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If you ever want a blueprint on how to survive a band member’s Federal crime and conviction, Wovenwar is now on the short list. It’s a good thing they didn’t let it phase them. In fact, after the arrest and subsequent conviction of As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis, the remaining members were forced into an unsolicited ultimatum: What do we do now?

In a flawless display of business sense and experience, it turned out they did the best thing a band could possibly do. They dissolved As I Lay Dying and, with the four remaining members, started a new chapter in their books. They resolved the driving factor behind their sound to be dictated by whomever took the microphone.

Luckily for us, Oh, Sleeper guitarist and vocalist Shane Blay is a good friend of the band’s. He had always wanted to pursue a more robust vocal career, and by pairing him with some of the most dynamic and technical songwriters in the metal word, you have a match made in heaven.

Wovenwar is riff-heavy; they’re slick and polished, dripping with the reverb and wah of classic rock solos.Blay’s power compliments the chord progressions and the choruses take on a beautiful tenor, like their forebearers Killswitch Engage. The album gifts us the impressive display of the range in Blay’s voice, from tweaking-on-edge to a soft, smooth vibrato perfect for any rock ballad.

There aren’t any screams on the record (save for a guest spot by Oh, Sleeper’s Micah Kinard), but it turns out to truly be a breath of fresh air. Wovenwar has its sites set firmly on rock and roll perfection, and there isn’t any time for compromise. By sticking to their guns and firmly following their new leader, the band has created their own identity, the way Aerosmith and Black Sabbath would have it. They may be a new band, but their commitment is veteran.


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