- Shane Blay – Guitars, Vocals, Bass and Vocal Engineer
- Nick Hipa – Guitars, Guitar Engineer
- Phil Sgrosso – Guitars, Guitar Engineer
- Josh Gilbert – Bass, Vocals, Bass and Vocal Engineer
- Jordan Mancino – Drums
- Honor is Dead
- Lines in the Sand
- World on Fire
- Stones Thrown
For those who have been following this site for a while, you may be aware that I’ve been a tad partial to the old metalcore in my time. I find the genre easy to get along with. It never gets particularly complicated, and it tends to stay heavy enough to keep me engaged. Wovenwar is no exception, although I find myself urging the band to nudge the heaviness up a little.
My review for their original self-titled record suggested that the mix of the band’s heavy music and Shane Blay’s vocals (which urge on whining) didn’t quite have the required effect and left me wanting more:
Vocally is where Wovenwar lets itself down, Blay’s singing voice (although well performed) doesn’t quite cut it over the whole of the album, as such, you are left willing him to let himself go and scream… There are one or two moments throughout the album where he does scream, and it really livens it up, but I was left wanting more.
Well, you’ll be glad to know that the band listened. Honor is Dead is heavier and far more aggressive than its predecessor. Blay indeed let the anger take hold, and in this record you’ll find him screaming a lot. His unclean vocals were always great, so it’s nice to hear them back and more plentiful than before. Right from the off you’ll notice that Honor is Dead is a more aggressive beast than the band’s debut record. “Confession”, a song about alcoholism, starts off with a rather inconspicuous drum beat, but then the riff kicks in, and very shortly after, so too does Blay’s vocals. This is an angry song.
The anger doesn’t stop there, either. “Censorship”, “World on Fire”, “Stones Thrown” (the best, and heaviest track on the record), “Cascade” and “130” are all aggressive tracks. I don’t know where the band’s new-found anger came from, but I like it. Honor is Dead is heavier and far more aggressive than its predecessor, and it’s so much better because of it. This isn’t only in Blay’s vocal delivery, either. Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso’s guitar work has improved. You’ll find djent-esque moments in “Censorship” and a Tom Morello style solo in “Stones Thrown”. There is more to the record in all areas.
Sadly (depending on your tastes), Wovenwar were intent on squeezing in a couple of light tracks. “Silhouette” and “Compass” aren’t bad, but they do feel a little out-of-place compared to the rest of the album’s aggression. Blay’s vocals can err on the side of whining again, too. I feel this is a personal preference, but his higher (all American) clean singing can grate just a little bit. I still find myself wishing he screamed a little more, despite the vast increase in this field compared to the band’s debut record.
Honor is Dead is a real step up from the Wovernwar’s debut record, and I really appreciated the vast increase in aggression.