Posts Tagged ‘Woe’

Woe: ”The new album is a combination of our fastest material and our slowest.”

25 februari, 2013

woe3424242522Amerikanska Woe kommer med nytt album snart: Withdrawal. Jag har lyssnat på det, och gillar det – I consil you because is very good. Bandet består av flera medlemmar med fötter även i andra band, men mest ansvarig för Woe och Woes musik är Chris Grigg. Därför fick han svara på Bara Metals frågor.

Your last album Quietly, Undramatically was remixed in 2011 – why? What was wrong?

– My lack of experience was what was wrong. My big complaints with the CD version were a muddy, messy guitar tone, brittle drums, and a generally unpolished, unfinished mix.

– The remix fixed those things – guitar is right up front, everything is shinier and has more air – and sucked out all the low end and punch from the drums and everything else, made the kick drum all click, and sucked out all dynamics. My fault, again. I think some of the material was better for it and it’s closer to what I heard in my head, but I wish I could justify doing it once more.

Will you do the same thing with Withdrawal within a year?

– I fucking hope not, or at least not by me. Jens Bogren is my favorite producer. As soon as he decides he wants to improve it, it’s all his.

So in 2013 – is Woe a band or a one man solo project?

– It’s sort of hard to say. I moved two hours away from the other guys in September of 2011 so it’s made things difficult. We don’t do a lot of the things that normal bands do, like… rehearse regularly or hang out the way we did before I left. But we talk a lot, we’re always in communication and I see them as much as I can.

– As for why it’s like that, I like it being a group project, I think it’s stronger for it. The music is all written with live performance in mind. We drew heavily from the time spent supporting Quietly to figure out what we did well and what we didn’t and built the album with a stronger grasp on our limitations in mind.

– So, basically ”did well” means play fast, play hard. And ”did not” means play self-indulgent borderline-progressive stuff like the second half of the last album’s title track.

I read on your bandcamp page that you ”eschews the pitfalls and cliches of modern black metal to create something far more personal, human” – what is you mission with your music, if there is any?

– I wouldn’t say there’s really a mission. I want to create, I want to express myself, I want to feel like I’m investing time in something tangible so I don’t waste away. That statement came from a lot of frustration with the black metal scene, which I saw as very focused on living up to other people’s standards.

– These days, I’m way more interested in what I and my bandmates want to do and be. I still have a bone to pick with bands, especially black metal bands, who think that they represent some sort of ideal or have something to offer other than perspective, experience, or maybe art if they want to look at it in such a serious way. But anything beyond that is for the listener to decide. Woe still has intense personal meaning to me and I like to think that others can derive meaning from it, but my mission… is to fucking rock.

Not having read the lyrics, but only the song titles like All Bridges Burned, the albums seems dark – what is it about lyrically?

– Each song is different but they all deal with the typical Woe themes: isolation, confusion, frustration, desire to change, compulsion, depression, anger. All Bridges Burned is about being paralyzed by the unknown, be it death or giving up and moving away, withdrawing from who you are and what you know. It’s about trying to know the unknowable.

This is the End of the Story is a very blunt statement about giving up, seeing things for what they are, recognizing failure, and embracing it as a vehicle for drastic change.

Carried by Waves… is the first officially released track, it is also the most direct song with a lot of melodic riffing – the ending sounds even NWOBHM – how was that song put together?

– That song actually came together easier than almost anything else on the record. It felt like it wrote itself over a night or two. It was built around that first riff, which I originally thought of trying to give to Krieg.

– There was a story to tell, loosely described in the lyrics, and I just let it flow and went with what felt natural. I wanted it to build in tension, and have some sleazy hard rock qualities. The lyrics mix direct sexual innuendos with a vague story of violence and desperation to express the idea that all human interaction is exploitation, all innocence is eventually taken away, and even our own actions are subject to primal forces that we can’t always control.

In your music I hear many different approaches to metal – how important is it to you to keep Woe’s music broad and diverse like this?

– It’s not so important to me that Woe’s music is broad and diverse, but it is important that it develops and flows logically. In the case of Withdrawal, this meant a combination of our fastest material and our slowest. It said what we wanted to say, it’s a snapshot of a human experience, it’s what we want to hear.

– The bands we look up to the most are bands that play the music they want to play, regardless of who they upset along the way for bending or breaking or just stepping around the rules. It’s important that Woe continues to do what it wants, just as we always have. Who knows? Maybe the next album will be all blast beats if that’s what feels right. Sherman Division Woe. For now, this is who we are and what we are doing.

Woe släpper nytt i Withdrawal

14 februari, 2013

homepage_large.79d0d570Amerikanska Woe släpper nytt album april. Det är förmodligen mitt favorit US black metal-band, deras förra album Quietly, Undramatically hamnade på min årslista för 2010. Då ställde bandets grundare Chris Grigg [sång, gitarr] upp på att berätta om hela albumet låt för låt. Får se om vi gör något liknande den här gången.

Oavsett vilket – nya albumet Withdrawal är lika bra eller till och med bättre än släppet från 2010. På Pitchfork kan ni höra Carried by Waves to Remorseless Shores of the Truth, som avslutas med ett lika intressant som överraskande Iron Maidenriffande. I consil you because is very good.

Bland metal och småspik: Black metal-haiku och Danzig

25 februari, 2011

Japanska bloggen Isotope dope har lagt ut sin lista för 2010 års bästa black metal, med Woe, Inquisition och Deathspell Omega på listan. Dessutom har han skrivit en haikudikt till varenda album. Vilken energi!

Eftersom det är fredag kör jag en mash up-video signerad Andy Rehfeldt där han mixat Glenn Danzigs röst med lite metal. Bara Metal har också uppdaterat inlägget om metalordspråket med ytterligare en video från Deicide live 2011. Närbilder på Jack Owens engagemang i musiken utlovas.

Tipstack: El Barto

2010 års bästa album – Bara metal (del II)

27 december, 2010

För att beskriva vad bra musik innebär brukar jag citera ett fan till Flaming Lips, hämtat ur filmen Fearless Freaks: ”[That song] is the most inspirational feeling I have ever felt in my life, and in listening to that song I feel that in reality I can conquer any given task.” Det är ungefär så jag känner när Immolations disciplinära Majesty and Decay drar igång, eller Watains vackra Malfeitor.

Här är albumen från 2010 som jag lyssnat allra helst på under året.

6. WatainLawless Darkness

5. Electric WizardBlack Masses

4. EnslavedAxioma Ethica Odini

3. WoeQuietly Undramatically

2. NachtmysitumAddicts: Black Meddle, Part II

1. Dimmu BorgirAbrahadabra

Jag bryr mig inte om (orkar inte?) att länka till Youtube, utan lägger upp hela listan via Spotify istället. Ni vet var ni ska klicka för att nå den.

Egentligen skulle man kunna vända den här andra delen av listan upp och ner och jag hade inte invänt, vi snackar om målkamera. Men jag är barnsligt förtjust i Dimmu Borgir – det finns partier i deras musik som får mig att vilja stå i bar överkropp på hustak och vifta med yxor, som trummisen i Sonic Youth sa en gång.

Enslaved senaste finns inte på Spotify, så den får ni separat:

För del I, klicka här.

EDIT: Här är fler som prisar Watain – SvD, GP och DN

Woes nya album – låt för låt: ”…a bit of an odd song” Del II

26 november, 2010

Här är andra delen av Chris Griggs redogörelse för Woes senaste album Quietly, Undramatically (Candlelight), låt för låt. Ni kan köpa albumet här och stötta amerikansk välsignat okommersiell black metal.


– This is the oldest song on the album. In fact, it predates almost every song on the first record, too. There was a massacre at an American college called Virginia Tech – I doubt it made it to the news overseas – on April 16, 2007. A student there, age 23, was the sole shooter. Immediately after the attack, they started digging through his history to find a cause or warning signs, people and events to blame. The reality, though, was that this guy was just totally fucking crazy so there wasn’t anyone or anything to blame, but that didn’t stop people from demonizing video games and movies and all sorts of things. Anyway, I wrote the song on that day.

– It’s written from the perspective of someone who can’t handle a rational reality. It’s not an endorsement of it but a statement that there are some things that we really cannot predict and cannot control. It fit the theme of the album so I included it.


– The long one. I was a bit nervous about this one because going into the studio, it felt a little flat to me. It wasn’t until we started adding layers that it really came to life.

– First the bass went in and Shane saved the day right there. Then I added vocals, which helped. The first part of the song up to the slow part was meant to be instrumental (inspired by a track on Drudkh’s Microcosms) but the lows (another Drudkh inspiration) give that part an intensity that it was lacking.

The things that make the song most special, though, were added at the very end of the recording session with Matt: the soaring lead lines at the end of the slow section, the extra guitar melodies at the very end of the ”metal” part of the song, and most importantly those classical guitars in the outro.


Full Circle was written as the closer but when we finished tracking, it felt too obvious. The album was very dynamic and didn’t have the same aggression as the first one so I wanted to end on a very powerful note. Here it is, but it’s a bit of an odd song.

– It was the last one written for the album, deliberately the most straight-forward, no-frills black metal I could manage, with tributes paid to some of my friends and favorite bands by way of homage riffs. The lyrics are both a condemnation of the modern black metal scene and a statement of living proudly by your own values, honest with yourself and the world around you.


Tack, Chris! Hatred is our heart hittar ni på Spotify.

Woes nya album – låt för låt: ”Jag våndades…” Del I

25 november, 2010

Jag gillar Woes senaste album sjukt mycket. Särskilt titelsången. Eftersom jag också är komposition- och riffnörd, och patologiskt intresserad av arbetet i studion, bad jag bandets grundare Chris Grigg att kommentera hela albumet, låt för låt:


– When approaching the first song of the album, I had two main goals: first was that it had to start slowly and build up, the second was that it must be different from everything on the album to draw contrast to the speed and intensity that would follow.

– I tend to dislike intros that are purely instrumental and was heavily influenced by the intro to the new Klimt 1918 album, which is a very short song with singing, but it still serves the purpose of being an introduction. The thematic concept is introduced here.


– In case it wasn’t obvious when listening, this and No Solitude were written as one song. The only reason they weren’t put together as a single track was because I wanted to do the listener a service so they could skip right to the speed. This song is representative of the old Woe vs. the new. The first half of the song is really aggressive and straight-forward, written to kind of be a follow-up to Alone With Our Failures from the first album. The bridge about half-way through, the really bold, dramatic one, is kind of the doorway into the new album, after which point things get really melodic and more complex.


– I agonized over this song. Parts of it fell into place very quickly but a lot of it, particularly the vocals, weren’t addressed until after all of the music was recorded. The clean guitar before the final loud riff at the end was something I decided to do in the studio in an effort to bring the volume down as low as possible so the next section would hit harder. The clean vocals, found only in this song, started as a melody I would hum to myself while listening to the mix in my car. I tried it with one voice and it just went from there.

– The guitar melody after the clean vocal part and the solo at the end of the song were played by Matt Moore (Rumpelstiltskin Grinder, Absu) and something that we composed together on the spot as ”icing” of sorts. He told me the other day that he cringes whenever he hears the solo but I’m rather fond of it.


– While not the oldest song on the album, this was the first written specifically for the follow-up to A Spell for the Death of Man. It was kind of the proof of concept for the new one, a Woe song that deliberately eschewed the speed of the earlier material for something dynamic, something with a bit more depth.

– A bit more than a year before the recording for the new album, I recorded this song for a 7″ that ended up not getting released. My drumming was lousy and I just didn’t like how it and the other songs (a rerecording of the first Woe song written and a cover of Dystopia’s Anger Brought by Disease) sounded so it was never released.


Thank you Chris. Woe är just nu ute på turné med Krieg – som Chris Grigg också spelar trummor i. Krieg kan du läsa om här, i Jonn Palmer Jeppssons krönika i SDS.

Vill du läsa om mer svartmetall, ska du gå till expertbloggen Hatpastorns likpredikan.