Wovenwar – Wovenwar


Artist

Album

Wovenwar

Label

Metal Blade Records

Year

2014

Genre

For Fans Of

Bullet For My Valentine - Trivium - As I Lay Dying

Summary

As I Lay Dying is dead; long live Wovenwar

Rating

80 / 100

It was always going to be a tough effort for As I Lay Dying to escape the shadow Tim Lambesis’ crime cast upon them. From the ashes of As I Lay Dying however, Wovenwar has been born with Shane Blay of Oh, Sleeper fame taking over vocal duties. The new addition of Blay has allowed the remaining members to take a fresh new approach to the genre some could say As I Lay Dying stagnated in for the last part of their career.

For those eager to see in the new chapter for the remaining members of As I Lay Dying, Wovenwar is a melting pot of the clean singing of Bullet For My Valentine, traces of Matt Heafy’s signature ‘yelled’ and ‘call and response’ vocals from Trivium and of course, elements of previous work together. Any listener opinion on those bands will immediately determine how they’ll take Wovenwar’s debut. However, if you take the aforementioned style comparisons as a deterrent then you’re missing the best part of the album as this is an engaging listening experience. If you ever wished that Bullet would return to the sound of ‘The Poison‘, or even ‘Scream, Aim Fire’ as opposed to their latest lackluster effort ‘Temper Temper’, Wovenwar will ease the pain with tracks such as ‘Death to Rights’ and ‘Sight of Shore’.

There may be commentators who’ll criticise the band for sounding similar to their peers, but there’s a reason those bands became so popular in the first place. There may be simple song structure at times, but there are points where you just want a catchy song to get stuck in your head without having to decipher elaborate time signatures and politically charged lyrics.

Initial reactions to the record will undoubtedly bring claims that the lack of screaming throughout the album is a cardinal sin for the majority of a band that primarily utilised such vocals for the majority of their career. However, with new blood in the group, it would be redundant for Wovenwar to continue in the same style as beforehand. It’s obvious the band is attempting to distance themselves from their now chequered history; but no matter how much you love an outfit, they’re bound to change in the end (the Big 4 notwithstanding).

Headbanging riffs aplenty are proliferated throughout the full-length, with choruses that beg to be screamed out in festival settings around the world. On that latter point, there are moments in tracks such as ‘Profane’ that are, no doubt, purposely built to have a crowd yell them right back at the band. With fifteen tracks, Wovenwar threatens to become a struggle, but is always brought back from the brink with Blay’s earworm vocals and Nick Hipa’s addictive guitar-work; the acoustic opened ‘Prophets’ is a perfect example of how Wovenwar have managed this task.

Conclusion

Amazingly, the remaining members of As I Lay Dying have managed to complete an incredibly hard task; move on without their instantly recognisable vocalist, but keep their existing fan base happy. Those who were afraid that As I Lay Dying was completely dead will be satisfied with the signature riffs, and Wovenwar will bring new fans that were initially turned away by the band’s original screamed vocals. An impressive debut from veterans of the genre.

Tracklisting

1. Foreword
2. All Rise
3. Death To Rights
4. Tempest
5. The Mason
6. Moving Up
7. Sight Of Shore
8. Father / Son
9. Profane
10. Archers
11. Ruined Ends
12. Identity
13. Matter Of Time
14. Prophets
15. Onward

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