It's hard to believe that Woe has been around for ten whole years now. The Philadelphia-turned-Brooklyn-based black metal outfit began as a solo project back in 2007, created by guitarist, drummer, vocalist, and all-around busy dude Chris Grigg. The music was raw, and confrontational, its Second Wave ferocity balanced perfectly with the clean, complex (and utterly miserable) melodies drawn from screamo, punk, and hardcore that still form a crucial backbone to the band now.
A decade in, Woe has undergone a series of lineup metamorphoses, released a grip of well-regarded releases on a variety of labels (including Candlelight Records), appeared on high-profile tours and festivals, and generally done an excellent job of being an American black metal band (even during periods when forum-dwellers considered USBM to be the lamest possible thing a band could aspire towards). After four years of refiguring and writing, the band—now comprised of Grigg, bassist Grzesiek Czapla, drummer Lev Weinstein and guitarist Matt Mewton—is now poised to release its fourth full-length, this time via new label home Vendetta Records.
While past Woe records have dealt with Satan, religion, and, later, depression and emotional turmoil, Hope Attrition trains a laser focus on human evil—including the likes of racist tangerine-in-chief Donald Trump, who provided inspiration for "Drown Us With Greatness," a howling screed against "a man who bore a movement / like a drill into the head of peace." The rest of the album makes no bones about the band's disgust for fascism and white supremacy, especially in the magisterial fury of "No Blood Has Honor." Explicitly anti-fascist black metal is not new, but as the divisions rending the rest of American society continue to grow, the equally fractured metal community needs bands like this to rally behind. Black metal fans are lucky to have Woe in our corner.
Listen to Hope Attrition below, and snag it on CD, vinyl, cassette, and digital formats come March 17.
Catch WOE on tour with Ultha:
4/14/2017 Hamburg Is Droneburg Festival @ Hafenklang - Hamburg, DE [info]
4/15/2017 Vendetta Fest @ Tiefgrund - Berlin, DE [info]
4/16/2017 Conspiracy Of The Damned Festival @ Baroeg - Rotterdam, NL [info]
4/17/2017 Nexus - Braunschweig, DE [info]
4/18/2017 Club Famu - Prag, CZ [info]
4/20/2017 Doom Over Leipzig Festival @ UT Connewitz - Leipzig, DE [info]
4/21/2017 Dudefest Festival @ Jubez - Karlsruhe, DE [info]
4/22/2017 Roadburn Festival @ O13 - Tilburg, NL [info]
Kim Kelly has known these guys for ages and is being super proud of 'em on Twitter.
Photo by Samantha Marble.