I’ve been following Wovenwar pretty much since their inception. Whilst the circumstances surrounding the formation of the band were not the greatest, the group has produced some rather good music and put on some good shows. When I spoke with Jordan back in 2015, he mentioned that the band weren’t going to be working on music for a bit. It seems however, that they changed their minds and decided to put something out. And boy, is it different…
Mix-wise, it’s got a lot more dynamic range. To me, the previous album was over-compressed and sounded very distorted. I’m happy to say that this album is much more balanced and is overall mixed better.
Opening the album up is the track “Confession”. Right from the get-go, this album is very different. Harsh vocals, rhythmic melodies and more apparent vocal harmonies adorn the music. Overall the music feels much more aggressive which was what was lacking from the previous album.
Now onto probably what is my favourite track from the album, “Censorship”. Damn, does this track groove! The track has more harsh vocals than the entire previous album combined and is a much more expressive piece than the previous. The title track of the album takes a slightly different approach for the opening and begins with calmer tones before the aggression returns. It’s slightly tamer than the previous track and features a bit more melody with the guitars having a kind of octave riff for the chorus.
“Lines in the Sand” opens in yet another different manner before the now common theme of lower tuned melodies come in. Like “Censorship”, it’s got a lot of groove and harsh vocals, but it presents them in a different manner. “World on Fire” keeps a similar kind of tone, but feels much more emotive. With split vocal harmonies between Shane and Josh, the track has a much more destructive feel.
Calming things down is the track “Compass”. In a way, it’s similar to “Father/Son” in that it’s the calmest track on the album, but it’s still got a lot of edge to it. “Stones Thrown” ramps things back up with a slower but still heavy pace. Predominantly featuring harsh vocals, the chorus is only where we get a slight glimmer of clean vocals in this rather brutal song.
“Cascade” follows on in expert fashion by kicking up the pace and bringing back those vocal harmonies that were so apparent in the first album. The harsh vocals are still there, but we get to hear more of how much Shane has improved as a clean vocalist. The calm returns again with “Silhouette”, a far cry from the previous track. With a grooving bass-line, the track reminds me of something that could well have appeared on a mid-80’s record.
All the calm of the previous song, is shattered with the arrival of “Bloodletter”. Harnessing both the new harsh vocals and clean vocal harmonies the track blends them with the more destructive elements in the album to create a rather unique formula. “130”, the final track on the album, is very similar to “Censorship” however, it’s faster. Way, way faster. It’s fast enough to be considered a crossover-thrash track. The shortest track on the album, it gradually fades to nothing after an aggressive explosion of fury.
Something I’ve been mulling over for a while is whether or not this is a worthy follow-up to the previous album. To me, the previous album was good, but it could have been so much more. With this album however, the band seem to have listened and have created something much darker whilst still retaining all the good things from the previous album.
There’s still something though which doesn’t sit right. Whether it’s the fact that I’ve heard similar music in the past, I’m not sure. But it’s still a very good album and I personally think that they’ve done a good job with it. Yet, in some way it’s a small case of déjà vu…
Standout tracks: Censorship, Lines in the sand, 130.