LE GRAND GUIGNOL - The Great Maddening

Le Grand Guignol - The Great Maddening

11 songs
55:03 minutes
***** *****
Maddening Media


Luxembourg’s metal scene has become more and more attractive in the last few years. There have been lots of bands releasing albums far above average and it was hard to tell which Luxembourgish metal band was the best: Ophidian, Ex-Inferis, Abstract Rapture or maybe even dEFDUMp or Eternal Tango if you allow them to be considered as metal. After my first run through the Le Grand Guignol debut The Great Maddening, the decision seems obvious to me.

In the mid Nineties, they called themselves Vindsval and released one CD titled Imperium Grotesque. Recently they changed their name to Le Grand Guignol and adopted a much more professional attitude. The recording and production have been done in Germany, as some band members have been involved in other bands as well: Falkenbach and Umbra Et Imago.

The album starts with a classical intro before the nine minute long Degenesis (Amor & Seuche) is already the first highlight. This song contains so many different moods from raw black metal to more symphonic keyboard sequences with a dramatic and grotesque circus atmosphere. Another highlight is the epic Mens Insana In Corpore Insano which makes King Diamond look paler than he already is. Friends of gothic, folk and black metal should love this spooky track with its weird end. Madnes And Her Thousand Young presents the band from a more classical side by adding female soprano vocals and baroque elements. If you want it brutal and aggressive, you should to listen to The Healing Process and the shorter I Who Brought Forth Myself, although I prefer their epic stuff like Finis Coronat Opus with its somewhat Eastern European folk touch. A curiosity is Lucilinburhuc. The arrangements are overwhelming, the lyrics are in Luxembourgish and it’s not the first time that I wonder how a band can put so many different ideas into a single song.

The Great Maddening is an impressively mature album. Even though it’s nearly one hour long, there isn’t a single weak moment on the CD. The music is so rich and diverse that it is suitable for black metal, gothic and folk fans. This is definitely my metal album of the year.

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