Wovenwar review by Wovenwar

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  • Released: Aug 5, 2014
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.6 (36 votes)
Wovenwar: Wovenwar
2

Sound — 8
Tim Lambesis was arrested in mid-2013 in a murder for hire plot to have his wife killed, and soon the issues were compounded by admissions of steroid abuse. Tim Lambesis even went on to admit he had given up his Christian faith, and hinted that the rest of the band had done the same, while they had continued to tour as a Christian metal act in As I Lay Dying. Tim Lambesis pretty quickly alienated the other members of As I Lay Dying, how disbanded and formed Wovenwar with a new vocalist - Shane Blay of Oh, Sleeper. Their debut album contains 15 tracks with a run time of 54 minutes. The first single released for the album was "All Rise" in April, which was followed by a second single, "The Mason" in June. As an immediate change, the vocals are almost completely clean and melodic, which is a huge change from As I Lay Dying. Though there are a lot of musical similarities between the bands, Wovenwar is much more a hard rock band than a metal band, based off of this release.

The album opens with a short instrumental track, "Foreword," which is more of an ambience-creating intro than an actual song. The next track is the lead single, "All Rise," which opens up with some guitar pyrotechnics and some of the heaviest playing on the album. These are the first vocals on the album and they are completely clean. "Death to Rights" is very catchy to my ears and probably my favorite track from the album because of the way it mixes heaviness and melody. "Tempest" has the band playing much more squarely in the hard rock sound than the previous songs on the album, and more clearly defines where the band is going with their sound as Wovenwar. "The Mason" is the second single released from the album, and also a fairly intense track with a lot to like. "Moving Up" is another track that sounds a lot more like modern radio hard rock than metal, but it has the right type of energy to get your blood pumping. "Sight of Shore" makes good use of pummeling drums and relentless riffing with melodic vocals soaring over the top. "Sight of Shore" also has my favorite solo from the album. "Father/Son" is a much more orchestrated track than the rest of the album, opening with drums and acoustic guitar, but slowly building up to a very big and epic track. After building up to a huge track, it closes out with just a voice and an acoustic guitar. "Profane" is a good example of the band trying to walk the line somewhere between metal and hard rock, but with some nice use of gang vocals, though used very sparingly. "Archers" has a lot of tremolo picking, little melodic runs, and creative processing on the vocals. "Ruined Ends" is another more straightforward hard rock track. "Identity" has a fun riff that runs through most of the song - and slower ambient sections - which creates a fairly interesting track, overall. "Matter of Time" reminds me of Coheed & Cambria for some reason - and that will give you a good idea how much the band's sound has changed since disbanding As I Lay Dying and reforming as Wovenwar. "Prophets" opens up with acoustic guitars and is much more laid back than most of the album, though it picks up the pace and some heavy electric guitars and drums come in about a third of the way through the track. "Onward" is a lot like the opening track, "Foreward," as it is more about creating ambience than being an actual song. I thought the album was enjoyable, but fans of As I Lay Dying won't necessarily think so.

Lyrics — 9
Shane Blay has what I think of as a radio-friendly voice. While Shane Blay is very skilled, there isn't anything about his vocals that necessarily stand out. The backing vocals provided by the other band members help to add character to the vocal performance on the album. As a sample of the lyrics, here are some lyrics from the track "Father/Son": "We aren't sons of our father's sins/ we don't inherit iniquities/ we aren't heirs to thrones of greed/ we don't wear the gold they've thieved and schemed/ you don't choose your name/ just what you leave in your wake/ we are born, all of us, innocent/ we don't wear the wounds of a dying man/ no ties no allegiance to majesties/ no veil to blind your reasoning/ no script rehearsed in all you speak/ own your words in the voice you sing/ no cause to fight for buried kings/ let be what legions they've conceived/ no oaths to swear or give repeat/ all words are yours to ink and sing/ you don't choose your name/ just what you leave in your wake."

Overall Impression — 8
I can't really complain about this album, but I'm not sure fans of As I Lay Dying are going to seamlessly convert over - there are some subtle differences in instrumental sound and some pretty big changes in the vocal sound. My favorite track from the album was "Death to Rights," "Profane" and "Father/Son." I didn't really dislike any songs on the album, but I feel like "Foreward" and "Onward" were more filler than actual content. Overall, not a bad effort for a "new" band, and I truly hope they can survive the drama that Tim Lambesis has brought on the rest of the band.

30 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Lenny Kiano
    the band is awesome but if they had a few growls it would be epic.... but the sound is way better
    Boston-George15
    Fantastic Album in my opinion. Check out my cover of The Mason!!!!
    Dam_That_River
    Hey man that sounded sick! dunno why you got a load of downvotes i upvoted you thought you played it really well!
    Boston-George15
    Thanks man... Yeah I don't why I got some downvotes... lol Or why this band is getting so much hate. Save the hate for the stuff soaking up the billboard 100.
    MetalRock4ever
    You getting down votes may be because you're advertising you band/covers in the wrong place (that's in forums). I'm not too sure, but that's my view. The hate towards the band could be because they're not sounding like AILD. Their most recent album was great, which may be why people are let down by Wovenwar's album. Again, just my view.
    Boston-George15
    Yeah - you are probably right!!! I probably should have dropped in the forums. This isn't As I Lay Dying. Though, the style is very similar to AILD, this is a different project and should be held in it's own light. IMO this album holds it's own with the AILD stuff. The mixing and the production of this record are the biggest downfalls.
    BwareDWare94
    Shane Blay doesn't have a voice that can carry a heavy metal album, imo. I hope Josh did some singing on this record. While he's not fantastic, either, they could have struck a balance that would have made the less-than-fantastic vocals a little more tolerable.
    rapprocka1017
    Josh does more singing here than he did on, say, awakened, but you have to listen closely to tell him and Shane apart, because they actually sound pretty similar. That's not really a bad thing though. Archers off this album has my favorite Josh Gilbert chorus.
    MattChristTuck
    Album sucks in my sacred opinion. Not enough Tim.
    SirBiggithBrian
    Whereas i do agree with you about the lack of Tim, he still ****ed up afterall. Why should we have the right put our foot on their throat for moving on with a new (albeit not as interesting) band.
    rapprocka1017
    If Tim was on this album, it would just be Awakened with slightly better riffs and choruses.
    Fatewhip
    I had been waiting a long time for this. Right as I started listening to As I Lay Dying, Tim was arrested... For a while there I thought I was a bad omen or something... Anyway, good album!
    MetalRock4ever
    I thought this was a solid album, in my opinion. Even though there isn't much growling, the guitars aren't missing from the band (that's for sure). But it's a shame people slag Wovenwar off for not sounding like AILD (I noticed from other websites). They decided not to be an AILD copy, and do their own stuff, which was produce some great music. Good review by the way, very thorough.
    rapprocka1017
    I think my main issue with the album is the song structure and mixing. At first it doesn't sound like it, but if you listen REALLY closely there is some REALLY complicated riffing buried underneath the clean vocals and chug rhythms. Some of the best riffs the AILD dudes have ever written, actually. Really what Wovenwar is: a slightly more complex Awakened with clean vocals overshadowing the guitar work. That goes without mentioning a huge issue Awakened had was its oversimplification of the songs' structures. If Wovenwar's next record ends up being a Powerless Rise-style record with clean vocals, I would be ecstatic.
    BuriedAlive7x
    Matter of Time is easily the best song, Josh is clearly the better singer. Death to Rights is also a good one.
    sonicx2218
    He's not better...but possesses a very distinct voice and a great one for the band's genre. Give him 3 months of singing daily for hours bc of touring and I can guarantee he'll have his chops. Once he's up to par, it'll be interesting to see what the band does.
    sonicx2218
    Great album in my opinion. It's biggest obstacle is that the mixing hides the intricate guitarwork under the rhythm and vocals. While they're clear on $500+ equipment...not many people have expensive setups for music and they alienate many listeners. I feel like this is a band that will really kick ass with the second album.
    JSmith38
    I get why people don't like it I guess but I do. Not album of the year by far but definitely worth a listen. I never got into As I lay Dying though.
    Styx
    They sound like All that Remains at times,which sucks.
    sonicx2218
    Honestly I only got that vibe from All Rise, which was also my least favorite song for that reason.
    cm-thrashing-45
    I feel like I've already heard this album before because it has a sound and style that is very common in my local scene. To me, it's just more recycled music. I also can't stand the fact that the vocalist just sounds like every other modern metal and metalcore vocalist. It wasn't horrible but it was nothing special. Way too much hype.
    psyxander91
    Probably has a lot to do with how verses sound. "Do a bit of singing" 0-0-0-0-0000-0-0 "And do some singing again" 0-0-0-00000-0. Death To Rights, The Mason, Profane, Identity and Tempest to an extent have so similar sounding verses you cannot tell them apart.
    rapprocka1017
    I don't know why the chugging is so loud in the mix. The guitar work on the album is actually surprisingly complicated, but it's SO hard to hear beneath all the other crap.