...After a short intermission, the time had come for the Colorado Cowboys from Wovenhand to come forth to the stage. The lights dimmed down and out came the magnificent 4, with frontman David Eugene Edwards looking as serious as ever, sporting his signature brimmed hat. The set kicked off with the rockin' riffage of "Good Shepherd" off of the bands' latest album, Refractory Obdurate, prominently played during the course of the evening. With their latest album, the bands' sound shifted towards a louder, heavier sound with a more prominent use of distorted guitars, a sound that the quartet decided to adopt for every song on the setlist, old as in new, offering a freshly revised rendition of some older tracks. This came as quite a surprise to me at first, and I was absolutely blown away by how heavy they were compared to their more acoustic-driven studio recordings. The vocals also received a fairly different treatment compared to the studio records, David Eugene Edwards' deep, soulful voice going through a band-pass filter centered on the medium frequencies to give a strong low-fi radio distortion quality to the sound. Strangely enough, I would say that some of the amped up renditions of the older tracks added an interesting post-punk vibe to the songs, as if Joy Division had gotten into a time machine and landed up in the dusty old' wild, wild west, at the time of cowboys and Indians.In terms of overall sound, the mix was absolutely stellar, near-flawless, with yet another thick, punchy kick drum sound combined with an intense bass guitar tone that was both loud and heavy while retaining crystal clarity on each and every note. The guitars and vocals fitted the overall sound impeccably and every instrument stayed intelligible during the entirety of the set.
Occasionally some of the songs would mark some downtime, with the whole instrumentation taking a step back and leaving the spotlight to frontman David Edwards' haunting voice and his immense charisma to shine through in its full radiance. Over a steady tambourine beat, the man seemed to grow deeper and deeper into a trance, waving a few hand and head gestures in between guitar strokes like an apache chief, captivating the whole audience with his aura and charisma. I would occasionally wake back to my senses only to realize that 5 full minutes had flown by, having been completely sucked into the frontman's shamanic trance, channeling the spirits from beyond. After finishing up their set with the climactic "Salome", the band returned for an encore with "Glistening black". Wovenhand then stepped off stage, the lights and P.A music came back on, signaling that this magnificent evening had come to close... Or did it really? While some audience members walked away, a good deal of the front row started cheering for what seemed to be a hopeless plea for yet another encore. 5 minutes went by and finally David Edwards stepped back onto the stage to our great surprise, armed with his antique mandolin, and proceeded to play breathtaking, 13 minute solo cover of Bob Dylan’s' "As I went out one Morning". A terrific way to end the evening.
As an avid concert-goer, I dare say that I've seen quite a number over the years, but nights like these only come around come around rarely. After a performance such as these, one can only leave the show desperate for more from both of these bands. For all of them lucky Hellfest 2015 ticket holders, Wovenhand will be bringing their show to the Valley on Friday. As to Marriages, one can only hope the band comes back quickly for another set of European dates. So far this gig easily reaches my top 3 concerts of 2015.
(Read the full review at Two Guys Metal Reviews)
Wovenhand will be on tour with Marriages in Europe until the end of April. Tickets and info available HERE.