Wovenwar – “Wovenwar”


Wovenwar logoFrom the ruins of As I Lay Dying comes Wovenwar, who on paper look like As I Lay Dying with a new singer but in reality are a completely new band with a different sound.  With Tim Lambesis in jail and creating all sorts of drama with the other band members in the media,  Phil Sgrosso, Nick Hipa, Jordan Mancino and Josh Gilbert  recruited Shane Blay from Oh, Sleeper and formed Wovenwar and have taken the band in a different direction.

The first thing I couldn’t help but notice is that between Wovenwar and Tim Lambesis’ other band, Austrian Death Machine, you essentially have the As I Lay Dying sound.  Austrian Death Machine has all the metal and screaming while Wovenwar has all of the clean singing melodic sections with the exception of Shane Blay’s clean vocals being stronger.  Not to say Wovenwar isn’t heavy, but it’s certainly more hard rock than metal.

Much like nearly every album on the planet lately (might be an exaggeration), Wovenwar open up their album with “Foreword” that is essentially an intro track, which will come in handy should they ever tour as I imagine they would use this to come on stage.  I really wish bands would stop this trend as I just find it annoying and annoying the listener is generally a bad thing.  Anyways, the track is has a lot of keyboards and starts out quiet and builds almost into the second track “All Rise”.  Many of the songs on this album have a similar opening that makes you think it will be a metal song but then the clean vocals, melodies, and harmonies come in and the overall tone softens significantly.  Shane Blay’s vocals are made for this style and fit it perfectly either when alone or with Josh Gilbert’s backing vocals.  “All Rise” is a radio-friendly hard rock song and fairly catchy.

“Death to Rights” again starts out with a metal opening but quickly moves to the hard rock in terms of style, but within this, Jordan Mancino’s drums really carry much of this song and keep it from being boring.  Vocals here remind me a bit of Christian’s from Blindside and I did find myself throughout the album thinking these songs could be heavier Blindside or Switchfoot, maybe even some Avenged Sevenfold.  “Death to Rights” also has some pretty cool solo guitar in it as well that livens up the track.

“Father/Son” is an interesting track that really stands out compared to the others as it reminded me more of something off a Coldplay album than anything associated with metal.  This is an epic, acoustic ballad.  Given the hard rock nature of the album as a whole, though it doesn’t feel that out of place, and the electric guitars do come in toward the end.

This is an album filled with very strong, catchy songs, there really isn’t a bad one here if you can get past the intro and outro tracks and the Coldplayesque “Father/Son”.  Those who have listened to As I Lay Dying will certainly hear elements of their sound here, be it guitar passes or Jordan Mancino’s drums, but if you didn’t know the band’s history, you likely wouldn’t associate them with AILD as the sound is that different.  The emphasis here is on radio-friendly hard rock with metal influences, and a lot of it as the album clocks in around 50 minutes long when you take out the intro/outro tracks.  Certainly a good bargain. The one thing I did notice is that the sound seems to be a bit smoothed out.  The guitars are heavy but don’t seem loud or dominant, they seem blended perhaps too well into the rest of the sound and lack that certain metal punch.  Everything seems safe and perfectly calculated, which would be my  major criticism.  That being said, these songs will likely translate very well live and that sound would likely be the one I was looking for on the album.

Rating: 7.5/10

Written by John Jackson

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

Band Members:
Shane Blay – Vocals
Nick Hipa – Guitars
Phil Sgrosso – Guitar
Josh Gilbert – Bass, vocals
Jordan Mancino – Drums

Record Label: Metal Blade Records, Aug. 2014

Weblinks: Facebook / Twitter / Website

Buy the album here:
First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission
Metal Helm

‘The Mason’ (full song)


Video below ‘All Rise’


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