Woe – Quietly, Undramatically (Candlelight Records)

Tuesday, 19th March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

A natural sounding snare drum…can’t deal with it. It’s so passé to play extreme metal of any form without some type of triggering that when something like Woe comes along, it throws the ears for a loop. Boasting a line-up headed by multi-instrumentalist Chris Grigg that also includes ex and current members of Absu, Woods of Ypres, Rumplestiltskin Grinder (among others), Woe parlays no-frills black metal into what is mostly…a no-frills affair on the awesomely-named Quietly, Undramatically.

Running just a notch below fellow USBM acts Wolves in the Throne Room and Krallice, Woe emerge as the proper cross between the two, albeit without the moments of intrigue that have elevated the aforementioned acts. Instead, Woe choose to pepper “The Road From Recovery” with subtle melodies, all the way a non-stop blast beat drives the song. Those looking for their fill of Norwegian BM-leanings will be happy to find it on the title track, which is complete with tortured screams.

Some welcome experimentation is explored during “Full Circle,” which is one of the few times Woe opts to look outside the BM box. If anything, Quietly, Undramatically plays it a bit too close to the vest, resulting in the usual morass of sonic overload that usually emanates from the style’s multiple patrons. Beyond that, the perpetual ringing of a natural snare sound is the lasting impression from this debut. Had it been triggered or doctored in the studio, who knows how this one would rate…

www.myspace.com/woeunholy

(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)