May 052018


(The world hasn’t ended… another Saturday rises… and with it another of Andy Synn’s WAXING LYRICAL columns… with the insights provided today by Chris Grigg of the NY black metal band Woe.)

This is the third edition of Waxing Lyrical focussing on a band I handpicked for last year’s “Critical Top Ten” which… probably says something important. Though I’m not sure what. Maybe that great albums deserve great lyrics? Something like that?

Either way, Hope Attrition was a fantastic album “…as densely packed with clever ideas, razor-sharp hooks, and raw passion, as anything I’ve heard…” and Woe are a fantastic band, which is why I harassed and harangued the band’s vocalist/guitarist Chris Grigg into telling me a little about his background, his process, and his methods. Continue reading »

Mar 212017

Photo by Samantha Marble

(Wil Cifer delivers to us this interview of Chris Grigg — founder, vocalist, and guitarist of Woe, whose new album Hope Attrition has just been released by Vendetta Records.)


Woe is one of my favorite American Black Metal bands, right along side Liturgy and Nachtmystium, though Woe stuck closer to more conventional metal, even after their move to Brooklyn. With their fourth full-length Hope Attrition, the band continues to plow into fierce territory, blending in flourishes of death metal and hardcore. I recently caught up with main man Chris Grigg to discuss the new album and the state of black metal in America, and the results went something like this.


I heard that in the process of making this album you guys scrapped almost an entire album’s worth of songs in order to settle on what became the final product. What determined what made the cut?

It might not have been a whole album, but pretty close. We got rid of everything that sucked. We just kept reworking the songs and if there was a transition that felt forced, a riff that didn’t feel just right, we scrapped it. We demoed this intensely, so at the end of the day what would be left going into the studio were the best that they could be.

Continue reading »

Dec 132013

photo by Charnelle Stöhrer

(We’re pleased to bring you a year-end list of favorite releases from Chris Grigg, a man of many talents and the founder-vocalist-guitarist of Philly black metal band WOE, whose 2013 album Withdrawal is one of the year’s highlights.)

CarcassSurgical Steel

I can’t stand Heartwork, no matter how hard I try, so I had no good expectations for their return album. Do you ever expect to hate something, or maybe even WANT to hate something, and then feel a sense of excitement when you’re wrong? It reminds me that the world is not always predictable and that even old dogs can learn the best fucking tricks they might ever perform. This album is unrelenting in its union of intense, memorable riffs and brutality. Sacrilege though it may be, I find it hard to argue that this is anything but the best work of their career. Continue reading »

Nov 022012

After the nearly three years since I started NO CLEAN SINGING, what I know about the economics of extreme metal has multiplied by orders of magnitude. There are two caveats that go along with this statement:

First, when I started this blog what I knew about the economics of extreme metal wouldn’t fill an ant’s ass, so what I know now is all relative to that barren starting point.  Second, since I’m not a musician, a producer, a promoter, or involved in running a label, even what I know now is second-hand, incomplete, and undoubtedly inaccurate in at least some respects. My learning has come from a lot of reading and a fair number of discussions with musicians, but that still ain’t the same as living the life. I watch, while others do.

I’m still curious and I’m still trying to learn. My latest bit of learning comes from a long piece written by Chris Grigg, posted on his personal blog last night. Chris Grigg is the founder, vocalist, and guitarist for Woe, a Philadelphia-based black metal band that also includes members of Rumpelstiltskin Grinder. Their last album, Quietly, Undramatically, was released by Candlelight Records in 2010 and they’re working on a new one now. Chris has also been involved with Krieg and The Green Evening Requiem as well as a grindcore outfit named Unrest.

Chris Grigg also runs a recording studio and holds down a full-time job with an IT services company.

In the article I read — which is entitled “The Music Industry Is A Fucking Pit” — he explains in detail why independent musicians do not make money, and who does. He summarizes his thesis thusly:

The music industry, as it has existed to date, is a fucking pit. It is a dead-end. Anyone who expects to play rock music in 2012, follow all the old rules about touring full time and signing with a label and all that shit, AND live off of it is living in a dreamworld because by the time the purse floats down to the bottom of the river, everyone along the way has reached in and taken their share. There is nothing left for you. Continue reading »