sure, The Great Maddening is a strange, bewildering listen... But isn't it what we seek in "avant-garde" metal? So, if you consider yourself a conoisseur of original, intelligent and crazy metal stuff, this album is just for you.


Band profile: Le Grand Guignol
Album: The Great Maddening


 



Written on 26.03.2009 by
Darkside Momo
Used to be your regular Hellfest reporter, now almost retired . I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.
More reviews by Darkside Momo ››

Guest review by
qlacs

Rating:
N/A
Another round on 1st time listen reviews. Le Grand Guignol is named after a famous-infamous theatre where people went to see horror flicks. That kinda describes what you're about to hear...

This album was released back in 2007 when the metal scene was not flourishing with too many avantgarde metal names; The Great Maddening it was considered "weird," "uncanny"; though not now, compared to much weirder stuff that has been made since I found it a pleasant listen with an bizarre opera-like touch. Similar bands would include Unexpect (a lot weirder and more intense), Vulture Industries, Devil Doll and Arcturus at times.

Read more ››
published 12.06.2013 | Comments (1)



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Dane Train - 26.03.2009 at 23:40  
Sounds like a cool album. I am going to try and get it.
Darkside Momo - 26.03.2009 at 23:41  
Written by Dane Train on 26.03.2009 at 23:40

Sounds like a cool album. I am going to try and get it.

It IS cool, but it can be an acquired taste!
K†ulu - 27.03.2009 at 00:14  
It's a totally unleashed album. I thought about reviewing it myself. By the way, Darkside Momo, why "an conoisseur?" And isn't actually connaisseur?
Herzebeth - 27.03.2009 at 00:16  
I almost fell asleep while listening to this pile of *bleep*

Maybe I didn't get it...but 8.8 is way too much IMO...
Darkside Momo - 27.03.2009 at 00:19  
Written by K†ulu on 27.03.2009 at 00:14

It's a totally unleashed album. I thought about reviewing it myself. By the way, Darkside Momo, why "an conoisseur?" And isn't actually connaisseur?

corrected the an. As for connaisseur (French), I think it's really connoisseur in English, but maybe it's a mistake.
Darkside Momo - 27.03.2009 at 00:22  
Written by Herzebeth on 27.03.2009 at 00:16

I almost fell asleep while listening to this pile of *bleep*

Maybe I didn't get it...but 8.8 is way too much IMO...

I understand that you might not like it, but I stand by my rating (or maybe 8.7? ) just because it can really evoke the mood of a Grand Guignol theatre play (for what I know of it).
Herzebeth - 27.03.2009 at 00:53  
Oh yeah, at times it is really creepy, mostly the intros and the breakdowns (you know, when the guy is more like talking instead of singing)....

I get you....the atmospheres are fucked up....but the music per-se is really boring for me

Oh dear...where the hell are you Ephel Duath
Susan - 30.03.2009 at 06:40  
Wow, this music is really fun. It's kind of like if you want bands like the Diablo Swing Orchestra but creepy instead. Yes, this is interesting stuff - I'm totally digging it!

(Will learn more about Le Grand Guignol theatre....)
Ask - 03.04.2009 at 08:53  
One of my most favorite avant garde albums of all time. I actually reviewed this on Sputnikmusic.com.
Shadowcross - 15.05.2009 at 05:29  
Great stuff! They seem very influenced by Anorexia Nervosa somehow!
Spell - 30.06.2009 at 13:40  
Great review for a great album!!
Vitriolic Hate - 23.07.2009 at 04:47  
Unexpect influenced that's interesting !!!
Fat & Sassy! - 08.05.2010 at 23:17  
The best way I could describe this excellent album to anyone would be "Extreme Castlevania Soundtrack". Very baroque music-era influenced stuff.

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