Metal Blade Records
Release date: August 5, 2014
2014 has been such an amazing year in the world of metal with so many exceptional releases that I was starting to think that I might never have to sit through a sub-par record again. Then, along comes this.
Wovenwar is the band that has risen from the ashes of one of Christian metal’s most prominent bands As I Lay Dying. In one of the biggest scandals to ever rock the metal community, AILD singer Tim Lambesis was arrested in May of 2013 for attempting to hire an undercover San Diego cop to kill his estranged wife. Lambesis was sentenced to six years in prison for that conspiracy earlier this year. For details on that story click here.
As for the rest of the band, they did their best to immediately distance themselves from Lambesis and decided to forge on under the new moniker of Wovenwar. They recruited singer Shane Blay of the band Oh, Sleeper and began work on their debut album.
This record might have been titled Oh, Sleeper because I literally dozed off twice during my first listen-through. Contained herein is everything that is wrong with modern metal. These guys may be amazing musicians, but I couldn’t tell you for sure because everything is so processed and sterilized that it’s entirely possible that every note was recorded separately to perfection and spliced together. Adding to that, Blay, who technically speaking is a phenomenally talented singer, is about as interesting as listening to paint dry. The material here is so generic that halfway through the song “Rise Again” it dawned on me that this was the same advanced song I had heard a few months back and completely forgotten about. Then I had to go back and search for it again as I was writing this, because I still couldn’t remember which song it was. The only songs on the entire record that are anywhere near memorable are the big radio rock single “Profane” and a pseudo ballad called “Father/Son.” These are the only moments where Wovenwar deviate from their paint-by-number formula and Blay’s voice momentarily shows some grit.
I was actually pulling for these guys after what they went through with Lambesis. I had also gained some serious respect for them after the disgraced singer’s claim that AILD was not really a Christian band after all, but were actually duping unsuspecting bible-thumpers in a shameless cash grab. But, all in all this record is extremely disappointing. If you want a progressive metal band with clean, soaring vocals that is actually interesting, go check out Tesseract and skip on this forgettable outing. If you’re an aural masochist, the entire record is streaming for a limited time at this location.
Rating 4.0 out of 10