Way To End - Various Shades Of Black
30 March 2013

01. Sous les rangs
02. L'apprenti
03. Evolution Fictive
04. Vain
05. Aganippe
06. La figure dansante de l'incompréhension
07. A mon ombre
08. Au fond d'un verre de poussière
09. Ixtab
10. La ronde des muses fânées
11. Various Shades Of Black

Various Shades Of Black marks the second of the three-ring CD circus LADLO bounced my way.

Circus indeed.

The latest from French black metallers Way To End starts off innocuously enough with some smooth jazzy guitar before unleashing Cirque de Metal Noire on the listener. Black metal howls and screams coupled with guitar runs that sound inspired by the circus after No Fun Varg set fire to it.

While chaotic and odd, it's not so far out there to be thoroughly off-putting or anything, it does hold together rather well. It is part prog with winding riffs that race up and down the fretboard. It's part straight forward. There is enough going on to catch your ear first listen and keep uncovering other layers on subsequent listens.

Also of great enjoyment to me were the change-ups. Beyond just trying to switch between the aforementioned blitz of speed off headspinning riffs, they also drop to a more mellow, normal mode. On "A Mon Ombre" the howls give way to clean quasi-GreGarmian vocal stylings and it sounds like something off my fave metal album of all time, Ulver's Bergtatt or perhaps Borknagar's The Olden Domain.

Of course, these passages don't last for long before the band take hop back on the TGV Fou (that'd be froggy for Crazy Train… or rather whackjob high speed rail) and go off the rails again.

They toss in some other curve balls as well. "Evolution Fictive" includes a cameo from Negura Bunget's "alien ghost" noise machine to add some Scooby Doo Spooky to the track.

Various Shades Of Black is carefully controlled chaos. The cacophony might threaten to spin out of control at times, but never quite does.
Depending upon my mood it was enjoyable or it was a headache inducer. Meh, a lot of albums I enjoy are like that…

If you prefer your black metal the straightforward kind, this likely isn't for you - you've seen the adjectives and descriptors strewn around the review… jazzy, proggy, chaotic, cirque noir, yada yada yada. Tread with caution.

However, if you don't mind your black metal sounding like the soundtrack to the Mad Hattvr's (note kvlt spelling) Tea Party, go for it.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8

Band profile: Way To End
Album: Various Shades Of Black


Written on 28.04.2013 by
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››


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Apothecary - 28.04.2013 at 15:24  
Thanks for this review, I actually needed a good idea of these guys' sound for my "Complete Idiot's Guide To French Black Metal" list... it seems LADLO has become the label to keep an eye on for great French stuff, will definitely be paying attention to whatever else comes our way from them.
Unhealer - 29.04.2013 at 16:00  
Really clever stuff. I love the clean guitar sections mostly.
krakenao - 29.04.2013 at 19:45  
Thanx for your support!!! For order >> http://www.lesacteursdelombre.net/productions/
You can also listening a TGOO new song!!

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