MARIONET-X is a pretty obscure band from L’Isletville, Quebec. They’ve been releasing quality albums since 2000 and strangely (and sadly) have never got that famous outside of a small but loyal fanbase in their home province. Listening to their albums though, it’s hard to figure out why.
From the first note of “Possédé” until the final moments of “Le Sang Des Hommes”, “Le Grand Manège” is one continuous punch in the face. No compromises, no excuses, just pure and simple Thrash Metal goodness. Even when they do slow down for a few seconds on some songs, like “L’Hypnose”, they almost always come back heavier than ever a few moments later, as if to ask for forgiveness. While most of the vocals are shouted, clean vocal sections are there occasionally but definitely improve the songs and never distract from the sheer heaviness of the whole record; MARIONET-X are more melodic from time to time, but never less violent.
Sometimes, a band you’ve never heard of will completely blow your mind. It doesn’t happen often but when it does, boy is it a pleasant surprise. What’s most surprising here is that MARIONET-X have been putting out music for close to 12 years now, yet they aren’t a household name even amongst the most die-hard Thrash fans. Why is that so? Two reasons come to mind. First, a look at their band photos will inform you that they aren’t exactly in their teens anymore. Those men are in their thirties/forties, have jobs, families and everything that comes with it… that can get in the way of promoting a band/album. Then there’s the fact that their lyrics are in French. Nothing against that personally (it is my native language after all) and there are a couple of bands who made it big while singing in a language other than English - RAMMSTEIN and CATHARSIS come to mind - but it is statistically a handicap to an artist's career.
Those two reasons shouldn’t stop anyone from listening to “Le Grand Manège”, though. I’m serious, folks: Do not miss out on this CD if you’re a fan of KREATOR, ANNIHILATOR, SLAYER and the like. Hands down one of the best Thrash releases of 2011, all the band needs now is to sign on some big record label like Nuclear Blast and release this, unchanged, around the world…
Recommended tracks: All of them, but especially “Possédé”, “Sur Un Air D’Aller”, “Le Grand Manège”, “L’Hypnose”, “Assez”.
(Online February 3, 2012)