Artist: White Ward
Album: False Light
Label: Debemur Morti Productions
Release Date: 06/17/2022
I’d never heard of White Ward before this album to compare their apparently brilliant 2019 album “Love Exchange Failure”, so I can only go by what I’ve heard on False Light. With this being the first time I’ve heard the band, the only thing I was thinking while listening to this album is “WOW” and “how did this band fly under my radar”.
False Light begins “Leviathan”, a 13 minute epic opener. Plumbing riffs, huge drums, thick distorted bass, atmospheric lead work, screeching black metal vocals and then….horns? Sax? This perfect fusion of dark jazz and black metal rises and becomes prevalent throughout the song. Then “Salt Paradice” slows things down with folky acoustic guitar, organs and deep clean vocals. Then each song builds on these ideas in atmosphere and creativity until we reach “Cronus” where the band takes on an almost Depeche Mode/Bauhaus gothic mood, transitioning between this and riffs that would make Gojira cry. All fading into the title track “False Light” which showcases everything this band is made of, it’s simply unbelievable.
White Ward’s “False Light” is an absolute triumph. I’ve never heard anything quite like it. So much of what I love about experimental black metal with just enough MORE to make it a totally unique and often overwhelming listen. Taken as a whole or song by song this album is sure to hit some Album of the Year lists, including mine.
Listen to and order the album: