Le Grand Guignol
This band is also a lot of fun, but unlike Dance Club Massacre, they’re good in every aspect: vocals, guitars, keyboards, everything. It’s another one of those weird avant-garde deals, but those usually turn out well, and this band is no exception. Everything is insane and yet very intelligently put together at the same time. This is easy to see throughout the band’s single album, The Great Maddening. When I first heard of this band, I wasn’t really sure what to think; but after reading comments and reviews about it, I thought it was going to be an Arcturus rip off. Let me tell you, it’s not, and in my humble opinion, it’s better than Arcturus.
The vocals are clearer and more varied, the music changes from black metal-like shredding to a melodic, piano-driven riff in seconds, and you never get bored listening to it because of how often it changes. The guitar(s), drums and bass are nothing exceptional, but they are passable; the vocalist is pretty good, although his high pitched shrieks have a tendency to become annoying, especially on the track "Madness and Her Thousand Young." Finally, the keyboardist is one of the best keyboardists I have heard in underground metal; he is easily good enough to make it into a mainstream band. There are a few guitar solos in the album, but they aren’t that impressive and are mostly just there to provide atmosphere and variety.
So there you have it: two bands that were completely different than I expected, and ended up being quite a treat to listen to. As with a lot of bands I like, they are both laden with keyboards, so if you’re not into keyboards, don’t bother. If you’re looking for something different and exciting, however, check them out. You won’t be disappointed.