Wovenwar - Wovenwar (Metal Blade)

Resurrection for the Dying
Release Date: 
5 Aug 2014 - 8:30am

Unless you’ve been living in a small bubble in a cave under a rock for the last few months, you’ll be aware that As I Lay Dying front man Tim Lambesis is currently serving a six-year sentence for allegedly hiring someone to allegedly make his estranged wife disappear. Allegedly.

It’s not the first time that the despicable actions of a frontman have had devastating repercussions for the innocent band mates – you know what I’m talking about – and so it’s only right that a talented bunch of musicians should get back on the horse and gallop back into the metal fraternity.

AILD guitarists Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso, bassist Josh Gilbert and drummer Jordan Mancino have reinvented themselves in the shape of Wovenwar, with the addition of long-time friend and Oh, Sleeper vocalist Shane Blay fulfilling the vocal duties. The press material surrounding this release tells many a story of overcoming obstacles, transitional phases and personal challenges but musically, this self-titled release is much of a muchness alongside recent AILD releases. The Mason sounds exactly like My Only Home off of 2012's Awakened with the only major difference being Blay’s lack of harsh vocal.

Being 80% of one of the world’s most accomplished metalcore acts means it was always going to be difficult for Wovenwar to deliver something with a completely fresh sound. There is still intricate guitar noodling and occasional double kick flurries, and to give Blay his dues he’s an incredibly decent vocalist. But there’s a lack of meat to Wovenwar. It feels like it should be a lot heavier than it actually is. It’s a bit WWE entrance music (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing; after all, Metallingus by Alter Bridge is an absolute belter)

Things get a bit confusing mid-album, with Archers sounding like You Me At Six and Father/Son and Ruined Ends delving into the realms of HIM. However, Matter of Time brings the metal back with a decent chug, and the predictable acoustic-to-heavy Prophets paves the way for synthy instrumental album closer Onward.

As a stand-alone album, Wovenwar is remarkably average (and far too long) and bearing in mind the pedigree of the musicians involved, it’s wide of the mark. All Rise will get the radio play it wants and deserves but aside from that, it’s difficult to see any longevity in this new endeavour.