Woven Man – Revelry (In Our Arms)
Release Date: 11/01/2019
Running Time: 34:17
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
Good evening, my fellow dark souls of black and other ill-suited arabesques. Dark Juan here, coming down off a spectacularly drunken Saturday night with Eurovision. But we shan’t go into that. All you need to know is that Dark Juan approves of all Eurovision shenanigans, especially when Icelandic BDSM aggrotech acts show support for Palestine in the middle of Tel Aviv. Madonna, though. She was a fucking disaster zone. She sang flatter than a witch’s tit all through her song. The poor old sausage, desperately trying to remain relevant. Give up, old girl. You’re a granny now, like, and hanging about with idiotically named rappers repeating the last word of a line whilst using a square wave processor and doing some kind of bizarre electronic reggae-lite is not dignified. And stop dressing like a fucking steampunk sky-pirate, as well.
Yeah, Woven Man. Of course I have remembered what I am here for. They are Welsh. I’m allowed to make any Welsh joke I like because I lived there for several years, and let me tell you most of them were come up with by Welshmen. However, guitarist Lee “Roy” Davies, during his tenure with Lifer, stayed at my house in Yorkshire one time and was PERSONALLY responsible for the worst hangover I have ever suffered, the sawn off little shit. Never before or since has a trip to Ripon ever taken four hours from Halifax…..
“Revelry (In Our Arms)” starts, rather interestingly, and in my opinion jarringly, with a banjo. Cue the possibility of a joke about hillbillies considering it was recorded in Llanelli, but I have just remembered I have played the Mason’s Arms in Llanelli and my old band used to practice there… Makes me a hillbilly too then. Shit. Can’t do that one. Bollocks. Anyway, we are soon rid of the banjo and suddenly the inside of my head explodes with a COLOSSAL explosion of fuzz tinged distortion as the Woven Man battlewagon gets kicked into gear with ‘Calling Down The Leaves’. Holy fuck. That production is huge. It’s like somebody bludgeoning you with heavy fucking metal. Yes, this is what we want! The opening riff sends my eyeballs spinning and we are away with a nine minute paean to the gods of stoner and space rock. Yes, this record is heavier than an anvil at terminal velocity, but there are touches of Kyuss and more especially Hawkwind in the opening song. Especially near the end of the song. This is a good thing. I fucking love Hawkwind and immediately love anyone else who does too.
Running through the record there’s a distinct Clutch vibe going on, but this again is no bad thing. The songwriting is good, the vocals diverse and interesting and the music played with the kind of relaxed aplomb that can only come with being off your tits on some party treats. Every song is good. ‘I Am Mountain’ starts with a bass riff that rearranged my internal organs, turned my liver into liquid and made my blood come out of my nose. The sound of both bass and guitar is magnificently, cosmically humungous and ‘I Am Mountain’ has an almost grunge like, Soundgardeny arrangement and structure, with a guitar line dripping with wah wah before the chorus kicks in, in the most satisfyingly metal way possible and melts your face, again. There’s a lot of face melting on this record. ‘With Willow’ is the third track on this five song debut, and it is Sabbathian and Clutchy and my personal favourite track for my 4am commute to work at maximum volume. It’s a stonker and never fails to wake me the fuck up. ‘Maker’s Mark’ starts with the kind of clean electric guitar chord medley Metallica favoured at the start of ‘Harvester Of Sorrow’, but played with considerably more finesse than the overrated Yank chancers. And then it explodes. Again my brains are smeared across the wall behind me by the sheer enormity of the sound of this record, necessitating a quick clean up lest Mrs. Dark Juan complains about the mess. She’s sick of me leaking body fluids and organs all over the house when I listen to metal. She says that blood is a very persistent stain on the curtains. Closing track ‘Of Land And Sky’ has caused my brainpan to explode and now the lounge looks like that nightclub in the third Hellraiser film after Pinhead decides to show the clientele what he thinks a good time is. It is good and the vocal has a very appealing harder, heavier more brutal edge, Sion roaring “SUMMON THE TEMPEST!” and sounding rather like the rather wonderful Karl Middleton of Earthtone9 whilst doing so. In fact, the whole song reminds me of that brilliant Nottingham mob, with added sludge.
Woven Man have released a hell of a record. Brutal, proficient and one that rewards multiple listens. I’ve played it so many times you’ll hear “SUMMON THE TEMPEST!” from underground in the corner of an old graveyard somewhere. That will be me in my grave. And I’m not just saying it because Lee is one of my friends. It is a fucking killer record and one that proper should put Welsh metal on the map. Best thing to come out of Wales since the road back to England, really. For the record, I’m fucking joking here, alright? I loved Wales and living in Castell Newydd Emlyn. And Cwmdwyfran. And Aberystwyth. Other fine Welsh things are Felinfoel Double Dragon beer, Llanelli’s finest pint. Or Brains’ SA. Or Fuel Rock Club on Womanby Street in Cardiff. Or Crowleys Rock Bar in Swansea. It appears there are many fine things to come out of West and South Wales and Woven Man are one of the finest. I order you all to spend all of your money on Woven Man gear and music. Right away, you UTTER SCOUNDRELS!!!
Also, cofiwch Dryweryn. Diolch yn fawr.
(Rick here, for those that do not know or understand the Welsh language this translates to “Remember Tryweryn. Thank you very much”. Google Dryweryn/Tryweryn and you’ll find out about this piece of Welsh history that is forgotten by many and not known about by many more!)
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (System Sgorio Gwastadedd Gwaed Gwlyb Juan Tywyll yn y Cymraeg… Ha! Bet that took you by surprise didn’t it? I actually know a bit of [probably incorrect] Welsh!) has forbore from making any jokes about wellington boots and sheep during this review because it was taken aback by the brilliance on display here. 9/10. Woven Man lose a mark for not giving me enough heavy fucking metal on this record. I need more. I can’t even say that Wales are shit at rugby anymore, because they won the Six Nations. I’ll never forgive them for the Manic Street Preachers, though. That’s unforgivable.
01. Calling Down The Leaves
02. I Am Mountain
03. With Willow
04. Maker’s Mark
05. Of Land And Sky
WOVEN MAN ARE:
I don’t know. Apart from the legendary Lee “Roy” Davies, they haven’t seen fit to leave any information on the internet that might enlighten me… I shall just consult the physical copy Lee sent me. Ah ha, here we go…
Sion McKinnon – Vocals
Donal Owen – Drums
Andrew Brookes – Bass
Mark Pitts – Guitar
Lee “Roy” Davies – Guitar
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.