Wovenwar Album Review by Matt Bryant From Poynte
Hey everyone! I'm Matt Bryant and I play guitar in a band from Atlanta called POYNTE. We are currently writing our new album, so I was looking for a small break from that, and I was asked if I'd be interested in doing an album review. I'm always hesitant to do so, because as an artist, I don't really like album reviews. Art is subjective. So who am I to judge?
But I digress; it's a fun way to hear what is fresh and new, as well as to help me take a break from the intensity of writing. Then, I found out my assignment. You see, I'm actually a fan of Wovenwar, so after that, all my reservations went out the window and that's the journey of how we reached this point in time together.
Wovenwar is a band that I’ve watched grows and they are a band that personally inspires me. Their riffs are not only well-written, but there's also a groove about them. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what I mean, but when a band has it, they have it. I guess the most obvious groove oriented band would be Rage Against the Machine. Now don't get me wrong here, these bands are really nothing alike musically, but they do have that aspect that moves people. That, in my humble opinion, is the most powerful aspect of music. It's also one of the most elusive aspects.
Honor Is Dead is the name of the newest release from Wovenwar. It's aptly titled for the current world we live in and the lyrical content is certainly not afraid to touch upon many topics that many see as taboo. I'm not here to delve that deep into this album, though. Lyrics are something that I take great pride in and I always try to leave those open to interpretation, so I will respectfully do the same here.
There are several tracks that you will undoubtedly love if you're a Wovenwar fan. Specifically, you'll really enjoy Confession, Censorship, Lines In the Sand, World On Fire, Stones Thrown and Bloodletter.
Those songs are not merely "more of the same" from a band that has established their identity. These are songs that raise the musical bar higher than it's ever been for any of these musicians and their other projects, and I don't say that lightly.
For instance, Censorship is a track that brings an intensity that few bands can ever even begin to approach. The riffs are brutal, the drums are absolutely exhilarating and the message delivered is an intelligent, relevant hook that these guys will have in their set for years to come.
My personal favorite track is Line In the Sand. From my standpoint, this song is where I personally see heavy music heading. There is a tremendous groove to the riff that immediately sets the tone for the face-melting set before you. Then musically, the verses drop out, carried by some mesmerizing guitar work which allow some beautiful clean vocals to tell the tale. Those lead to a quick pre-chorus that transitions into a melody that is not only memorable, it's downright captivating. There's the occasional scream as an accent, but the real treat for me are those harmonies, especially coming out of the solo/bridge. I know that I've written a book about this song so far, but as a songwriter I have to say, this track is absolutely incredible.
World On Fire is a track that continues the blistering pace and is a great transition track from Line In the Sand. It features one of my favorite riffs on the album and the guitar tones are perfect. The sound is rounded off pretty cleanly, but there's still an edge to it that I personally love. It's definitely metal, but yet again, it's fresh and exciting.
One of the more subdued tracks on the album is Compass. This track is one that blows my mind. A band that has the technical abilities that Wovenwar has, usually just flaunt and flex their muscles, relying solely on those abilities to carry an album. Here, they take a moment and allow vocalist Shane Blay to deliver haunting vocals over an electronic-riddled atmospheric track that not only breaks up the brutal onslaught, it becomes a centerpiece and a track that shines an entirely different spotlight on this incredible band, one which is very similarly on the track Silhouette, another incredibly inspiring track. Its beauty lies within its simplicity, which allows the room needed for such a great melody to shine.
One last track that I want to discuss is Bloodletter. This style of song is exactly what drew me to Wovenwar to begin with. If you were a fan of their last album, or musically of As I Lay Dying, this track is right up your alley. The guitar tones are probably my favorite on the album.
What Wovenwar has created with Honor Is Dead is nothing short of incredible. We all know the technical abilities have always been there, but for me, this album is fresh. It's relevant and inspiring, not only as a musician, but as a human. If you want to hear those aforementioned technical abilities, jump ahead to the last track on the album, 130. I suggest wearing a helmet and if you play guitar, plan on wanting to give up. Ha-ha!
Buy this album. Support live music. Love one another. Peace out!
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