In Flames has announced the second leg of their Siren Charms North American Tour for 2015, with All That Remains and Wovenwar as support.
Feb 20: The Canyon – Agoura Hills, CA Feb 21: Rialto Theatre – Tucson, AZ Feb 22: House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV Feb 23: House of Blues – San Diego, CA Feb 25: The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT Feb 27: The Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA Feb 28: Senator Theatre – Chico, CA Mar 01: Ace of Spades – Sacramento, CA Mar 03: The Wilma Theatre – Missoula, MT Mar 04: Knitting Factory Concert House – Spokane, WA Mar 05: Knitting Factory Concert House – Boise, ID Mar 06: Roseland Theater – Portland, Ore. Mar 07: Showbox SODO – Seattle, WA Mar 09: Vogue Theater – Vancouver, BC Mar 10: Level Nightclub – Kelowna, BC Mar 12: Encore – Edmonton, AB Mar 13: Flames Central – Calgary, AB Mar 14: O’Brians Event Centre – Saskatoon, SK Mar 15: The Garrick Centre – Winnipeg, MB Mar 16: Bismarck Civic Center – Bismarck, ND Mar 18: The Rave – Milwaukee, WI
The final dates of the In Flames and Opeth “Communion of Sirens” tour with Red Fang are below.
Dec 17: Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA Dec 18: Terminal 5 – New York, NY Dec 19: Palladium – Worcester, MA Dec 20: Metropolis – Montreal, QC Dec 21: Koolhaus – Toronto, ON
If you’ve never been to Camden’s Barfly, the first thing that strikes you is just how tiny it is. Like, really tiny. You can stand right at the back of the room, by the bar and feel like you’re right down the front. It’s the sort of room where you can see the condensation running down the walls, the sort of room where you can see what the band had for their lunch. It is intimate, that’s for sure and a terrific place to see Wovenwar’s first UK live set. We’ll get to them in a bit: first though, time to check out support act Empress AD, ahead of their Reading and Leeds festival slots.
You can always tell whether a support band has a bit of a buzz about them by how early people turn up for their set. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s VERY busy and judging by tonight’s performance, the buzz on Empress AD is entirely justified. Empress AD are the sort of band that’s difficult to pigeon-hole, such is the diversity and dexterity to their oeuvre. But that is part of their charm: they have a brilliant, disorienting blend of music that runs a gamut of styles – they clearly have a Pink Floyd record or nine in their collection and they are self-evidently enraptured by dark dynamics beloved of Cult of Luna. However, theirs is not a simple facsimile. On the contrary, they have taken their influences, blended them and added several ingredients of their own, a recipe for a performance that thrilled as much as it beguiled. Definitely ones to watch, then.
You’re already probably familiar with the backstory on Wovenwar and their phoenix from the ashes development so I won’t labour on it again here but know this. They are the real deal. Wovenwar are just a terrific band. There is an air of expectancy about this performance and, when they arrive on stage, they are greeted like returning heroes.
For a record that has only recently dropped, everyone seems to know every word to every song and they have clearly tapped into something, and something good at that. From the taped opening of Onward through live debuts for Sight of Shore and Moving Up, Wovenwar just exude confidence, class and power and everyone seems to have realized that the band have got “it”; whatever that elusive “it” is.
Lead singer Shane Blay is a veritable bear of a man and a compelling singer, but one with humility and intelligence in abundance. But this is not a show about him, all of the band appear to be having a hugely enjoyable time. Given what they have been through, this can only be seen as something like a victory.
When the band launch into set closer Prophets the entire room goes ballistic and transforms itself into one giant circle pit and it really is a sight to behold. Someone leans over to me and says “You know, I prefer them to As I Lay Dying”.
And, after tonight, I have to agree with him. Brilliant entertainment.
Wovenwar is a band that should not exist, but they do. I was excited to hear what the guys from As I Lay Dying were going to do next. They have a clean slate now and can go anywhere and with this album, and they did. Their new band are a blend of the heaviness that you know from them, plus an extremely melodic commercial side not really seen before. IF you were expecting Part 2 of their old band, look elsewhere.
Once again they guys teamed up with producer Bill Stevenson and mixed by Colin Richardson, who did the last AILD album. It’s another sonic juggernaut. This album is full of catchiness, it feels like any given song could be one of those radio hits from back in the day. From the opening track ‘All Rise’, singer Shane Blay of Oh, Sleeper fame, shows you that he’s a different voice than you’d expect to hear with these guys. He has a great vocal attack that fits perfect with this ‘Profane’ and ‘Sight of Shore’. There’s a few banging vocal sections spread over this album that just crush. Jordan Mancino’s drums are really solid here on ‘Tempest’. He has this great Meshuggah flavored ending that I just love. Bassist Josh Gilbert is heard playing effortlessly on everything. He just stands out, and when he gets to toss in his vocals on tracks like ‘Matter of Time’ and ‘Prophets’ it just adds so much more dimension to Shane’s sound. There’s some mighty fine solo work all through out thanks to the guitar team of Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso. ‘Death to Rights’ & ‘Ruined Ends’ show off some pretty bad ass riffs.
I think this record is a grower. A few spins, and it all sinks in. Except ‘Moving On’ that one gets stuck in the head from first listen. I don’t know if they were purposely trying to distance themselves from their past or just organically branching out. Either way it’s a solid record that I think could have been just a little more edgey.