White Ward – Futility Report (Review)

White WardThis is the debut album from White Ward, a Ukrainian post-black metal band.

This is post-black metal with avant-garde tendencies. However, this is a very simplistic description of what you’ll find on Futility Report; the music is anything but simple.

Mix Ihsahn, Ulver, Ephel Duath, Blut Aus Nord, Deafheaven, and Wolves in the Throne Room together, and you’ll still only have the barest glimpse of what White Ward play.

With a cold, dark heart of icy black metal, the band allow this to become infected by other styles and sub-genres, including jazz, progressive rock, avant-garde stylings, electronica, and melodic metal.

They also have a member of the band that plays saxophone. This is an integral part of what White Ward offer, even though it’s not over-used. The instrument enhances and complements the rest of the music, adding a further level of soulful melody to the music’s already emotive edge.

As you can see, this is an album that has a lot to say, but only spends a relatively scant 40 minutes saying it. A multitude of different types of content and material has made its way into this release, but from the very first song the band make it clear that they are more than capable of handling it all well.

Essentially a modern black metal release with lots of extra ideas, innovations, and musical bolt-ons attached, the songs on Futility Report see a creative band expanding on their black metal origins and exploring other music to incorporate into their textured delivery.

Unusual, exceptional, and very striking, these songs make quite an impression on first listen. It’s not just the atypical aspects of the music either; it’s also just the sheer quality of the music on display. Conventional and unconventional ideas and sounds are blended together with ease, making for post-black metal that stays true to the core of its parent style; it does what it wants, when it wants.

This is an essential listen for anyone into challenging, individual music that’s not afraid to be the master of its own destiny. Futility Report is a standout album.

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