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Refractory Obdurate

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Audio CD, May 13, 2014
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 13, 2014)
  • Original Release Date: 2014
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deathwish Inc
  • ASIN: B00J8JQ666
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,568 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
Long-time 16HP/WH fan.
And carrying the music is his voice, instantly recognizable and intense and his lyrics and his message.
Jonathon M. Rose
Arguably their best album.
Joseph Roch III

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jonathon M. Rose on May 15, 2014
Format: Audio CD
In many ways this album is a culmination of the past several Wovenhand albums, starting with Ten Stones and extending to this one. Ten Stones was a bit of a departure from previous Wovenhand albums, as it hearkened back to the Secret South era of Edwards's previous band 16 Horsepower, it had a much heavier and more rock oriented sound than the earlier Wovenhand albums, and although is interesting in that regard I consider it the weakest album that David has put out to date (in either 16HP or WH.) The Threshingfloor continued in that vein but was a much more focused and consistent album, indeed a masterpiece of the genre in my mind and it was followed by the equally excellent The Laughing Stalk, which pushed the heavier rock sound even further. Which brings us to Refractory Obdurate. This album is by far the heaviest and most aggressive album that Edwards has put out to date. This isn't much of a surprise since he's well known for his love for heavy and dark music and his own music is very popular among many of the more extreme metal acts in the world today (both Marduk and DevilDriver have covered songs of his and Primordial has integrated lyrics from Black Soul Choir into one of their songs) and of course he's been covering Joy Division songs live as long as he's been playing.

The difference is this time around the heavier and more aggressive sound (while still maintaining the lighter Gothic Country sounds) has been fully realized and perfected into what is arguably the most diverse and focused album since Consider the Birds. A perfect marriage and mix of the driving and intense rock and the more low key and meditative. And throughout the overwhelming intensity and frequent darkness that Edwards has channeled since he started 16HP eighteen some-odd years ago.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shaft on July 2, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
David Eugene Edwards has made Wovenhand's music constantly evolve into something different. "Refractory Obdurate" differs from quieter, stripped down songs on the earlier albums. This effort, continuing in the heavier tradition of 2012's "The Laughing Stalk" is a pounding assault; now there's tribal beats, layered guitars, haunting and brooding riffing... traces of grunge, punk, metal in the music... all this while still retaining the classic Wovenhand sound. I won't go into a song-by-song breakdown, but know that each one is different and brings something new to the table. It may take a few spins to full appreciate the masterpiece that this album really is.

I admit to liking the era around "Ten Stones" and "The Threshingfloor" best, but "Refractory Obdurate" may just be Wovenhand's best up to date, and certainly an album that shouldn't be missed by anyone.

Favorite songs:
The Refractory - the "old" Wovenhand song on the album;
Good Shepherd - some (post)-punk awesomeness;
Salome - the mid-point of the album, containing the most diversity in a single song;
El-bow - the short and album closer, carried by the dark drumming and Edwards' droning voice;
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By b-troweling on August 17, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Other reviewers have captured the high quality of this release, so I only want to add my complete agreement. I think this is Wovenhand's most powerful album to date. I had high hopes for it before it released, which can be a risky investment from devoted fans, but it exceeded my expectations. It has strayed a bit from David Eugene Edward's more alt-country and bluegrass beginnings, but at the same time, it captures the greatness of his two band projects. It has the rockier edge of 16 Horsepower with slightly more gothic metal and punk inspirations (maybe because it was released - quite surprisingly - on the normally very heavy Deathwish Records), but the moodiness of other Wovenhand albums. As is fundamental to Edward's music, it still contains his brooding, self-searching, almost 19th-century brimstone Christian themes, but it doesn't require or encourage listeners to follow suit. You can just feel the passion, musicianship,and songwriting of this under-rated artistic genius of our era.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S.R.J on July 26, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Mr Edwards astounds me, he has turned his hand to bluegrass, punk inspired songs and now a Wovenhand album that rocks, consistently so. We have had glimpses from previous albums of course but none have been quite so consistently in your face as this album. What does strike me as significant is how he has allowed the music to take centre stage, previously ( I think another reviewer made a similar point) his vocals have been pre eminent on all albums, not so here.
This is the seventh release since he allowed the wonder that was 16 Horsepower to lay down, Nevertheless this album is a tension ridden as any of his previous offerings his trademark I would suggest, which derives from his passion for his faith. And now instead of leaning towards folk driven melodies he launches into almost metal ..esque power chord driven music, and one consequence has been cranking up the tension and intensity and power of his message. It doesn't matter if the religious lyrical content isn't your bag, the passion the man exhibits must surely impress you, the power of the music may overwhelm you, the honesty is palpable and all wound up in a passionate outpouring that has never diminished on any of his albums. There is still a gothic tinge to the music, and as if to accentuate it he has chosen to release this album via the label Deathwish, who had this to say " Wovenhand cannot be described in traditional terms. Their sound is an organic, weavework of neo-folk, post rock, punk, old-time, and alternative sounds. All coming together as a vehicle for David’s soulful expression and constant spiritual self exploration. Sometimes sad and sorrowed and at other times uplifting, Wovenhand are always unforgettable in spirit and sound.
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