In Hearts Wake
Earthwalker


3.5
great

Review

by Pug Gracie USER (9 Reviews)
May 8th, 2014 | 44 replies


Release Date: 05/02/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The low-emission burning of Jeff Ling's shrine.

I am not going to claim that Byron Bay has something in their water, yet I cannot help but wonder if there is an eco-Brethernesque cult sitting in the sea breeze with stained fingers from the heaps of tie-dyeing, led by Winston McCall and a Peavey 5150. With such a distinct and powerful sound seeping out of the bay, it is only fair to assume that sooner or later statues dressed in Macbeth shoes and skinny jeans shall be resurrected to pay tribute to the mangum opus of greeny metalcore being spewed out of the area. Exaggerations aside, the town has, in accordance to one's preference, produced another solid group, who might just join the top of the metalcore food chain. This was hinted in the pleasant albeit generic offerings of "Divination", but does "Earthwalker" secure its place as a memorable release?

To shorten the comments on the amount of eco-saviour rhetoric this album bathes in, In Hearts Wake have asserted themselves as the modest chorus to mother natures' woes, and this sophomore teases the senses with an intense melodic presence, softly placed on-top of sharp, bottom string riff-work. However, while the instrumentation and refined lead-vocal work are divine, slight occurrences of shoddy phrasing and consistent genre parroting place "Earthwalker" in an annoying predicament. It is the kind of album that has all the positive intentions in both concept and execution but falls face first into the loam of complacency. Though, if one does not make any conclusions about the genre habits the group adopts, you can see the roots of something maybe great growing here.

The most obvious and note-worthy formula In Hearts Wake plays with is, of course, the open-note/ringing melody relationship. The lead guitar throughout "Earthwalker" maintains the tone and feel by delving into various effects that sometimes echo that of The Edge's work in early U2 releases. With this, the rhythm section sits perfectly as a mid-ranged backdrop to hold up the melody. Add some harsh vocals and crafted cleans, the product you find is refreshing and incredibly catchy. In the case of "Gravity" and "Divine", a listener cannot help but appreciate the authentic ring of the guitar work, and the immediate, bouncy start that sets the groove quite nicely. In comparison to Northlane, instead of a bear open-string thump, the production gives the guitar work a metallic sound, and it is quite fun to listen to. Also, one can assume that the group spent a lot of time trying to reach a middle-ground in the dull sea of core past-times, and they often find a nice balance between stone-like chug and full-bodied chords. In comparison to "Divination", the 'play-it-safe' feeling one got from the debut is pushed aside, as In Hearts Wake show a serious amount of comfort in the creation of their own structure, while maintaining some sense of genre-safety. Yet, while we can all praise the soothing melodies, the pace of their writing has dropped considerably and has lost a lot of aggression in place of atmosphere, which when not focused is incredibly cheesy or out of place. Absurdly, if you pay attention to some of the worst melodic moments, odours of Abandon All Ships-like synth can be found in tracks like "Healer". I do not need to explain how this is a disconcerting experience.

On top of all this, "Earthwalker" presents another change to In Hearts Wake's direction. Jake Taylor shines bright on this album, and one can hear that he is slowly moving away from merely mimicking McCall in his projection. "Divine" and "True North" exhibit his control and punch in the new found yell behind the mic, and one must applaud him for having some sort of personality in a world of homogeneous vocalists. However, there are instances of lyrical laziness which can make the listener recoil, and this is where "Earthwalker" loses both its shine and self-awareness, as in these moments of indolence, Taylor starts to resemble a hippie version of Dylan Richter. Take this and mix it with some embarrassing Emmurish vocal-builds found in "Healer" and the title track, the listener sometimes gets nothing more than an educated version of the latter day Woe, Is Me. While some reviews of this album claim that "Sacred" is possibly the best song they have ever written, the sheer blatancy of the lyrical theme and the forced clean performance on the part of Kyle Erich (who's presence is a lot more bearable this time around) makes the song sound almost juvenile. The issue is that once you pick this up, you cannot help but nit-pick at the theme and lose complete interest in the intended message.

Beyond my opinions about their latest installment, one cannot deny that it is an interesting listen. Erich, while remaining in puberty, does flow a lot more and has controlled his nasal rasp, and the rest of the band are on board, from the melodic touch to their qualms about ecological neglect. In the end, In Hearts Wake as a band are a particular kind of preference, and if your choice is solid, melodic metalcore, this time without the apparent tastes of Parkway Drive, then breath in the fumes of the low-emission burning of Jeff Ling's shrine, and enjoy what In Hearts Wake has to offer this time around.



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user ratings (106)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
joeyhollow7 (3.5)
In Hearts Wake has proved that are just not another fortunate Aussie band...


Comments:Add a Comment 
TheCakeIsALie
May 8th 2014


39 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Again, I apologize. I really wanted to focus on this review but I did it at work. No excuse though and I would really like some criticism on both my ideas as well as the language used. I battled a bit. This album is not bad at all, and I really enjoyed the highlights.

AtomicShane
May 8th 2014


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

album is good. Not as great as divination, but still pretty above average.

TooManyFriends
May 8th 2014


887 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i thought Divination only had a few standout tracks tbh but I loved Divine

Mordecai.
May 8th 2014


8284 Comments


I really enjoyed reading this review. Good write up. This is a fun record, but nothing special.

TooLateToGoBack
May 9th 2014


1791 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Cleans are really holding this record back.

Diamondize
May 9th 2014


1367 Comments


cleans are awful yeah

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
May 9th 2014


15902 Comments


So the cleans still suck ass? Damn

Digging: Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

TooLateToGoBack
May 9th 2014


1791 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"So the cleans still suck ass? Damn"



yeah, which is a shame considering there are some great moments on the record. like, the song hits its stride and then those whiny cleans come in ughhhh

joshieboy12345
May 9th 2014


5377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Whoever neg'd this is an idiot. Great review man.

ScuroFantasma
May 9th 2014


2911 Comments


I dunno, I liked the cleans in Divinations tbh

Digging: Venomspitter - Venomspitter

TheMoreira
May 9th 2014


7183 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You guys should check out their earlier stuff, mainly The Gateway and their split with The Bride. Pretty sweet metalcore stuff

adr
May 10th 2014


5175 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

rules.

Digging: Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

TheCakeIsALie
May 10th 2014


39 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Whoever neg'd this is an idiot..."



I fixed up a few of the errors. I really don't mind being neg'd, but just as long feedback is given, such as apparent errors and bollocks on my part. It helps to improve. It is a pity



SamAlberti
May 12th 2014


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Review summary is absolute ingenious xD pos.

TheMoreira
May 12th 2014


7183 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

xD

24gadjet
May 25th 2014


82 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Disappointed by this, cleans are god awful on this album. Though i suppose they sucked on divination as well

ScuroFantasma
May 26th 2014


2911 Comments


What's everyones problem with the cleans? They're nothing special but they really aren't terrible.

J0ckstrapsFTW
May 26th 2014


3665 Comments


Sophomore slump in full effect here

TheMoreira
May 26th 2014


7183 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The cleans are nice but got a bit worse in this. Anyway it's a fun album to listen to

AtomicShane
May 26th 2014


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

the cleans in sky dancer are so fucking bad. these sound ok



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