Wovenhand - Refractory Obdurate

Published Saturday 29th October 2016
Wovenhand - Refractory Obdurate
Wovenhand - Refractory Obdurate

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 162936-24305
LABEL: Glitterhouse GRCD797

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

Described by Cross Rhythms' Tony Cummings as "Southern gothic alternative heavy rock Americana fusion" in his accompanying note, this 2014 album by Colorado rockers Wovenhand is impossible to pigeonhole. Fronted by lead vocalist and chief songwriter David Eugene Edwards, there is an overriding heavy and almost fearful feel to proceedings with the band pounding out a backing that matches an intense, theatrical and distorted vocal delivery by Edwards that sits somewhere between Scott Walker and David Byrne with definite hints of Bowie. Lyrically, Edwards has always been an inventive and highly cryptic lyricist and there are plenty of jaw-dropping moments when Edwards nails it with a mere handful of words - more often than not when he's trying to communicate something of his faith in God. For instance, lines like "rip the roof off and lower me down, forever in my time of need" in "The Refractory" perfectly and poetically communicate an ongoing reliance upon God whilst there is an overarching theme of sin versus holiness throughout. Equally, there are times when the listener may have to accept that only the author has a clue what he's on about due to the sheer complexity of the lyrics. For example, the tangled wordplay in the likes of "Masonic Youth" crucially makes it unclear where Edwards stands on the loaded subject of freemasonry whilst the frankly bizarre "El-Bow" closes the album in apparently nonsensical fashion. Only the Eastern-tinged "Obdurate Obscura" and the suitably ancient "King David" provide a brief interlude to the befittingly oppressive, pounding style that dominates the album and, although this might not therefore be the most stylistically diverse release, it's yet another intelligent and ingenious one from Edwards and crew.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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