It was time to pop my metalcore cherry. Having never attended a metalcore show before (out of lack of enthusiasm towards the subgenre), I was ready for flat peaked New Era caps, Nightmare Before Christmas Hoodies and kids under the age of 16. Man was I wrong. I almost feel disappointed at the ass-hole judgemental side of myself for thinking such a way.
As mentioned in my interview, Wovenwar are a ‘rise-from-the-ashes’ kind of band. Formed from the remnants of As I Lay Dying, with new front man/ guitarist Shane Blay of Oh, Sleeper fame, Wovenwar bought the noise as they powered through a set full of good vibes and crowd-pleasing sing-along anthems.
The first thing instantly noticeable about the crowd was the ages of attendees. Having gone to a tonne of sludge, doom and death metal shows in the past few months I always felt like part of the younger crowd of fans, with a vast majority of crowd members being past 25 years old. Wovenwar on the other hand had such a mix of ages that I felt smack bang in the middle, something rather refreshing. The great mix made for a really cool crowd. The pit was lively but not violent and people did the right thing of picking those up that fell. Brothers in metal were holding each other by the shoulder as they screamed the lyrics at the top of their lungs. The vibe was just incredible.
The band were pretty incredible too. The guitar work was precise, and with 3 guitarists that is no easy feet. The vocals, provided mainly by Josh and Shane were fantastic too, with harmonies so tight they melded into one solitary voice that cut through me like a knife and left me rather speechless. Tracks like the lead single ‘All Rise’ were full of energy and bounce as they effortlessly went through speedy tremolo picking sections like it was nothing. The drummer and bassist never missed a beat and kept a solid foundation for the rest to follow.
As I made my way too the front of the crowd I could practically feel the energy emitted by these guys. The only reason I left the front was because the sound there was awful and I wanted to move back for it to be more balanced. In fact, that was my only gripe with the evening. The sound was rather sketchy in the really heavy sections or sections where there was a lot going on. Thankfully the vocals cut right through and sat really well amongst the instruments, but the sound quality was really noticeably bad when something like a guitar solo would come in and it was just buried.
Overall it was a fantastic show, a much welcomed break to the heaviness I had been viewing the past few months. If you fancy listening to Wovenwar, make your way too their website where you can stream the whole album, plus a few bonus tracks for free. Thanks for reading Y’all!
Words by: Asher G. Alexander