Go back to 2007 and Woe was a one man project with Chris Grigg at the helm of a cold and isolated sound. Joined recently by fellow band members of other project The Green Evening Requiem and featuring two Woods Of Ypres members, the Philadelphia band now feels more complete.
Quietly, Undramatically is a fine effort, cashing itself in as a valuable US black metal album of this year.
It may not be the most impacting build-up track to an album, but No Solitude speaks volumes about Woe, in the respect that many songs on the record take some time to fully take off, and the runway before it leaves a little more to be desired.
Get halfway through the title track Quietly, Undramatically and you’ll be pleasantly thrown back by a break of coherently layered vocals, both preceded and later followed by a driving force of lovely guitar work.
At the centre of the album, A Treatise On Control and Without Logic both have uninspired introductions, but later pick up in pace and in poignancy. Under the shrieks, you can feel the impressive shifts that are taking place, evoking an unremitting, dark melodious melee.
They don’t need to dress themselves silly with over-done cliché corpse paint or pretend they’ve got some winy vendetta with God by acknowledging his existence when mistaking Satanism for atheism. They’re stripped down to the essentials, not in a musically minimalistic way but in a way that proves Woe to be bleeding out some material that is most importantly genuine, and also refreshing too.