Review Summary: In Hearts Wake has proved that are just not another fortunate Aussie band
When In Hearts Wake released their split EP in 2010, It was truly the best time given the increasing popularity of The Amity Affliction and other bands like Northlane, that would reach success on the international scale in the following year. Given the fact that IHW came from that exact same town that spawned Australia's most treasured metalcore band, it was a given that attention would be catered their way. When IHW released Divination in 2012, the album didn't accumulate as much success as expected. Whilst the album was enjoyable, it has qualities that held it back. Four songs had guest vocalists, the cleans seemed obscured and the lyrics were lovingly comical. When I found out about IHW releasing Earthwalker, I kept my expectations low. Though I prepared for disappointment, in return I was given complete satisfaction (musically I mean)
The album begins with the standard metalcore album intro, there really isn't a lot to this track. However it provides a moderately stirring way for all the instruments to come in and excite the listener. The album titled track Earthwalker follows with lyrics that subsequently continue for the rest the album. The lyrics revolve around how we must must adhere to respecting and preserving the Earth. The lyrics are show a prominent depth ''Born among seven billion we were the hope interwoven in the web of life" and go into a spiritual sphere. I was feeling pretty spiritual, I made sure I recycled my plastics. The main vocalist Jake Taylor also shows his vocal influence from Power Ranger villains in the line "with the life of a fountain and the strength of the mountain, Earthwalkers will never die!" This track also features guest vocals from Joel Birch of The Amity Affliction.
Touching on the production of this album, I think it was produced well for this genre. The drums are audible and the bass isn't completely over powering. The lead guitars are clear and enough to be able to focus on them. I don't wanna name names, but to prove my point listen to Miss May I's recent release. The clean vocalist Kyle Erich demonstrates the same vocal tone, once that at times does't work as well in some tracks. The track Divine is is a love track, it's the track you sing to your girlfriend when you wanna serenade her. The main chorus is screamed which i feel compliments the lead work. The reverb in the vocals are a bit annoying. The talking/yelling addition in the vocals are nice touch for the theme of this song. Divine brings to light an issue that we should all take into consideration. "We cannot have Infinite economic growth On a finite planet" The guitar work is simple but it's made up with the leads being interesting, the drum fill at 1:02 is cool. The breakdown(s) seem a bit uninspired and the chorus get's a bit cheery when factoring the vibe you get in the intro. However the track that follows is heavy, however Gravity doesn't leave the same impact. The lyrics in gravity seem a bit re Hashed "We are free and we'll always be voices unbound in eternity" You will hear lyrics on this album with the exact same connotation.
The soft intro is a metalcore given, and will always sound either tired or amazing. On Healer it could of benefited with the intro being a bit longer.The yelling/singing vocals which I think is done by Kyle is catchy, and maybe on their next release it's something they can utilize more. The breakdown at 1:25 is possibly my favorite on Earthwalker, the talking screaming bit that follows is something that I would like to hear more of in the future. It's a shame the Power Ranger Villain voice wasn't used. The gang chants of "No hate No fear of anyone" was pretty inspiring, I'm very inspired I feel like I could take on an army. Literally I just can't help but feel that 1000 men would perish from my hands.
Earthwalker demonstrates a change in pace. The instrumental Rebirth seems a bit monotonous given the fact that goes over 3 minutes. It is likely to be intended by the band, but Earthwalker from this point on is a bit more relaxed. Truenorth continues with the reduced momentum. This track shows a more introspective tone, this can be exhibited in the line "Moving on I am turning the page, my direction can't be changed. Like waves in the sea, I am breaking free." The lead work in Truenorth catchy and changes a fair bit. The swing time feel of the drums are cool. This relaxed pace continues with the ballad track Wildflower, a further extension to the introspective tone from Truenorth. Whilst the expectation here is the album will end with a traditional heavy metalcore song, the album ends with a soft however heroic sounding instrumental, featuring a talking extract with a Tree hugging message. Kinda corny but you it's the main theme of the Album, thus being a relevant way to conclude
In Hearts Wake have released their first true album. It boasts a powerful message and the musical attributes are consistent. Without relying on a cluster of guest vocalists and cliche Core lyrics, They have made something I think has allowed them to be seen as one of the scenes best. If In Hearts Wake can work out that balance of the clean and screamed vocals, as well as challenging their musical skills, they can only get better from here.