steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


Self-titled CDR EP

Haute Magie

Genre: experimental epic metal

St. Joseph, MO

April 2010

Dark metal guitars, haunting synths, processed vocals, and lo-fi recording conditions collide on this muddled EP by Saint Joseph, Missouri's premiere two-man experimental metal band, Woven. This CDR comes replete with three extensive compositions, each one offering some good elements but more than a few head-scratchers. “Monument,” its eleven minute opener, kicks matters in lengthy fashion. Starting with a duo of synths and clean guitar strokes, it almost sounds like the score to an RPG -- that is, before it drops into murky black metal griminess. It's an interesting track stylistically, it's also very disorganized, and the transitions from idea to idea are in want of some serious polish. These folks deserve accolades for their effort, but the delivery simply isn't there. Meanwhile, “Albatross” basically samples (nabs) the entirety of Clint Mansell's score for “Requiem for a Dream,” laying over death metal guitars and grisly vocal noise. It isn't a bad listen when Mansell and the accompaniment are in sync, though it certainly reinvents the limits of “fair use” from a sampling perspective.

Fortunately, the last track, “Advance,” sees the duo at their best. Scorching metal guitars and garbled noise vocals provide an astutely pulverizing listen, though over eight minutes the formula becomes somewhat tedious, and certain question marks remain about periodic audio clipping and a goofy conclusion which garners sparse chuckles but significant annoyance. All together, while Woven is a pretty nifty name for an experimental black metal band, this EP is too scattered and rough around the edges to be enjoyed.

woven's myspace

Michael Tau

[Vitals: 3 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2010]