There’s nothing that I don’t love about a good ol’ high energy, Satanic black metal band; and that’s usually without exception. And when I do come across those exceptions, I really have to analyze the reasons as to why I take issue. When it comes to Woe’s latest release, Withdrawal, I took some issue. The album has all the elements that I should love, but I feel like it’s not totally matured.
Now I’m not hating; in fact, I really commend Woe for deciding to be the genre that they are in these difficult times. Only being around since 2007, I will say that they are really still in their infancy. I think Withdrawal will serve as good foreshadowing of what’s to come down the line. The album opens with a track titled “This is the End of the Story“, a song that convinced me (and maybe worried me) that Woe is purely instrumental. Lo and behold, around the one-minute mark, I only wished that were true. The vocals were monotonous and a bit poorly mixed.
Now, if Withdrawal’s third track were the opening song, I would have taken my time with the harsh judgment. Titled, “All Bridges Burned“, the track begins with some somber acoustic, which all metal fans know as the calm before the storm. Barring the rough transition between the calm and the storm, the track really showed what type of dimension Woe is really capable of. I really hate half-hearted euphemism of saying how much “potential” a band has, but I really feel that Woe has all the facilities to become a great band in the right time.
Going deeper into the album, I only witnessed more dimension. There are elements of doom, death metal, and prog metal in tracks like “Song of my Undoing” and “Exhausted“. The final track and album namesake “Withdrawal” is without a doubt my favorite track on the entire feature. Lacking some of the roughness of the previous tracks, the song really unveils how talented Woe is. Perhaps if Withdrawal’s tracks were rearranged and mixed a bit better, I would have felt differently at the beginning of the feature. It’s really worth a listen, but it’s also one of those albums that you have to listen to in its entirety before making a solid judgment call.
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