Woe was created in 2007 by multi-instrumentalist Chris Grigg with a simple goal: raw, melodic black metal without frills, extreme technique, or gimmicks. An early demo and 7″ caught the ear of the underground American scene, leading to the release of the first full-length A Spell for the Death of Man on independent label Stronghold Records in 2008. Still a solo project, Chris and Woe impressed critics and listeners with its blend of traditional black metal and echos of the DIY punk and post-hardcore scenes in which Chris grew up.
When requests for live performances began, a live band was put together with veterans of the Philadelphia metal scene. Woe’s furious, powerful live performances combined with nearly universal acclaim of A Spell for the Death of Man led to a three-album signing with England’s famed Candlelight Records in 2009. The second album, Quietly, Undramatically was released in 2010 and brought Woe, now operating as a true band, to new heights. It pushed the Woe formula even further, effortlessly combining Woe’s unique take on black metal with more dynamics and a freshly personal, unique perspective. On this second album, Grigg shared performance responsibilities with longtime live members Evan Madden and Shane Madden on drums and bass, respectively. Shortly after the release of the album, the Madden brothers left Woe and were replaced by new live members Ruston Grosse and Shawn Riley. Second guitar was handled by Ben Brand, with Grigg continuing guitar and vocal duties.
Woe spent 2011 and 2012 playing throughout the United States and Canada in support of Quietly, Undramatically. Equally comfortable on large stages and DIY spaces, Woe toured the West Coast after appearing on 2011′s Scion Rock Fest and the Northeast for 10 shows with Mayhem, along with a number of trips on their own. Shawn Riley departed Woe at the end of 2012 and Grzesiek Czapla, a former live Woe drummer and before that guitarist, took his place on bass.
Woe recorded their third full-length, Withdrawal, in the second half of 2012 and it will be released by Candlelight Records on April 23, 2013. Withdrawal is the fully realized potential of Woe: simultaneously the band’s fastest and slowest material; the most aggressive black metal and the most dynamic rock; the most straightforward delivery and the most nuanced compositions. Though primarily penned by Grigg, Withdrawal is the first Woe album to feature songs written by band members and showcases the multi-vocal attack that has become a staple of live performances. The live band, now featuring acclaimed drummer Shawn Eldridge, is actively booking nationally and internationally. Withdrawal makes the band’s boldest statement to date and with an unstoppable live force, Woe is guaranteed to make waves wherever they are found in 2013 and beyond.