ALBUM REVIEW: In Hearts Wake – Kaliyuga
In Hearts Wake have always been a band with a message. Throughout their career they have hammered the point home time and time again, that we as a species simply do not do enough to preserve the earth that we inhabit, and that a lot of irreparable damage that we have done to it up until this point has been totally avoidable. With their latest album Kaliyuga, the band appears even more dead set on educating the masses than ever.
The album opens with a brief instrumental track called Crisis, with a remixed recording of the young environmentalist and activist Greta Thunberg saying “this is an emergency, our house is on fire,” from her famous speech at a global climate strike in New York City last year. From this politically charged introduction to the fifth full-length chapter of the band’s discography, you know that they mean business.
The band then goes straight into the album’s first single Worldwide Suicide, which shows that In Hearts Wake have taken their sound to an exciting new place. It takes less than two minutes for this song to batter the point home that they are pissed off, and you should be too. Low-tuned guitars, thumping rhythmic section and the use of techno beats hammer the message, giving Jake Taylor the perfect platform to lay his emotive harsh vocals over the top. We’re in business already. The song then quickly leads into Hellbringer, with the lyrical content quickly changing from the worldwide environmental issues we have to a more introspective look at the current climate of our own music industry as a whole, and how it is viewed by people who are ill educated to it’s real intentions. The riffs from Eaven Dall and Ben Nairne create an infectious groove that twins with the intricate drum patterns of Conor Ward, to give you something to really move to. The vocal melody in the chorus from Kyle Erich has a melody that wouldn’t be out of place on an album from the nu-metal poster boys Disturbed, and that is not a criticism in any way, showcasing the band’s ability to create a hook that could catch anyone. Throw in an hefty breakdown, then slap a bow on this song and you’ve got yourself a new live staple.
Son Of A Witch is another song that the band chose to drop as a single prior to the album’s release, and it’s clear to see why. Here they show exactly what they do best: create heavy grooves; infectious melodies; and lyrics that make you take a step back and look introspectively. The way that Taylor and Erich play off against each other is a real selling point of the In Hearts Wake sound and they are on form throughout the entirety of Kaliyuga. The way that the band incorporates rap sections with soulful singing (albeit in a high register) and ferocious harsh vocals all within this one track is a testament to the creative force that they have become.
Husk is one of the most melodic on the release and as a result should garner the band plenty of notice from the outside world, should they choose to market it appropriately. The clean and crisp production allows for all of the instruments to breathe and have their time in the spotlight, whilst giving the proper attention to the well written vocals that are the lifeblood of the song. The following full track (ignoring a brief interlude) Forces Of Life is an entirely different affair, with the band baring they’re teeth and showing that when they want to they can throw down with the heaviest in the genre, without it feeling forced or as is if they are flexing for the sake of it.
On the whole, Kaliyuga is a real success for a band that seem to be really fulfilling all of the promise that they showed in the early days of their career. In Hearts Wake have taken all of the points that they have been working hard on with their previous releases, honed and delivered them all in one package with this latest album, to prove that not only are they one of the brightest shining lights with their message, but also one of the most forward thinking bands musically in their genre.
Standout Tracks: Hellbringer, Son Of A Witch
For Fans Of: Northlane, We Came As Romans, Polaris
Written by: Richard Webb