ARTYOM SERDYUK (WOE UNTO ME): “Our Muse Took Us To A Bit More Complex And Diverse Territory”

Woe Unto Me band photo

Belarus Doom Metal band Woe Unto Me are set to release their third studio album entitled Along The Meandering Ordeals on March 24th. The band’s vocalist/guitarist Artyom Serdyuk took the time to talk with Metal Express Radio about the band’s upcoming album, his favorite places to play in Europe, plans for 2023, and more. Check out the chat below!

Metal Express Radio: Woe Unto Me’s third album entitled Along The Meandering Ordeals is set to be released on March 24th, what can you tell fans about the upcoming release?

Serdyuk: Musically the new record is the continuation of our movement into more progressive realms of doom metal. This is not a typical funeral doom or death-doom, but it contains the elements of all kinds of doom metal sub-genres. I think this album is going to be the most atmospheric, eclectic and mature in our discography so far. In terms of lyrics on this album we decided to move away from the typical plots for this kind of music and refused to just describe depressive or destructive conditions of a human being. We focused on the investigation of the nature of these feelings and tried to analyze them from the philosophical point of view. The plot of the entire album is based on the internal psychological conflict of a human-being. This conflict has been repeatedly raised in the works of the eminent philosophers and psychologists. Sigmund Freud and Erich Fromm described it quite clearly in their works.

We took the main idea of the conflict and placed the main character in it in order to lead him along the path of internal transformation. We decided to test his moral and ethical values along the way. We tried to analyze how he could behave in certain situations and tried to answer a simple question: “What makes us human?” The protagonist collects himself piece by piece as he progresses through the entire album. He explores asceticism, the nature of human destructiveness, nihilism, his own powerlessness in front of a constantly changing world, in order to accept himself at the end of the path. Finally, he becomes a person who can act thoughtfully, but he’s exhausted and not able to fight against the surrounding world anymore and goes through the process of sublimation and self-sacrifice. Our character merges into the world that surrounds him and becomes a part of it, a part of commonness. The environment – the society devours him but his facial features – his personality, are still visible behind this monstrous creation. Eventually he will manage to start the whole cycle again with hope to find the solution and the meaning of being next time. Conceptually, we have not departed from the classic themes revealed in the doom metal genre. However, despite the gloomy and heavy message, we left a hope of the necessity and expediency of the chosen path of the protagonist in each song.

MER: How was the writing and recording process having this being the band’s third album?

Serdyuk: This time we had a bit different approach. As the music for the whole album was composed by me, we started to work together only when the preparations for the preproduction began. We rehearsed really a lot during that time, like 2 or 3 times a week or even more, mostly me, drummer and a bassist. Our vocalist Igor was joining us approximately once in a month, as he lived in Russia. Together with him we were concentrating on the vocal lines and some additional arrangements, working digitally prior to the rehearsals. This is the first album for us that was fully produced in close collaboration with Aro (Monroe Sound Studio). We did a fair amount of work on the pre-production and sent the whole material to him. Then we together picked up the necessary sound at the studio. A colossal work was done, although we recorded all the main parts quickly. After that, it took time to work on the timbres of synthesizers and keyboard arrangements. Then mixing and mastering mostly done by Aro under my watchful eye, hahah. In general, it turned out even better than we expected. We are very pleased with the sound on this album.

MER: How would you compare Along The Meandering Ordeals to the band’s previous two albums?

Serdyuk: We have already introduced some acoustic and progressive elements on our previous album, but they were more separated from the classical doom component. And here we went further trying to achieve a certain fusion between the heavy parts and more melodic and clean elements. It certainly gives more dynamic and emotions to the music, maybe even creating a certain effect of a rollercoaster. Concerning the progressiveness, it was probably a natural evolution. Our muse took us to a bit more complex and diverse territory. But at the same time it seems to me that this album has more catchy elements in comparison to our previous works, and it’s easier to perceive for the non-doom metal listener. So I’m pretty sure that it will help us to gain a wider audience.

MER: You’ve released two different singles from the upcoming album, what kind of feedback have you been able to receive so far?

Serdyuk: Very positive. It seems to me that people really like our new stuff. We get a lot of cool comments and reviews with pretty high rates, so I think everything looks very promising. I hope the entire album will manage to impress the listeners even more.

MER: What do you see as far as plans for 2023?

Serdyuk: Well, mostly we are looking forward to the release of the album on March 24th. Waiting for more reviews and interviews. And of course we are planning to present our new material live. We are already confirmed for two really awesome festivals in the Fall 2023, one of them is in Austria – Doom Over Vienna in November, and the second one is Metal Gates Festival in Bucharest, Romania, where we are going to share the stage with such great bands as Katatonia, Rotting Christ, Antimatter and many others, it will take place in the end of September. And we are definitely planning to book some more dates around these festivals, plus we are thinking about a more extended European tour for 2024.

MER: Who do you hope to tour with that you haven’t yet and why?

Serdyuk: We are opened to all kinds of offers and we’d be happy to tour with different bands not only doom metal oriented. Personally I would love to go on tour with Katatonia, Paradise Lost, Opeth, Swallow The Sun, Draconian, The Ocean Collective, My Dying Bride, etc. These are amazing bands which I admire and listen to a lot and I think that we really fit their musical styles with our new material and could be a good supporting act on tour.

MER: What are some of your favorite places in Europe to play live?

Serdyuk: We really love European audience, so for us it would be great to come back to any place we’ve been already and to go to any place we haven’t been yet. We really liked to perform in Czech Republic, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, we are looking forward to our first appearance in Austria this year. And we hope to visit Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Switzerland – the countries that we were supposed to play live in on tour with Clouds, but the shows were cancelled during the Covid years. We’ll do our best to make it up in the nearest time.

MER: Is there anywhere that you hope to play live that you haven’t yet and why?

Serdyuk: Wherever it is possible, all over the world. US, UK, Australia, Asia, European countries that we haven’t visited yet, South America. We really love to tour, to play live, so we’d be happy to go anywhere.

MER: Since forming in 2008, what have been some of your favorite memories with the band?

Serdyuk: The best memories are when you do something for the first time in your life. The release of the first album, the first tour, the first big festival. One of the greatest memories is of course performing on the stage of Brutal Assault festival in Jaromer, Czech Republic. Amazing atmosphere, one of the greatest audiences we had, unforgettable experience. Hope to come back there soon.

MER: Out of Woe Unto Me’s three albums, what is one you would suggest to a new fan and why?

Serdyuk: I would definitely suggest to start with our new record Along the Meandering Ordeals, Reshape the Pivot of Harmony. In my opinion, this is the most mature, diverse and solid album we did so far.


  • Matt Zaniboni

    Matthew is an interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He started his passion for music journalism back in his college radio days serving as the Heavy Metal Director at WKKL out of Hyannis Massachusetts. During Matt’s tenure in radio, he has had time working for commercial stations in Boston Massachusetts such as WAAF, WZLX AND 98.5 The Sports Hub before landing with Metal Express Radio. Anytime you want to talk heavy Metal, hockey, Guiness, and dad life, Matt is your guy m/

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