"Le Grand Guignol" is the name of a famous theatre in Paris that is known for its grisly horror shows and also the name of this outstanding avant-garde metal band from the beautiful Luxembourg. In comparison to other avant-garde bands like Adversus, UneXpect or Spacemak3r, Le Grand Guignol is much easier to digest. They have many influences and a lot of creativity but the album sounds quite coherent from a musical and lyrical point of view. Musically, the band employs blackened symphonic metal in the key of Dimmu Borgir with some epic folk influences like Falkenbach and some gothic comedy sounds that remind of some soundtracks from several Tim Burton movies. I really like about this album that the band takes the precious time to focus on haunting melodies and atmospheres without any overambitious hurry. I would also like to point that the band sings not only in English but also in Latin and Luxembourgish in several tracks which gives this album an exotic and unique touch.
The topic of the madness is almost conceptual on this record and extremely well transmitted in the weird "Mens Insana In Corpore Insano" featuring samples of many creepy and mad voices that make me think of experimental gothic music or dark Japanese Animes and the haunting "Madness And Her Thousand Young" for which an eccentric video was produced. In those two essential tracks, the band employs more ideas than other do so in two albums but the whole thing is still mid paced and easy to follow.
Several shorter tracks, sometimes classic instrumental interludes like "Alsuntia", sometimes heavier stuff like "I, Who Brought Forth Myself" that varies between blackened folk metal, epic symphonic approaches and some great heavy metal riffs that could come right from Iron Maiden, give us a break from the longer masterpieces.
My absolute favourite track on this record is though the epic symphonic extreme metal anthem "Lucilinburhuc", a track performed in Luxembourgish which is a true rarity in the entire metal genre. The epic chorus reminds of Tyr or Ensiferum and just blows me away in this great homage to the band's home country.
In the end, we get almost one hour of diversified and atmospheric entertainment of the greatest kind from an exotic country. For those who like avant-garde metal or extreme symphonic metal with some folk passages, this album is undeniably a must have in your collection. For those who think that UneXpect and similar bands have a great potential but sound too fast and nervous, this album represents what you have always been looking for. Be sure to check this rare gem out soon.