Reviews Woe Hope Attrition

Woe

Hope Attrition

After a promising start to a career that began in earnest with the release of debut A Spell for the Death of Man in 2008 and continued through to 2013s Withdrawal, Woe’s fate took a turn soon after that many bands find themselves encountering – real life happened and the music took a backseat for founder Chris Grigg and his cohorts. The Brooklyn based band have undergone many personnel changes over their lifetime but the line-up seems stable and the music this quartet have produced on Hope Attrition is nothing short of extraordinary.

Still led by the harsh, ice cold vocals of Grigg, the USBM mainstays continue the trajectory began so many years ago with a record that speaks of the dominance of man in a world that is slowly descending into chaos. “No Blood Has Honor” is a telling and prescient diatribe with “…what could we know about honor?” pushing forth as the main vocal line and setting out the Woe manifesto succinctly - it seems all too fitting at this point in time and the themes of the album revolve around this idea wonderfully.

Hope Attrition is furious in its execution with fiery guitar lines filling the spaces left behind Grigg’s furious vocals but there is a small semblance of beauty should you look for it. The gorgeous interlude of “A Distant Epitaph” allows the album to breath after the first two punishing tracks and the inclusion of Brooks Wilson from Crypt Sermon on the soulful “The Din of the Mourning” is truly a masterstroke.

“The Ones We Lost” has a sorrowful guitar lead that evokes massive sadness in its progression while the song moves towards the soaring majesty of “Drown Us With Greatness” and the doomed aura of closing track “Abject In Defeat” – a song so utterly cloaked with darkness and misery that the shadows loom long after the closing moments are a but a memory. Hope Attrition is a stunning re-entry into a scene that has moved forward in a multitude of ways since the last time Woe released music. But this band is one to always push the boundaries and for the foreseeable future, many bands will still be playing catch-up.

8.5 / 10Cheryl
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Vendetta

2017

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