Woe – Withdrawal

Spread the metal:

Reviewed: March 2013
Released: 2013, Candlelight Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team

The beginning of this album excites me. I have no idea what’s going on, the guitar riff sounds like an alarm I’d rather not hear but nevertheless, I am very excited. Thrown into a pit of confusion, expecting typical black metal and getting pretty much the opposite of typical, I feel like I’m rolling around in a bowl of foamy spikes. So confusing, yet oh so thrilling. This is End if the Story is a great title for the opening track of an album, too.

I can hear, quite obviously, that they are not from any of the typical regions that tend to spit out Black Metal bands as though it’s all too easy- Scandinavia in general, namely- as there are heavy American influences once the singer switches to clean vocals. This fact is exciting in itself as, not meaning to sound scandalous but it is only my humble opinion anyway, The US of A doesn’t often grow great black metal bands, it’s very rare, in fact, yet here I am, listening to this innovative, original band that, every now and again take you by complete surprise and sound almost…. Heavy rocky? And not at all black metal?
It is a combination that should surely not work but it’s blended so well by these American men that I want to give them a little hug.

The brutal, speedy riffs of Carried By Waves…. Are absolutely, eye wateringly pleasing.
I’m glad this song is rather long at just over seven minutes; I could listen for longer, it is that dynamic and ever-changing.

All Bridges Burned surprises me yet again with an Alter Bridge-esque opening guitar riff that is as delicate as a rose. That rose is soon torn to pieces by the gravelly guitar riffs that replace said riff. Once the vocals kick in I’ve forgotten all about flowers. It is a great track, with a few treats here and there in the shape of experimental riffing, but not their best.

Ceaseless Jaws sounds all too familiar to begin with, opening up like a typical black metal track but this soon changes once the dynamic guitar riffs kick in. Those dynamic riffs, however, actually get a little boring after three minutes. Not a strong contender for best track of album, I’m afraid. Song of my Undoing is something I really do not know what to make of. It starts like some sort of post- punk track, vocals and all, then it broadens out to be something a little more gentle, melodic, and wispy.

Once again I am not really sure what the hell is going on, except this time I’m not sure it is working quite so well. Exhausted has some interesting riffs going on that make me want to carry on listening, and the punk influences are very heavy on this track. This band is such a unique hybrid of two genres I would never have placed together before.
If I wanted to hear any two prominent genres being infused I would not have selected these two as being the number one combo, but now I’m hearing it, I love it as it has an almost ‘core’ (as in hardcore etc) edge to it.

I don’t usually favour any genre that has a ‘core’ edge to it, but this? I have to make an exception for. Title and final track of the album Withdrawal starts with a beautifully distorted bassline and a lazy drum beat that is instantly appealing.

The ear wrenching vocals are all-out, and then the guitars have a melodic solo battle that sings out like songbirds. It is not how I expected any black metal album to finish up, and it is all the more pleasing because of the unexpected nature of this finale.

A confusing, unique masterpiece of an album; when I sat down to listen to this, I never anticipated such a mish mash of genres, nor did I expect said mish mash to work quite so well. It really does.

Review by Soozi Q


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Track Listing:
1. This is the End of the Story
2. Carried by Waves to Remorseless Shores of the Truth
3. All Bridges Burned
4. Ceaseless Jaws
5. Song of My Undoing
6. Exhausted
7. Withdrawal

Chris Grigg- Vocals
Ben Brand- Guitar
Grzesiek Czapla- Bass/ Vocals
Ruston Grosse- Drums