The Pitch: Ukranian metal through Debemur Morti that is difficult to slap within a single genre. Dark music that plays with black metal, post-black, and progressive with a hefty use of jazz saxophone. FFO Sigh, Wrvth, Enslaved
What I Like: Love, love, love that saxophone. I have mentioned before that use of this instrument seems to be more and more common in metal right now; to the point that it no longer surprises me. However, I feel like White Ward's execution differs a bit from other groups like Sigh. The sax here is a full-blown, inexorable component of these compositions rather than a quick feature. It flows naturally into virtually every track, as does the tendency towards general jazz vibes. Again, plenty of groups incorporate jazz structures and sounds into their metal music, but Futility Report feels like a jazz record that grew metal influences rather than the other way around. As for the other sonic elements, the harsh vocals can be incredibly powerful while also knowing when to pull back and keep focus on the music, and both the drums and guitar can traverse between drfiting post-metal-y passages and more intense, headbanging grooves ("Stillborn Knowledge").
What I Don't Like: The stars haven't quite aligned for this project just yet in my opinion. While I love their sound, I feel like the compositions lack direction and the album starts to become background noise. Pleasant background noise from talented musicians, but background noise nonetheless.
The Verdict: A very intriguing and unique album that falls a few steps short of genius, but very much excites me for what the future holds. Hear the album Friday and keep the name White Ward in your mind whether you decide to buy or not.
Flight's Fav's: Stillborn Knowledge, Deviant Shapes, Futility Report