(Out Aug 5th on Metal Blade)
HOW THE MEMBERS OF AS I LAY DYING MUST’VE FELT – with multi-million album sales in their pocket and having toured with the likes of Slipknot, Slayer, Suicide Silence and Killswitch Engage – when vocalist Tim Lambesis was arrested and jailed for attempting to hire a hitman to kill his wife. After the obvious shock and shattering foundation shake up, the four remaining musicians felt they had to press on and do what they do best. With a new name and larynx at the helm (Sleeper’s Shane Blay), As I Lay Dying 2.0 was born. Under the moniker Wovenwar they’re laying demons to rest by unleashing a towering debut.
It’s a mouth-watering prospect – an angry, damaged group of musicians perhaps with something to prove? It couldn’t be further from the truth as defiant opener ‘All Rise’ threads precise riffing with Blay’s magnetic vocals, landing a huge chorus in between incendiary instrumentation. It serves as the perfect link between the past and present, embedding traditional Metal and Rock signatures in an album that battles to evolve throughout.
Highlights include ‘Tempest’ and the American Rock of ‘The Mason’, showcasing some enigmatic dynamics and unexpected hooks akin to Californian juggernaut Aveneged Sevenfold. The haunting sounds of ‘Father/Son’ serve to emphasise Blay as the perfect choice and although Bill Stevenson’s (Rise Against, NOFX) production feels at times over-polished, the vocal performance is an imposing, note perfect and clean style that the otherwise-occupied Lambesis could only dream of delivering.
Ultimately Wovenwar is a noticeably more dynamic offering than anything released by its protagonists previously. With a welcome Hard Rock element to add spice and groove, it’s a bold introductory statement that’s bound to make a few naysayers sit up and take notice. And who would deny them that distinction. (7)