Extreme metal and hardcore punk have seen several shotgun weddings and messy divorces over the years. The results – seen in offspring subgenres like mathcore and blackened hardcore and everything in between – run the gamut of quality, but the one thing they all have in common is the absolute exhaustion felt while listening. And while most bands falling into this section of heavy music are the equivalent of a run around the block once or twice, there are some bands that produce offerings that amount to marathons. And then there are the bands that exceed this.

Comity is one of those bands. « The Journey Is Over Now » is one of those albums. The French band has flirted shamelessly with genres since their formation in 1996, and their latest record is a four track aural assault that sees the band adeptly combining post-metal with hardcore with mathcore with grind, all within the same track. And make no mistake, this isn’t some hodgepodge musical science experiment; this is a legitimately new sound by way of old templates. How is this possible? To put it simply, anything can work musically as long as one is ambitious, capable, and willing to play 10+ minute songs.

There aren’t many hardcore bands in the world that can match this type of ambition with capability, which is what makes « The Journey Is Over Now » all the more special. Listening to this record is like running a marathon up a mountain through the snow in the middle of the night. It’s like the audio equivalent of a story from Greek mythology on steroids. It’s like listening to Neurosis in some alternative universe where they remained a hardcore punk band but developed post-metal ten years later than they actually did. And most importantly of all, it’s like listening to genre-bending done right.

The four tracks – separated into Part I, Part II, etc. – slam disparate sounds and tempos into each other, to the point that you’re listening to several different songs (and genres, mind you) within the context of a single track. If you’re not actively keeping tabs on when each Part begins and ends, it becomes easy to get lost within the bubbling brew of extreme music.

« The Journey Is Over Now » does live up to its title – it certainly sounds like a journey – but after several listens to this record, describing this album as a journey almost feels like a bit of a surface level analysis. Instead, it starts to sound like a delicate and nuanced retelling of life. It may not be in order, but all aspects of existence are present: the loud and the quiet, the angry and the downtrodden, the punishment and the resilience. To pass over this album is to pass over an album that deserves your attention in a way that transcends not only genres, but music as a whole.