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.