Track By Tracks: Vintersea - Woven Into Ashes (2023)

Woven Into Ashes is ultimately about the journey of a spirit as it works through many lifetimes - coming into this world with fear, anger, and frustration before coming to terms with the nature of reality and accepting their place in the grand scheme of the cosmos. Even the process of acceptance itself, though, comes with a great deal of pain. We hope you enjoy your journey from hedonism to untethering.

1. Unveiling Light:

The first song on the album begins with dissonance - representative of our discordant spirit when it first enters the realm of reality. Trepidation and excitement give way to an explosion of pure energy and intensity, contrasted with the atmospheric beauty and catchiness of the chorus. Jorma wrote the melody in the chorus, and then Avienne decided to give it an echo which creates a hook that we've all been humming for months. We believe that this song is simultaneously one of the catchiest and most ferocious songs we've written, which made it an obvious choice for a second single. Jorma's solo is melodic, soulful, and shred-tastic, and is backed up with a synthesizer that gives the notes a little extra depth but requires the performance to be spot-on.

2. Devil's Churn:

Our entire purpose with this track was to create something big, nasty, heavy, and crushing to reflect the theme of hedonism - giving in to one's base urges. Whether it's anger, envy, territorialism, or hatred of the unfamiliar, anger is driven by pain and ultimately does even more damage to the person committing the atrocity than it does to the object of their fear. This song contains some of the heaviest and most intricate riffing that the band has written, and Jeremy takes his drumming to the next level by mixing full-bore blast beats with groove-oriented snare and cymbal work and double-bass bursts - often within the same larger groove framework. In the intro, we channeled Strapping Young Lad-era Devin Townsend, with Avienne screaming directly to the audience. In our typical fashion, even the heaviest song on the album has an infectious chorus and a singable guitar solo!

3. Crescent Eclipse:

This was one of the first songs we wrote for this album, and the guitar and drum work came together fairly quickly. Jorma, as per usual, came up with some incredibly catchy riffs and Jeremy and Riley spent a few hours with him to formulate them into a song. The final piece of the structural puzzle was that Riley had been working on a different idea, a little slower and more dramatic, which turned out to fit perfectly in the middle section of the song. That ended up being the perfect catalyst for one of our favorite guitar solos that Jorma plays. Karl and Riley went back and forth on the basslines and ended up piecing together one of the grooviest lines on the album, which provides the perfect low end for the enormous stack of vocals that Avienne recorded for what we call a chorus. When the entire stack comes back at the very end of the song - complete with pumping brass instrumentation, thunderous double-bass and thick layers of vocals - that is a moment we cannot wait to play live!

4. At the Gloaming Void:

"At the Gloaming Void" came together fairly quickly, and we instantly recognized a lot of shared imagery (read: Fire). We think that it showcases a lot of our growth from the last few years, featuring tight song writing, tight rhythms, catchy melodies, extreme beats, and some of Avienne's most impassioned vocals yet. Avienne worked hard to implement new techniques, including a growl with a hint of melody that was perfect for the verse of the song. Because this song brought forth so much imagery for all of us, it makes sense that it would be the first music video for the album as well. We were able to work with our friends at Riverafest, a regional metal festival that is gaining a ton of traction, to use their property to build a huge bonfire, make torches, build a shelter, and film a music video that people have really responded to!

5. Parallel Duality:

We are all extremely interested to see how people respond to this song. Originally written as a song that could have been found on Illuminated - groovy, catchy, with a sea-shanty swagger and strong clean vocals - we decided not to let that stand alone and got a bit experimental with it. This was the perfect song to contrast our heavy sound with something more experimental, as it is conceptually about the moment that a person comes to terms with their demon and chooses to walk with both the light and dark that is inside all of us. The middle section of the song took several sessions of writing between Riley, Jorma, and Jeremy to figure out how to piece together the rhythms in a way that was complex and interesting but still catchy and memorable. Avienne's stacks of harmonized vocals make another appearance, and at times her vocals sound almost like a synth in and of themselves. Karl's decision to match the guitars was a bold one, and he stepped up to the plate and made the part tight and thunderous. Modulating from 7/8 to 13/8 to 6/8 over the course of Jorma's most intricate solo, this song will take you on a journey with your demon whether you like it or not!

6. Lonesome Tide:

This track started with Jorma, and came together very quickly and naturally in the band room. It features some of our favorite vocals from Avienne, as she was able to get very soulful and a bit bluesy with her tone and note choices. We embraced this fully, and even included a blues shuffle on the bass to outline Avienne's impassioned delivery. Later in the song, we had the opportunity to highlight a fellow local talent - Tommy Graven - playing his handmade Native American flute. Tommy is an incredible player who has worked with some of the best bands and musicians in the world, and it was a pleasure to have him add so much to our song.

7. Into the Horizon:

And now, for something completely different. Focusing on the atmospheric beauty and catchy songwriting that typically pervades our heavier music, 'Into the Horizon' sees us at our most contemplative and introspective. Avienne's haunting, deep, and soulful vocals echo from beyond the veil, augmented by a restrained wall of guitar, bass, and drums. The basis of this song came together in an early jam session, but it sat on the shelf for quite awhile while we tried to figure out how to best use the atmosphere and melody that it provided. Ultimately, we decided to see what would happen if we put it in front of Avienne, and she delivered absolute vocal magic with an assist from Riley as a co-lyric writer (and a beer each) on a rainy afternoon. This is the third and final single from 'Woven Into Ashes', and will be accompanied by a beautiful professional music video featuring the natural splendor of Oregon.

8. No Tomorrow:

As the last song on the album, our character is coming to terms with the fact that death is a crucial part of life and that at some point, all of us will face the prospect of "No Tomorrow". The chanted intro popped into Riley's head during a hike in Oregon's McKenzie Wilderness under a roaring waterfall, and the rest of the song flowed naturally from there. Riley, Jeremy, and our frequent collaborator Rylan Woodrow were all in a choir together during community college, and the three of them got to work together again to record those layers of vocals. The song features some of Avienne's most ferocious black metal screams ever put to record, and the intricate verse riffing contrasts nicely with the full-frontal assault of the chorus. The song also features a drum solo from Jeremy, where he gets to experiment with some interesting grooves and long-form drum rolls over atmospheric guitar layers. In the spirit of rhythm, Karl joins in with some funky basslines that eventually venture into slap territory. The song, and the album, ends with a raw and emotionally devastating finale that weaves Avienne's desperate screams right in with Jorma's passionate and frantic soloing. We love when the lead guitar and lead vocal can support one another as a song finale, and it is used to great effect here.

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