Thursday, February 2, 2017

Black Metal History Month- Woe : "Hope Attrition"

Woe has been one of my favorite American black metal bands. They don't settle for just blast beats and Chris Grigg understands he has to write songs first. When the vocals come in on the first they give them space to roar. The recording captures a dense and dark sound that still has clarity to it. They know when to lock into a powerful chug to create a dynamic kick. Grigg's snarl still allows for you to make out most of the lyrics. They throw themselves into a more thrashing speed for "No Blood Has Honor". He drops down into a more death metal roar at times on this song. Their hard-core roots help the breakdown toward the end of the song reach a more emotional climax. They get into a more blasting form of traditional black metal on "the Din of the Mourning". There is a more melodic section that kicks in with clean vocals that are not too over the top. There is a more death metal tone to "the Ones We Lost". It is the album's most aggressive moment thus far. The vocals are more of a husky growl. It paints a portrait with sweeping swathes of darkness, that makes you forget this is nor coming to you by way of Sweden. The vocals are angry , but there are more introspective emotions in the guitar harmonies. They launch back into the blasting for "Drown Us with Greatness" the guitar work on this song is very mature and nuanced.The bass playing creates a very tasteful under current. The song builds into a more punk like charge forward. Their drummer really earns his pay on the closing "Abject in Defeat" which smoothes out from the avalanche of fills and blasting into a more fluid gallop into battle. The vocals trade off between the scowling higher pitch of black metal and lower death metal like snarls. The guitar melodies really make this one soar nicely. Nicely seems like a funny adjective to use for a black metal review, but it's very flowing and clean and feels like a little stream is guiding you down this otherwise post-apocalyptic landscape. I'll round this album up to a 9, it's slightly more straight forward than past releases, but the song writing has stepped up a notch.

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