When we think of cityscapes, the bustling sounds of everyday life and fleeting moments of people out and about, we do not really think of what is going on in everyone’s minds. Where do we belong? What is going on in that person’s personal life? What happens when that person who looked so happy earlier goes home to a miserable life of loneliness and sorrow? White Ward has made a soundtrack to these questions with the release of Love Exchange Failure. Formed in 2012 with the intention of creating “intensely deviant music of a noir shade,” Ukraine’s White Ward have spent the past seven years now perfecting their brand of darkened expressionism.
Love Exchange Failure is a blend of melancholic atmosphere, contemporary sounds of the streets that often are unheard and dark, deviant black metal. There are saxophones, acoustics, pianos, fast and ever changing riffs and shrill, unique vocals. There is so much going on here, it could be hard to take in the first listen but is it worth it after digesting this release to the fullest extent. Tracks like Love Exchange Failure, Dead Heart Confessions and Uncanny Delusions show the evolving and rapid changes that this band can deliver. From emotionally moving melodies to the dark and haunting tempo changes to the guitar solo work, this band can do no wrong placing a little of everything into this release.
A huge highlight of this album is not that it is raw and heavy but also the parts that are melodic with the use of guest clean vocalists that counteract the heavy and intertwine with the bluesy saxophone and acoustic guitar parts. That is how you make an album stand out from the norm. This album has it all, there truly is something for everyone here and I am honestly mesmerized by this album still. If you are a fan of progressive, atmospheric, and unique post-black metal, then this is probably the most unique album you can find with those descriptions. I highly recommend checking out this album, you will not regret it.
Overall Score: 9.5/10
Review by Neil Andersen