Rating:
8.0
Wovenwar - Wovenwar
1 August 2014


01. Foreword
02. All Rise
03. Death To Rights
04. Tempest
05. The Mason
06. Moving Up
07. Sight Of Shore
08. Father/Son
09. Profane
10. Archers
11. Ruined Ends
12. Identity
13. Matter Of Time
14. Prophets
15. Onward


I'm sure when the bailiff commanded everybody to rise upon the arrival of the judge, many of those present in the courtroom must have done so, but secretly wishing they were rising for Tim Lambesis instead, frontman and co-founder of metalcore heavyweights As I Lay Dying. Most of you have heard about his murder-for-hire plot to kill his wife. He has been sentenced to six years in prison and the band as a whole took the backlashing ripples upon the chin. Surprisingly enough, the tragedy that put one of theirs behind bars, careened the rest of the band into light by delivering on the expectations their fans hinted at. Indeed, they couldn't have possibly headed in a better direction.

Instead of falling prey to self-pity, Jordan Mancino, the other co-founder of As I Lay Dying, decided to retain all former members and team up with Oh, Sleeper vocalist Shane Blay to form a new band, Wovenwar. So naturally, the band is Shane Blay (vocals, guitars), Nick Hipa & Phil Sgrosso (guitars), Josh Gilbert (bass, backing vocals) and Jordan Mancino (drums). At first glance, Wovenwar is As I Lay Dying, bar Lambesis. Yet the two bands couldn't be more different. While the former (AILD) is all about excruciating shrieks, guttural growls, complex riffs and cathartic, fast and thrashy metalcore, the latter is more about clean vocals, simple riffs, and beautifully melodic, pop-oriented alternative metal.

All the arrangements that were once primordial to the As I Lay Dying sound have been utterly dismantled here, as though they're vying with one another to bury their past along with Lambesis. From the melodic, belligerent "All Rise" to the pummeling shugs of "Profane" to the more emotionally ghostly "Father/Son", Wovenwar offers a jostling fifteen-track jigsaw that will most definitely catapult them into greatness.

Blay's cleans are simply enchanting. They effortlessly anneal around the soaring, blasting solos and the thumping drumming with perfect ease to keep the songwriting at dizzying heights. He could have screamed his lungs out just like the countless clones that have popped up in the wake of As I Lay Dying, and that would have definitely attracted some of the latter's followers straight to them. But he chose to meticulously croon instead, almost throughout the entire album, leaving the screaming to scattered passages in "Archers" and "Profane;" a rare approach that, while on paper sounds stagnant and formulaic, turned out to be a masterstroke in reality for Wovenwar.

Anyone who's ever heard As I Lay Dying knows that the technical prowess of Hipa and Sgrosso is second to none. Wovenwar aren't as technical, albeit equally catchy. Their magic lies in their simplicity, and it clearly shows through their light-speed riffs, powerful pickups and proficient acumen. What you get here is an all-out melodic beast; simple, catchy and solid. For every melodic blow, there's a scything, soul-crushing breakdown to follow.

They were once thrown in the throes of controversy through no fault of their own. They made it to the other side, beat within an inch of their lives. Against all odds, they picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and went on to make what is easily one of the best albums of 2014. Amazing!

One quick parting thought. If it wasn't for Tim Lambesis' incarceration, there probably would be no Wovenwar. So I guess, what I'm trying to say here is, thank you Mr. Lambesis, thank you for trying to kill your wife.


Band profile: Wovenwar
Album: Wovenwar


 



Written on 03.08.2014 by
Mindheist
The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.
More reviews by Mindheist ››



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BloodJuNkie - 03.08.2014 at 16:46  
IMHO this album deserves 6.5 - 7 at best!
Mattybu - 04.08.2014 at 20:28  
Nice review. Sounds like it's definitely worth checking out.
Boxcar Willy - 05.08.2014 at 00:03  
Honestly one of the shittiest albums I've ever heard. Repetative, annoying cleans. Bleh.
psykometal - 05.08.2014 at 09:35  
Really need to get this. Loved AILD. Still not sure how I feel about the single that I listened to a couple times, but I didn't hate it, it just wasn't what I was expecting, and I definitely want to hear the whole album.
Lennard - 08.08.2014 at 16:28  
Good album, was never a fan of Tims vocals.

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