Release Details

LABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 4/22/2013
  • Withdrawal cements Woe’s position at or near the top of the progressive side of USBM.


Woe

Withdrawal

posted on 4/2013   By: Dave Schalek

Woe, originally the sole project of Chris Grigg, had their big break with Quietly, Undramatically in 2010. Tours and an appearance at the 2011 Scion Rock Fest in Pomona, California followed, and Woe very quickly and firmly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with within progressive USBM circles. Although lumped into the same crowd as bands such as Krallice and, dare I say it, Liturgy, Woe has managed to avoid the negative tags associated with some of their peers.

This is largely due to Grigg’s adherence to black metal roots with Woe, as Woe plays fast, coarse music with the important musical aesthetics in place. A thin sound, lots of blastbeats, and screeched vocals dominate Withdrawal, the new album from Woe on Candlelight Records. These elements constitute a slightly different approach than that of Quietly, Undramatically.

Withdrawal ramps up the speed, largely does away with any deep seated vocals from Grigg, and features a much more progressive, less dissonant style than that of Quietly, Undramatically. The album opener, “This Is The End Of The Story,” largely does tell the story as all out speed combines with frenetic riffing and screeches on this standout track. Tempo changes also appear, with progressive rock-oriented riffing to go along with a few, cleanly sung passages from Grigg. Other standout tracks include “Exhausted” and the title track, songs that open with all out blasts which then segue to melodic soloing from Grigg. The juxtaposition is striking, and the songwriting and tight musicianship really stand out on these songs. The album's strengths becopme apparent, and seal the deal for me in my enthusiasm for Withdrawal.

The pattern continues throughout the rest of Withdrawal with well written songs that alternate between brutality and progressive elements. There are a couple of weak moments, however, when Grigg’s vocal delivery sounds petulant rather than sounding tortured and/ or anguished. This is most obviously apparent with “Song Of My Undoing,” a riff heavy number that, unfortunately, opens with a cringe-worthy lyric.

Minor problems aside, listeners that appreciated Quietly, Undramatically will, undoubtedly, find much to like with Withdrawal, as Withdrawal cements Woe’s position at or near the top of the progressive side of USBM.




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