It’s now been three years since Tim Lambesis was suddenly arrested on charges of arranging the murder of his own wife by an undercover police officer. Several memes surrounding his successful metalcore group, As I Lay Dying, ensued to hilarious albeit uproarious acclaim. However, almost instantly came about the idea of Wovenwar, a collaboration between remaining members of As I Lay Dying and Oh, Sleeper, and almost instantaneously success followed this new project thanks to the predictable yet solid and confident debut effort. It didn’t really change the band’s scope save for the fact that Lambesis wasn’t a part of their circle anymore, but it did give them a fresh, perhaps much-needed start.
Unfortunately, Honor is Dead features more of the same delivery, albeit in a weaker and slightly more derivative way. None of the album really ever exceeds expectations; matter of fact, it barely ever attempts to impress the listener and seems to favour a tried-and-tested musical method which, on the band’s debut, proved monotonous enough not to engage in. That said, the general idea here is that Wovenwar have moved on well from that most unfortunate of news a few years ago, and the band certainly prove confidence is ultimately in their favour. Stronger songs such as the bitter “Censorship” and “Silhouette” bring a modern metalcore style to the forefront as the band attempts to tie electronic effects with average yet fairly solid riff work. When the band give in to calming ambience, as on the gentle “Compass” and groovier “Cascade”, it is done so in a maturer fashion, more so on the album’s heavier tracks. However, what this album doesn’t have is any particularly spectacular moments or real hooks to sink your teeth into; instead, it merely plods for forty minutes and doesn’t really seem to be bothered about pulling in any newcoming fans. Of course, the core audience here is undoubtedly going to lap up the likes of opener “Confession”, but it has to be said that Wovenwar seem here to be beating a dead horse already-and on their sophomore effort when it is usually the third or fourth record in a band’s career.
That said, you have to give Wovenwar some credit for steeping further away from the confines of their past. Honor is Dead is as average as melodic metalcore can get, but there are times where you feel the band are starting to step into unmarked territory. Unfortunately, these moments are too few and far between, and the whole piece itself seems very congealed in that the same formula is relied upon too much. On the basis of their past reputation however, Wovenwar aren’t going anywhere but onwards and upwards, even if their musical output isn’t.
Released: October 21st, 2016
- Honor is Dead
- Lines in the Sand
- World on Fire
- Stones Thrown