The opening theme leads the listener into a massively powerful sonic sound tapestry full of black drones and distorted electronic malevolence. A discreet consonant melodious vibe progressively rises from the background and sublimates the whole musical procession. “Mirthless perseverance” is a nicely made experimental track with long droning metallic chords and thundering noisy accents which sound almost like a power electronic manifest. This groundbreaking musical inferno is attenuated with the next track and its ravishing otherworldly soundscaping minimalism made of acoustic detached piano notes and dream-like mnemonic sounding field recordings. From the musical signature and compared to the two previous efforts we can detect the presence of relatively new compositional schemas as the presence of distorted voices (as in the self titled track) and an enriched illustration of widely electrified droning motifs (like in the almost nihilistic-funereal post medieval theme of “Unbroken Siege”). If we except the closing track of the album “Hostia” and its acoustic ethereal spell, the sacral-ontologically evocative elements and their mysterious eloquence are more discreet than in the previous releases to let the place to more gloriously bleak cinematic ambiences. We can also notice the presence and essential contribution of Nimh (Giuseppe Verticchio) in the fuzzed-out darkened metaphysic-instrumental ode of “Unbroken Siege”. Giuseppe Verticchio is also responsible of the mastering of the album and gave to the ensemble a very efficient spellbinding sonic density.
To make it short Woe is the Reward is a solid work and of a great consideration for the whole ambient genre, from ritual to drone and post-industrial compartments. A highly recommended and tremendously absorbing musical experience which reveals a true loyalty to the genre (Lustmord, New risen throne, Raison d’être, Atrium Carceri, Desiderii Marginis et al) but which also explores adventurous texturally sounding capacities inside a densely orchestrated musical field.