On Friday Aug 1, I made the trip down south to Emo’s in Austin, TX from Dallas accompanied by my good friend Cody. I was given the opportunity to check out WOVENWAR on their inaugural tour with the mighty BLACK LABEL SOCIETY. Being a huge fan of their previous work in AS I LAY DYING, I was really excited to see what these guys had in store; to prepare myself for this show, I had been jamming their debut I received a few weeks earlier and I COULD NOT STOP LISTENING TO IT!! Needless to say, I did have certain expectations given this group’s musical history and they completely exceeded them.
After being pleasantly surprised to find out that my Dad was in Austin this same night, we met up and headed over to the venue and made our way inside just in time to catch them opening with “Foreward” directly into “All Rise” as it is on the disc. I was immediately taken aback when I saw Shane Blay take the first guitar solo of the night; the fact that he is essentially an extra guitarist and vocalist gives this quintet a fresh dynamic that was lacking in AS I LAY DYING. The night continued with “Death to Rights” followed by “The Mason” which are two of their heavier offerings, the latter including a sick scream from Shane Blay.
The audience was somewhat unsuspecting of WOVENWAR which wasn’t surprising as their album doesn’t drop for a couple more days but it was easy to see that the crowd was definitely paying attention to them. “Tempest” and “Matter of Time” were performed next; these two tracks have some strong similarities to AS I LAY DYING’s Awakenedwhich I really loved. “Matter of Time” features Josh Gilbert doing the main vocals throughout the entire song with Blay covering the harmonies, so for everybody out there that was hoping they would get more of Josh’s presence live vocally, fear not, when you see this powerhouse you will hear him harmonizing the vocals throughout almost every song. Nick Hipa even threw in a nice higher octave vocal line in one of the songs.
One of the upsides of having my Dad attend the show was that he was able to give me some input on Jordan Mancino’s playing since he is a drummer also. He mentioned that he really liked his style especially on “Profane” which was outstanding including all of the members chanting the gang vocals of the chorus. Phil Sgrosso shined on “Archers” by performing the extra screams at the end of the song that were recorded by Micah of OH, SLEEPER. The riff-heavy “Identity” was played next and showcased just how awesome this new triple guitar attack was working with all rhythms and harmonies sounding exactly as they are on the album.
To close the night out, WOVENWAR busted out what I will say is one of the most beautifully written songs of 2014, “Prophets”, which started quietly with clean guitars and serene vocals and continued into the heavier sections perfectly. I am really excited for these dudes. You could see that they were extremely happy to be performing again and played and sung with so much emotion and feeling. You can’t ask for more than a band to just be genuine and that’s exactly what they are. I can definitely see these guys doing a headlining tour in the near future. Take notice because WOVENWAR is the real deal and the next big thing! Catch them on tour right now with BLACK LABEL SOCIETY.
LIVE REVIEW: JOR-EL