Wovenwar – “Wovenwar” (Metal Blade Records)
Formed from As I Laying Dying following the aftermath of vocalist Tim Lambesis’s incarceration, Wovenwar is a marked departure from the previous metalcore the band used to play into a modern rock / metal band – although vestiges of their past still remain, albeit in a somewhat diluted form. Clearly there’s been a lot’ve water under the bridge, and it’s reflected in the poignant name that is based on the never ending struggle of good and evil influences woven – or chosen to be – woven into our lives, despite the fact that we are all born with the same innocence. Deep indeed! Thankfully the material is altogether more straightforward being heavily melodic albeit with a hint of sadness be it in Shane Blay’s vocals, or Nick Hipa’s flowing melodies and emo solos. Even when Wovenwar turn up the heat in engaging the heavy rhythm of Josh Gilbert’s crunching bass and Jordan Mancino’s hard ass drums, their fire is soon assuaged by soothing vocal harmonies and occasional acoustic passages, although very often there is mixture of moods and tempos within songs like ‘All Rise’, ‘Onward’ and ‘Moving Up’. The effect is to make Wovenwar’s songs more dynamic rhythmically and generally allowing the band more freedom to be creative within their material that I would say they didn’t have previously. Overall this self titled debut is both a carthartic release from the past but equally one of resolution and optimism in going forward – I think the band have made a bold but right move that is in their best interests as musicians while still having their fans at heart but only time will tell on this.