Monday, August 19, 2019

White Ward : "Love Exchange Failure"

This band returns with their sophomore album, I forget what they do so the smooth jazz like tones were not what I expected going into this and they prove only the calm before the storm . Then they hurtle into blast beats four minutes into things. I prefer the darker build they lean into at the six minute mark. They pound on it more like a hardcore band than black metal.  More of a modern take on black metal than you might think would come out of Ukraine. The compositional structure of the song is pretty ambitious.  They return to jazz at the beginning of "Poisonous Flowers Of Violence". This is more short lived than it was with the opener. There are more post- rock like sounds, which at this point are more common place in black metal so not a unique. Despite it not breaking any new ground for the genre they are good at what they do.  There are some cool riffs, but you know the rule around here is cool riffs alone does not a good song make, so they bend the rule by throwing a sax in.

There are some sonic atmospherics to "Dead Heart Confession" not enough to gain my attention until the song breaks down to a darker jazz section five minutes in. Jazz takes over the beginning of "Shelter" though there are weird noises in the background to fore shadow the inevitable return of the blast beats. This is really more of an interlude that leads into the more minimal free form jazz of "No Cure For Pain"  At four minutes in they return to the metal. This time it's more thrashy and free of blast beat. The vocals stay at a similar snarl.The drummer for this band is really on point , even more than what is expected of black metal. There are also guitar solos which at one time were not as frequent in black metal, but are becoming more common place. I do  like when they blend the jazz as another layer to the metal. There are even sung vocals in the final minutes before it returns to jazz.

Female vocals come into play on "Surfaces and Depths" .  The song slinks along flowing into the more dynamic builds. Then things get much more moody as male vocals croon in the distance. The harsher vocals return and they continue to blend jazz with their metallic side, though in a darker manner that I prefer. The vocals change into a throatier tone more like sludge. They also pulls out an  epic chugging riff that impresses me . I will give this album an 8.5 , it is a unique experience and finds the band improving in the blend of jazz and black metal, not sure if it is something I will lsiten to on a regular rotation , but enjoyed the listens I got out of this thus far. Comes out September 20th on Dembur Morti .


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