DARK END “Grand Guignol Book I” (2012)

May 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Artist: Dark End
Album: Grand Guignol Book I
Label: Crash & Burn Records
Year: 2012

1. descent-ascent (II movement)
2. æinsoph – flashforward to obscurity
3. doom – and then death scythed
4. spiritism – the transmigration passage
5. bereavement – a multitude in martyrized flesh
6. grief – along our divine pathway
7. bleakness – of secrecy, haste and shattered crystals
8. pest – fierce massive slaying grandeur
9. decrepitude – one last laugh beside your agonies
10. dawn – black sun rises

As soon as I turned this album on, I felt the smile grow across my face. The elusive “Cheshire Cat” grin was working its way round and there was nothing at all I could have done (or wanted to do) to stop this. The album starts with the most haunting atmospheric textures ever to have been placed inside my mind and I like it! Imagine if you will for a moment, a cross between Nobou Uematsu (Final Fantasy) and Dimmu Borgir and you’re almost close to what this is.

Hidden deep within the archives of your mind is a darkness, and Dark End are the hosts. The music screams its way through your head, tearing apart any sense of decency left inside you. Evil? Not a chance, ‘Grand Guignol Book I’ is the works of a genius.

Within playing the ‘Grand Guignol Book I’ and starting your journey in ‘descent-ascent (II movement)’ you are shown the extent that these musicians have taken to perfect the sound. You are given a glance of what is yet to come, and you don’t want it to stop. With the rich haunting orchestras and the mix between growls, screams, guitars and drums, everything becomes limitless. The setup of the album is particularly interesting; combining full-on shredding with passages of very moving orchestral moments puts everything into a different context entirely.

‘Decrepitude – One last laugh beside your agonies’ with the violins and clarinets breakdown is simply enthralling. Add then if you will those haunting vocals and the orchestras back into the picture and you have yourself another masterpiece waiting to be heard and all the tracks are like this! There is no stopping this album.

A truly inspirational mix between the orchestras, the shredding, the drums, the vocals and every atmospheric texture in this album is just so beautifully crafted and exhilarating. Vocally it is more than intense, musically it is outstanding and melodically it is immense!

‘Grand Guignol Book I’ will be added to the list of the best albums I’ve heard this year, and will take a permanent place on my mp3 player for many years to come.

It is an astonishing masterpiece which originally left me speechless upon first hearing it.

10/10

Reviewed by Dylan Raine

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