Way to End - _Various Shades of Black_
(Les Acteurs de l'Ombre Productions, 2013)
by: Chaim Drishner (8 out of 10)
Avant-garde Frenchmen (who else, if not the French?!) Way to End are like a much upgraded version of Ephel Duath, finely assembling an avant-garde meets (post) black metal combo. _Various Shades of Black_ is a product of dissonance and adventurous musical maneuvers, where unorthodox structures collide and crash into more conventional, familiar songwriting approaches, overall providing an alien, intricate, schizophrenic, mildly morose musical piece that sets the bar high. Way to End establish (or re-establish, for in truth other bands -- not many, not many -- have created music in those very realms of avant-garde to varying degrees of success) bold standards for experimental and highly complex dark and heavy music, blending styles and genres and still sounding very much fresh and unique.

Complex guitar riffing, intricate, serpentine rhythms and various vocal approaches, from the standard black metal rasps to the more classically inclined baritone a-la Arcturus' Garm (with some strong _La Maquerade Infernale_ references), _Various Shades of Black_ is an adventurous, challenging yet enjoyable listening experience, packed with musical goodies, and although some of its ingredients might sound pedestrian and bland when isolated, the sum of it all have been synergized into a beast of many facets and colorful atonal wonders.

_Various Shades of Black_ indeed delivers various shades of music's dark, less traveled corners, masterfully played and ingeniously presented; mystery, trickery, dark joy and depravity, all play a role in this godforsaken amusement park. Air-tightly wrapped, this album does not exhibit lose, redundant ends, no filler moments and no abstract moments of non-musicality. This is avant-garde metal done right, aimed for the advanced listener and the intellectually-biased who seek for something a tad different; different and challenging; challenging and exciting.

Perhaps you wouldn't find yourself spinning this album on too many occasions due to its draining, mentally-exhausting faculties, however when you would find the energies to listen to it thoroughly once in a while, you'd find it very rewarding an experience, hence highly recommended!

Contact: http://www.lesacteursdelombre.net/productions/

(article published 12/5/2013)

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