Written by Zax
- White Ward
- Love Exchange Failure
- Post Black
- Odesa, Ukraine
- September 20, 2019
I love coming across albums that are very long, but feel like nothing. Albums you can just sink into and lose yourself in are the absolute best. A prime supplier of records like these are post-black metal and atmospheric black metal in general. White Ward fit this quite well with their new album “Love Exchange Failure” that eclipses an hour in length with only 7 tracks to its name.
Another interesting quality of the post-black genre is the unique blending of genres that comes with every new band on top of that black metal core. White Ward blends in post-rock and dark jazz. The post-rock influences shine through in the melancholic and dreary riffage, along with the clean vocals. The dark jazz comes through in the distorted horn solos and occasional piano flourishes.
Don’t be fooled by all the extra bells and whistles tacked on to the record, as I mentioned, at it’s core it’s still a black metal record. The heavy moments on this album where they really let it all out are astonishing walls of sound filled with pummeling blast beats and bloodcurdling black metal screeches. It has all the fundamentals of a black metal record with tons of other stuff thrown in the mix to make it even better. Way I see it is, a band like this would be a locally brewed craft beer, whereas some kvlt band would be a Bud Light.
During the slower jazzier parts of the record the bass comes through and really shines as well. It’s thumping and groovy but It’s also very deep and dark in tone. The guitar work as I said is very riff heavy, but occasionally some lead work comes through and they do a damn good job with that too. The clean vocals are certainly an interesting touch. They’re very gothic sounding, they’re cold and stern in tone. They show up more in the ladder half of the album, and they blend in very nicely with the evil screams. The production is actually pretty raw by post-black standards, but I feel like that plays even more into the dark aesthetic of the album.
This is a very solid record, the mixture of sounds is damn near masterful. It’s pretty niche all things considered, but if it sounds up your alley I’d definitely give it a try.