Written by: MBC on 29/08/2014 22:56:38

Following the incarceration of Tim Lambesis and the break-up of As I Lay Dying (AILD), it seemed obvious that the remaining members would carry on creating music in some form or capacity. They have quite a legacy to carry on from, AILD being one of the greatest metalcore bands ever with albums of consistently supreme quality. But while Lambesis’ life seems to be deteriorating, the other members of AILD have started over with a new project, for which they have recruited vocalist Shane Blay of Oh, Sleeper fame. This new constellation is called Wovenwar and their new self-titled album is out now on Metal Blade Records.

So is this just another AILD record with a new singer? No, not really. With the establishing of Wovenwar, the other members of AILD obviously did not just want to replicate their former band, and thus have gone down another avenue with the melodic vocal approach of Shane Blay and the overall far less brutal musical approach. Although the crisp sound and amazing, fast and melodic guitar riffs and solos that we have come to know so well from Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso are still a very big part of the band’s song writing, “Wovenwar” is not even close to being as heavy and aggressive as the music of AILD. Lambesis, controversy aside, is an incredible vocalist with some of the best screams in modern metal. However, he is limited in the sense that he cannot sing clean vocals. Blay on the other hand does very little screaming on the album, and a part from a few fry screams here and there his vocal performance is completely clean. He is a talented singer with a good range, and his soothing, yet strong voice fits well within the melodic musical direction of Wovenwar.

“All Rise” opens with fast and melodic riffs which, along with Jordan Mancino’s energetic drum work, sound like they could have been written for an AILD record. Enter Shane Blay and the song turns into a strong pop-metal anthem with his vocals soaring above the shredding of Hipa and Sgrosso. “The Tempest” follows a similar pattern and contains one of the best choruses of the album both in terms of vocal performance and lyrics: “My wings they unfold in a storming gale, the tempest calls for my flight to fail, when gravity beckons with its hold, in spite of all the horizon sends wind to take me home”. The beautiful and melancholic “Father/Son” is one of the best, and oddly enough, one of the softest songs on the album, which proves that the songwriting abilities of Wovenwar transcends genres.

It might take a little while for the listener, maybe AILD fans in particular, to get used to the more poppy rock/metal approach from the former members of the band, but their high level of musicianship is still intact, and they still write great songs, albeit much more melodic this time around. With 15 songs on it though, the album does contain a little too much material, and a few songs could have been filtered out to make the end product a little tighter. However, this is a good first effort from a new band who in time surely will become a powerful entity in modern, melodic metal.


Download: All Rise, Tempest, The Mason, Father/Son, Profane
For the fans of: As I Lay Dying, Oh Sleeper, Times Of Grace, Saosin, All That Remains, Thirty Seconds To Mars
Listen: Facebook

Release date 05.08.2014
Metal Blade

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