The distinctive Ukrainian band White Ward should need no introduction to our regular visitors, or for that matter to any attentive and adventurous metalheads. Their 2017 debut album Futility Report (which we premiered and reviewed here) introduced many new listeners to the band’s ingenious, genre-splicing musical alchemy and immediately put them on the global metal map. Two years later their second album, Love Exchange Failure, only solidified their reputation as an unpredictable but completely beguiling musical force.
To borrow the words of our own Andy Synn from his review of that most recent album, it presents an “unusual mix of biting riffs, moody jazz inflections and neo-noirish vibes that purposefully eschews the more ‘traditional’ aspects of Black Metal – the nature worship, the rustic spirituality – in favour of a sound that’s distinctly urban in both tone and texture, all neon and glass and cold concrete”.
“It’s the soundtrack to the world outside your window, a world of digital prophets and ephemeral profits, social media sirens and vicarious virtual violence. A world where what we put in no longer equals what we get out. Where what we give no longer balances what we take. A world on the brink of total Love Exchange Failure.”
But those two remarkable albums were not White Ward‘s first creations. Those were preceded by a sequence of shorter works that began in 2012 with the release of their first demo. Many of those earlier works were collected in an album-length compilation named Origins that the band digitally self-released in 2016. But now Debemur Morti Productions, who released the band’s two albums mentioned above, will also be releasing a physical edition of Origins on January 22, 2021.