About eight years ago, young musicians from the Ukraine started to meet and compose music. The coming years in the band’s life were spent in being creative and crafting various small releases. Finally, in 2016, this early period culminated in the digital release of “Origins“, a compilation which compiled nearly all songs WHITE WARD had written until then. Now, four years later, Debemur Morti Productions are proud to announce a proper re-release on CD, tape and vinyl for these raw and unpolished pearls.
While the nine songs on “Origins” already breath the vanguard and jazzy air for which WHITE WARD will become famous in the next years, the Ukrainian musicians undoubtedly were still heavily inspired by their Black Metal roots. To highlight the quality present on “Origins“, we teamed up with No Clean Singing to premiere ‘Inhale My Despair‘, the first single from the compilation. Providing a more than adequate description of the song, it is mentioned on No Clean Singing that…
[t]he intensity of the song repeatedly changes, creating both enticing, dreamlike experiences and ravaging, electrifying ones. Glistening, romantic chords shimmer over a deep humming bass and an infectious drum pattern at the outset, but that piece of audio seduction transforms into a much more adrenaline-fueled rush, an amalgam of hammering drums, roiling yet splendid riffing, and scorching howls.
As mastermind Yurii narrates, this was the initial song with which WHITE WARD started to experiment:
This song was the first experiment, and then I met Sasha Smirnov. He was totally not into metal music, but he loved Jazz, Dark Jazz, Prog Rock etc. So, we decided to try to compose something more weird and interesting together. Then, when guitar parts were composed, Yurii, our past drummer, added some Jazz fills to our parts and we really liked the result. So, we decided to continue to use this jazzy influence in our music and I still really like it.
These nine tracks evincing their own merits through an uncompromisingly despondent blend of stygian atmospheric Black Metal, Post Metal, and Dark Ambient. Moody spoken word and notes of somber Jazz recall gloomy walls of rain and the rotting thoroughfares of darkened alleyways in a dismal omnibus which will appeal to die-hard fans and newcomers alike. Opening with a standout re-recording of “Walls”, the first WHITE WARD song ever written, and featuring tracks from the 2012 EP “Illusions” the 2014 split release with SAUROCTONOS and SILENCE OF THE OLD MAN, and the previously unreleased “Riptide” EP, “Origins” offers an unfiltered glimpse into the minds that would eventually craft such masterworks as “Futility Report” (2017), and “Love Exchange Failure” (2019).
While listening to the final master for the vinyl re-release, Yurii reflected on the times those songs were crafted with nostalgia and a feeling of pride:
Just a few weeks ago it was necessary to listen carefully to the vinyl master a few times. And it was an interesting experience for me. I have not listened to some songs for a year, and now I felt some sort of nostalgia while listening and some memories popped up in my head. I still remember the first rehearsals and “Illusions” recording sessions, even though it was 8 years ago. Wow! Then I had no idea how important WHITE WARD would become to me, I just made music I like, as I always did and still do.
Despite the first releases sometimes sounding a little bit naive and simple to me compared to what we do now, I still like them. And there are still many really cool riffs and parts. I was surprised while hearing some guitar parts again. Anyway, it is our history, and history is always important.
Also, I simply must tell a cool story about the recordings of the songs “When Gift Becomes Damnation” and “Inhale My Despair“. So, it was September 1st, 2012 and it was the first school day (I was in my last grade, the 11th). After the first school day celebration our main classroom teacher decided to take us to church for blessing. Of course, I asked “WTF?” and made a blasphemous decision – I went home because in 2 hours I needed to be in the studio to record some Black Metal!
“Origins” track list:
01. Walls MMXV
02. When Gift Becomes Damnation
03. Inhale My Despair
04. Drowned In Cold
05. Nautical Child
06. Depths Of Arcane
08. Guilty If I
09. World Of The Closed Graves
WHITE WARD, from Odessa, Ukraine performs intensely deviant music of a noir shade.
Formed in 2012 and taking root in raw depressive Black Metal, the band rapidly shed all boundaries, taking inspiration from an array of dark atmospheres including the writings of H.P. Lovecraft and I.M. Banks. The band’s excellent early recordings were compiled into the “Origins” compilation released in 2016.
Exploring themes of borderline death states, aberrant afterlife worlds, and strange mental disorders, the WHITE WARD sound adapts the expansiveness of instrumental jazz and the depths of existential despair. After recording their first full-length album, “Futility Report“, and being signed to Debemur Morti Productions, WHITE WARD is primed to embark much further on their divergent sonic journey.
The band continues to evolve and change directions with their second release, “Love Exchange Failure“. Dark-jazz aesthetics appear more vibrant and deeper than ever before, while elements of Blackened Death, Prog, and Black Metal scream out in an intense fury over vicious blast beats, courtesy of new drummer Noctum! Recorded at Checkpoint and Lipkyzvukozapys studios, “Love Exchange Failure” boasts the bands most lush and professional sound to date.
Lyrical themes explore new dimensions, diving into the abyss of human psyche instead of creating Lovecraft-inspired worlds. The atmosphere is still dark and dreadful, but it is no longer something abstract and unreal, with the problems discussed in “Love Exchange Failure” affecting everyone to some extent.
With their newest record, WHITE WARD evolve and sink deeper into ebon pools of dark, auditory desolation.