Release Date: Aug 5, 2014
Record label: Metal Blade
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Speed/Thrash Metal
Discovering that your singer has been plotting to have his wife killed would be a shock enough to give most musicians serious pause, but the four non-murderous members of US metalcore giants As I Lay Dying have wasted no time in rising from the ashes of former colleague Tim Lambesis's grim downfall. Wovenwar are a very different beast from AILD, aided greatly by new frontman Shane Blay's soothing but robust tones and the band's reborn enthusiasm for making soulful but strident modern metal. This is an instantly lovable, consistent and convincing debut, brimming with razor-sharp melodies and subtly expressed technical prowess – a marked improvement on AILD's rather one-dimensional sound, and a breath of fresh air for a metalcore scene that does tend to chase its own creative tail.
A band born out of necessity, Wovenwar came to be just one year after the release of Awakened, the last studio album from metalcore giants As I Lay Dying, who at the time were reckoning with the fallout of losing their lead singer Tim Lambesis to a six-year prison term. Also, attempting to hire a hitman to kill your estranged wife doesn't exactly sit well with fans, so the remaining members decided to move on, albeit under a different moniker and with a new vocalist, Oh, Sleeper's Shane Blay. The resulting 15-track debut trades in much of the breakdown-heavy malevolence of As I Lay Dying in favor of a more streamlined, melodic hard rock approach, which might irk some longtime fans, but it presents the instrumental section in a whole new light.
Wovenwar have dropped their debut album. A heads up: this is not As I Lay Dying 2.0. The first album from former members of As I Lay Dying doesn’t ape their original band as much as might have been expected. There’s plenty of thunderous percussion and fiddly guitar lines to sate the average AILD fan’s hunger, but Oh, Sleeper vocalist Shane Blay lays a melodic, almost Bullet For My Valentine-esque rasp over these 15 tracks of this thick, atmospheric metalcore.