The French are nuts. No, I don't mean the general populace. It is just that more often than not every time I throw in a release by a French black metal band those are the first words that pop into my head. There is a strain of black metal present in the underground there that is a tad askew from the traditional Scandinavian fare, often involving swirls of psychosis and terroristic dissonance that turns the insides out.
Enter WAY TO END and an album called "Desecrated Internal Journey" that is afflicted with that very same strain and yet just beneath the first layer of lurching, churning, and burning there is some semblance of seething melody. Compositionally speaking, the aspect that jumps to the fore is the craggy guitar interplay of Hazard (also lead vocals) and Rust (backing vocals) that make for some serious headphone moments, at other times fusing to form harshly epic soundscapes. Equally as important is the active bass playing of Hzxllprkwx (backing vocals). With two lead vocalists and two backing vocalists, the band unleashes an effective mix of the raspy and the growled to go with the occasional choral-like flourish, which is often quite melodic. As strange as it may seem, there are moments that could almost be described as a black metal BURST, sans the overt tunefulness (though it is not devoid of it either). The shorter acoustic sections can be quite enchanting, albeit quite ominous as well.
None of this should leave you to believe that "Desecrated Internal Journey" is easy on the ears or suited to the traditionalists. It does however arrive with more of a rhyme and a reason than may seem initially apparent. As a whole, "Desecrated Internal Journey" is as engaging as it is abrasive. Don't let the mental fits and starts fool you into thinking that a deeper diabolical agenda isn't involved though.