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Review: Dark End - Grand Guignol - Book I
Dark End
Grand Guignol - Book I

Label: Independent
Year released: 2012
Duration: 1:12:16
Tracks: 10
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: September 21, 2012
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Grand Guignol - Book I

Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (8 Votes)

If you like your Black Metal so symphonic that it sounds like it was crossed with a movie soundtrack then Italy's Dark End has an album for you. Grand Guignol – Book I is the third full-length from a band that refers to their music as Extreme "Horror" Metal. Black Metal is the foundation with rasping vocals, double-kicks and fast-picked guitars. There are occasional clean vocals, in the vein of Celtic Frost's Martin Eric Ain, but the things about Grand Guignol – Book I that are omnipresent are the keyboards. They are ambitious, to say the least, and often drown out the guitars, which is too bad, as they have nice, nasty buzz.

As I listened to Grand Guignol – Book I, the feeling that I was listening to the soundtrack from a grand adventure movie was unavoidable. The keyboards do a lot of crescendo-building and quiet mood-setting versus simply playing a melody and/or harmony with the guitars. If you picture Pirates of the Caribbean re-imagined by Rob Zombie as a gory horror film with a Black Metal band doing the soundtrack, you'll get an idea of what Grand Guignol – Book I sounds like.

I can't honestly say I found this album all that compelling but I don't sit around and listen to movie soundtracks either. If you, however, like (very) Symphonic Black Metal, Dark End are pushing that sub-genre's envelope pretty hard and for that alone, they are worth checking out.

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