Released: 2010, Candlelight
There is a bit of a buzz going around about this band, some higher profile members and guests, some history and now getting scooped up for album #2 by Candlelight. I can see why Candlelight took interest as this is quite a decent slab of USBM. Shane and Evan Madden both formerly of Woods Of Ypres have pulled double duty in both bands and now that Woods is defunct, it seems they can concentrate on Woe and the results are very pleasing. Oddly enough the line-up is virtually the same as his other band, The Green Evening Requiem, so it is obvious that founder and main-man, Chris Grigg is a very creative, driven and productive individual. On QUIETLY, UNDRAMATICALLY he handles just about everything!
Woe is a fairly diverse and dynamic sounding band, but for the most part they present a straight-ahead Black Metal template. The long-ish intro is atmospheric and doomy and some of the longer songs have more of a clean vocal (which doesn’t fit as well) but primarily is relentless Black Metal. The vocals deliver the requisite level of torture and the songs are pretty fast as well. There are some more complex components, hints of keyboards and acoustic guitar thrown in for good measure.
The production is decent enough, but that rarely is an important element in this genre. The seven songs reach the 45 minute mark with the album highlight being the whopping 13 minute epic, ‘Full Circle’ which quite a bit to listen to as the entire song is pretty pummeling, despite a few very brief acoustic interludes. The guitars buzz along with a flurry of noise. The bass is certainly audible and sits nicely in the mix. The drumming is at times more complex and involved than a standard blast-beat basis. This subtle audio nuances do add some depth to the album.
Overall it’s still minimalist and pretty damn raw, QUIETLY, UNDRAMATICALLY is anything but! Woe may not be as insane as some bands or as over the top musically but they do deliver some quality Black Metal with just enough frills to keep it interesting.