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Woven Hand - Ten Stones CD (album) cover

TEN STONES

Woven Hand

 

Prog Folk

3.57 | 21 ratings

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TCat
4 stars David Eugene Edwards started the band "Wovenhand" after there was a disagreement with his previous band "16 Horsepower" which was a gothic alt-country band that did quite well within that genre. in the beginning, the band was mostly acoustic, and would still use the leaner sound on some future albums, but the band grew over the years into a full-fledged band giving the music more depth and variety. Wovenhand continues with the dark sound of his previous band, but with more of a spiritual/religious undertone, but still continuing with a gothic feel, giving the music a fire and brimstone style. The instruments are typically western traditional, giving the music a neo-folk sound but based on the old religious attitude of learn or burn in hell. This is one of the band's better and more believable albums, containing a good amount of variety as the band becomes braver and plays around with their sound more.

"The Beautiful Axe" starts with a swirling uptempo track with intense drumming and a catchy, yet dark, sound, while the next track, "Horsetail" sounds like a slow, fire and brimstone style, almost gothic in sound. "Not One Stone" has an almost cinematic flair to it, reminding one of old western songs from the likes of Johnny Cash with an increase in intensity in the instrumental break. This one harkens back to some of the dark and heavy tracks of David's prior band "16 Horsepower", but with a urgent and dangerous religious message to deliver. "Cohawkin Road" reminds one again of the old western cinematic themes, sparser this time, yet expansive like the land this sound brings to mind. "Iron Feather" has more keyboard usage, but processed to take away the brightness of the piano.

"White Knuckle Grip" has a slow boogie style that has a rough edge to it. This gives the music a unique feel and the vocals have a frantic quality to them. There are some interesting sounds from the keys that sounds like a harsh accordion. "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars" is a cover of an old bossa nova tune, but its given the goth-cowboy feel in this interesting track. The basic beat is still there, but there is also a strange drone giving the foundation to the tune. It's always good to hear an old track made new with experimentation. "Kicking Bird" begins with a drum solo kicking out a tribal rhythm and being joined by almost sitar sounding drones, but the band doesn't resort to world music sounds, but instead they adjust the tribal style to sound like their style. It is a short, yet enjoyable variation of their goth-cowboy theme.

The mid-Eastern sound persists into the next track "Kingdom of Ice" which goes back to the frantic feel of the bands spiritual urgency. David really preaches hellfire on this track, the instrumentals go to a sparser sound to give room for the lyrics on this one. "His Loyal Love" again uses a drone-like quality under the acoustic pattern and a fuzzy guitar sound. The vocals are more subdued and in a foggy, almost psychedelic choral style with definite leanings toward psychedelic instrumentals. The last track is untitled and an atmospheric instrumental.

The overall album is quite unsettling, as Wovenhand's albums seem to be, even when at their most acoustic. But this album is quite heavy at times, at least in a foreboding way, as it sears its way into your mind. It is good to hear this much variety on a Wovenhand album, as it keeps this album sounding like some of their others giving it more character. The last half of the album suffers a bit from development, and I would have liked to have heard more expansion in those tracks, but overall, it is one of their better albums. Still, it's not quite a masterpiece, but it is an album I like to listen to often.

TCat | 4/5 |

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