A black metal band from New Jersey, that works. Yep, you read it right.
I must say this is the first American black metal band that really got me besides Inquisition. Although black metal purists will definitely argue what genre they actually play. I would say that’s more in way of darker acts like Heretoir, Selbst and others. It is black metal but with elements of the depressive subgenre.
Back on the things that actually matter, Woe is USA band formed back 2006 by Chris Grigg who handled everything until their second album Quietly, Undramatically released in 2010. With the change of being a one man project to a full band, change of themes followed as well; Satanism, Anti-religion were replaced with topics of loss, frustration, compulsion, existentialism.
Maybe somebody would say: ˙˙Well these themes sound kinda whiny. ˙˙
Well, let me tell you, this is one pissed off record. Lyrics are straight to the point bitter and furious about the catastrophes we do to our planet, giving the vocals a very commanding voice and presence over the extreme and sorrowful sound landscape of Woes latest album Hope Attrition.
The production is very good and very clear, yet it contains a good amount of grittiness that carries through the albums theme and music. Song structures are well written, offering a few surprises through the first listen and multiple replays.
Guitars and vocals are definitely the highlights of the album thought their strange marriage; while guitars are having this mournful and melodic melodies, vocals are just ripping thought the speakers like a wounded, angry beast.
Considering the genres, Hope Attrition offers a bit for everyone, from shitload of somber, melodic black metal style riffing, to death metal vocals and upbeat tempo. Yet at the same time the whole album is very strong on emotions, you can hear it on every decibel.
Personal standouts would be The Din of the Mourning which is the most aggressive out of the bunch and the perfect opener of the album Unending Call of Woe where hooks you with fast tempo changes and the first growls: ˙˙this is a failure and every wretched word is broken, enfeebled never to be heard˙˙.
For more melodic black metal fans and everyone who is looking for more unique extreme metal bands, highly recommended.