How does one celebrate a landmark occasion 18 years in the making that, along the way, was comprised of you releasing tons of groundbreaking releases from metal artists as diverse as any roster on the planet? Can’t really do big festivals at the moment, as unless you’ve done a ton of leg work, it’s hard to put together. So, what are your other logical options?
For long-running label Debemur Morti, they decided to celebrate 200 releases with one of their most visionary, creatively channeled bands for a special EP release that’s as long as some grindcore LPs. White Ward, who delivered 2019’s stunning “Love Exchange Failure,” our second favorite record of that year, stepped up and delivered Debemur Morti release no. 200 with an EP of the same name, a two-track, 17-minute excursion that is imaginative and challenging, another hint that this band is continuing to morph into their real form. The band—vocalist/bassist Andrii Pechatkin, guitarists Yurii Kazarian and Mykola Previr, drummer Evgen Karamushko, sax player Dima Dudko, pianist Mykola Lebed—are joined by guest vocalist Lars Nedland (of the great Borknagar), and together they put together a fitting tribute to their label home and music that truly embodies the spirit of the assertion “we are death.”
“Debemur Morti” fittingly begins the record with sax swirling and keys layering, while the atmosphere is torn apart and engulfed with chaos. Fierce shrieks strike as the playing gets more savage, thrashing and trudging hard. Nedland’s clean singing bellows, adding a new texture, while the power increases, the sax swoops in again, and then things halt as a quote from the film “Reformed” plays, asking about god being able to forgive humankind for destroying the world. That sends chills as the track basks in slow tempos and darkness before exploding once more, letting the sax slice in and everything bleed its last. “Embers” is the closer and unloads synth and more sax pumps, as jazzy bass slinks in, and an ambiance is established. About 4 minutes in, the track exudes destruction as vicious shouts rumble, and a slow, drubbing pace adds to your collecting bruising. Sax pushes in as the band keeps gutting you, punishing and soaking in elegance, simmering in psychedelic sounds and warmth, bowing out to whipping winds.
White Ward is an ideal band to be responsible for Debemur Morti’s 200th release, as this is one of the most inventive and creative bands on a really ambitious roster. These two songs have everything a White Ward devotee could want from jazzy heat to black metal fury and a lot of things in between. We’ve long been huge fans of White Ward, and this release only solidifies that passion.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/whitewardofficial/
To buy the album (U.S.), go here: https://debemurmorti.aisamerch.com/
Or here (Europe): https://www.debemur-morti.com/en/12-eshop
For more on the label, go here: https://www.debemur-morti.com/en/