The story of As I Lay Dying, and their former vocalist, Tim Lambesis with his criminal activities, has been played out in the media to no end, so there is no need to lay out the gruesome details here.
Lambesis’ As I Lay Dying bandmates, however, have decided to take their lumps and forge on with Wovenwar. Their addition of former Oh, Sleeper vocalist Shane Blay, was a surprise to all, since his clean singing not befitting of the metalcore standard they once employed. But with this new project, they have also adopted a more hard rock approach while maintaining a semblance of melody and razor sharp riffs on their self-titled debut
After the intro, “Foreward,” “All Rise” kicks into full gear with hooks and catchy vocals. While guitarists Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso are best known for their technical breakdowns, the new style fits them well. They don’t miss a beat here. “Death to Rights” has a harder feel, but it retains the melody. Bassist Josh Gilbert‘s clean singing was well know in As I Lay Dying, and his melodies with Blay are second to none. “The Mason” is another shredder, and it should earn its fair share of radio play. “Father/Son” is a very cool, moody break in the middle of the album compounded by tribal sounding drums and atmospheric layers. While the former As I Lay Dying members have truly been through hell the last year or so, the lyrical content on this debut is upbeat and positive throughout.
While this album is enjoyable, the songs do tend to blend together, although repeated listens uncover interesting and unique subtleties. Wovenwar have something to say, and they are making their statement loud and proud.
Wovenwar is out now on Metal Blade Records.
Rating: 4/5 stars