Woe - Biography






Woe began in 2007 as little more than a casual experiment of multi-instrumentalist Chris Grigg. Inspired by both the classics and contemporary raw, underground black metal, the first demo, Absinthe Invocation: Five Spells Against God, was widely received as a worthy addition to the American scene. As the months passed, work on a full-length began, but the direction of the project began to shift. Frustrated with what he described as the "cartoon-like attempts at being black metal super-villains" by many of his contemporaries within scene combined with a progressively-darkening tone, the philosophy behind Woe adapted to create something both serious and threatening but also human and relatable. Blatantly Satanic concepts became undertones, the black metal pseudonym was abandoned, a decision to move away from raw basement-sounding recordings was made, and language obscuring the solo project aspect was used to bring the focus to the music and not the musician.

The modern Woe sound was born with A Spell For The Death Of Man, the first full-length released on CD by Stronghold Records in 2007, followed by a remastered vinyl release on Creeping Vine Productions and Subvert All Media in 2008. A Spell For The Death Of Man left craters in the battlefield of the underground. Reviewers routinely described it as "the shape of USBM to come" and were shocked by melodies that were haunting and intense, unrelenting drumming, grating vocals, and powerful arrangements. Grigg found his project unexpectedly placed alongside some of modern black metal's most prominent names.

Borrowing members from the Philadelphia area's best bands, a live lineup was assembled to bring the music to life in December of 2008. Word of a live Woe band spread, bringing the furious despair of A Spell For The Death Of Man to rabid fans. Crowds remarked on Woe's ability to scale itself from a three-piece that accentuated the music's subtle punk rock attitude and influence to an epic five-piece with three guitars, all based on member availability and the determination to never cancel an appearance.

In 2010, Woe will release its second album, Quietly, Undramatically on Candlelight Records. Thematically and musically picking up where A Spell For The Death Of Man left off, the new album presents Woe as a full band, as Grigg's arrangements are brought to life through the efforts of himself and brothers Evan Madden and Shane Madden (both of Woods Of Ypres and The Green Evening Requiem), Matt Moore (of Rumpelstiltskin Grinder and a live member of label-mates Absu), and Grzesiek Czapla. Though the project has changed and grown over time, Quietly, Undramatically finds Woe at its most mature and intense, with delivery, attitude, and motivation unquestionably at their peak.