Woe – Withdrawal | Review

Three years following the release of their acclaimed debut album for Candlelight Records, Philadelphia’s black metallers Woe are back with a new album and a revamped line-up. Founder, guitarist and vocalist Chris Grigg, and bassist/vocalist Grzesiek Czaplan are now joined by Ruston Grosse on drums and Ben Brand on guitar and this new blood really brings the band to a whole new level. The press release even makes a point in mentioning that ‘Withdrawal’ is the first Woe record that includes the contributions of other members other than Grigg, and that is well illustrated throughout these new songs. But rest assured, even tough this is more of a collective writing effort, Woe have not veered off their initial path and ‘Withdrawal’ is still black metal all the way through spat out with venom and fury. True, there are brief moments when they dive into other directions, weaving tuneful clean vocals along with some grand guitar harmonies, a combination that leans more towards Alcest than Darkthrone. But none of these flourishes hold back the band’s ability to crush and they do exactly that for most of the record, churning out some fierce black metal with powerful intensity. The guitar work is really impressive here and showcases their remarkable ability to manufacture some killer hooks. Take song number two “Carried by Waves to Remorseless Shores of the Truth” as example, whose heavy, catchy riffing intertwines with some lead work that harkens back to the glorious days of Bay Area’s thrash metal.
‘Withdrawal’ is a great release that will surely reinforce Woe’s place as one of the top black metal bands from the other side of the Atlantic.

Band info: www.withdrawal.woeunholy.com
Label info: www.candlelightrecords.co.uk