WHITE WARD — Futility Report

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WHITE WARD - Futility Report cover
4.50 | 4 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 2017


1. Deviant Shapes (7:22)
2. Stillborn Knowledge (8:06)
3. Homecoming (6:33)
4. Rain as Cure (3:13)
5. Black Silent Piers (6:34)
6. Futility Report (8:38)

Total Time 40:26


- Andrey Pechatkin / Bass
- Igor Palamarchuk / Guitars
- Yurii Kononov / Drums
- Yurii Kazaryan / Guitars
- Andrew Rodin / Vocals
- Alexey Iskimzhi / Saxophone

About this release

Format: Digital, CD, Vinyl, Special Edition Vinyl (50 copies)
Label: Debemur Morti Productions
Release date: May 12th, 2017

Thanks to adg211288 for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

I've said it before, but Futility Report (2017), the debut full-length album by Ukrainian atmospheric black metal/blackgaze act White Ward, gives me need to say it again: out of all the various styles of metal music, the only one that still manages to surprise me on a regular basis is black metal. These guys have been around since 2012 and their early work is said to have had depressive black metal qualities to it, but they've since evolved their music into something a lot more experimental.

The six track album starts off with Deviant Shapes, which for a short length suggests the band to be following the fairly typical blackgaze style of atmospheric black metal, but then the band suddenly turn their music into jazz and any notions of Futility Report being a generic record are instantly dispelled. A quick check reveals in fact that White Ward, much like Japan's Sigh, actually have a full-time saxophone player in their line-up in addition to the usual roles of vocals, guitars, bass and drums.

Now, jazz isn't exactly an unheard of ingredient in metal, but I'm normally used to hearing the influence crop up in genres other than black metal, even if saxophone's have seen use to some extent by bands such as Winterhorde, Aenaon and of course the aforementioned Sigh, though their work tends to look more towards the avant-garde since Dr. Mikannibal joined in 2007. I find jazz more likely something to be heard in avant-garde metal acts like Akphaezya and progressive metal acts like To-Mera. But even when it does feature in metal through groups like those it isn't usually as prominent as it is on White Ward's Futility Report. This record goes some way towards realising something I've long been surprised hasn't already become more of a thing: a true fusion of jazz and metal. It isn't exactly how I expected such a thing to sound of course, but maybe that's a good thing.

This is not, on paper at least, the most obvious pairing of influences, but there's something else I've said before which I believe I read in an interview with, as it happens, Sigh (presumably it was Mirai Kawashima, but as I point out every time I refer to this I'm only going on memory and it was in an old issue of Metal Hammer UK that I've long since thrown out, so I could be mistaken despite being 99% sure): that anything can be done with black metal. That's in turn why this is the genre that still manages to surprise me, as Futility Report has done. What White Ward have created simply works, offering up a unique take on the atmospheric black metal template that in some tracks such as Stillborn Knowledge also offers up the odd progressive touch in the metal side of the music, which for me suggest that White Ward could be producing even more interesting material in the future if they can hone those influences a bit while keeping their atmospheric black metal/jazz thing they have going for them intact.

I'm not sure exactly what you'd call an album such as Futility Report. I kind of want to call it 'atmospheric blackjazz' but I can't really do that without thinking of the Norwegian jazz turned avant-garde/industrial metal band Shinning, who don't really have a lot if anything to do with black metal, and blackened jazzgaze downplays the role of black metal in the album. One thing is for sure: whatever this is, it works really smoothly. Note the name White Ward. It's one to watch.

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