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Album Reviews : In Hearts Wake – Skydancer

By on June 4, 2015

slicks_$folder$in-hearts-wake_skydancer_H_0315Post-hardcore is pretty much the ivy of the metal world; it permeates every crack and orifice it comes across, and no matter how hard you to try to stem the tide, it continues tenaciously grasping to existence. And really, at this point in time, who’s to say that’s a bad thing? Like ivy, it grows on you. The progression of hardcore and the diversification of general hardcore sound has left its mark on me. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of shitty, generic post-hardcore bands to whom music has become a formula: breakdowns + v-necks – dignity = profit. But with certain bands, the simple nature of the music can become amplified by an earnest message or direction behind it. I’ve always stood behind the premise that simplicity and sincerity will always win over technical insignificance. This sincerity comes across strongly in Skydancer, In Hearts Wake’s new album.

Skydancer is the band’s 3rd album, essentially taking a higher perspective from their previous effort, Earthwalker, discussing issues from a “bird’s eye view,” as described by the band. By this, they mean that the songs are a vehicle for passionate lyrics regarding sociopolitical issues both local and abroad. These include issues of race, Australia’s mining industry, and the west’s forays into “peacekeeping”.

The music, as previously stated, is simple, acceptable post-hardcore. The riffs are staccato-like, melodic, and straightforward. It’s not reinventing the wheel in any respect, but it doesn’t have to, because it is really enjoyable. It’s undeniable that there’s a part of our brains that cannot resist the rhythmic procession of the breakdowns on this album; they never feel recycled or generic. These are improved by the echoed, delayed, and ambient leads behind them. The drum work on the album I didn’t particularly notice, because it was doing well enough that it was neither spectacularly unique nor jarringly simplistic. If the shoe fits, why not dress in drag, right? The screamed vocals are a spiteful, gnarled growl somewhere in between hardcore and extreme metal. The best thing about them is they don’t sound bitchy; they’re aggressive and perfectly match the lyrics, giving them added honesty. The clean vocals slightly remind me of Craig Owens or Vic Fuentes in passing.

Highlights of the album include “Badlands,” a forceful social commentary on the perpetual rape of the Earth for resources, “Insomnia,” which lulled me into a trance like reverie, and catchy songs like “Wildfire” and “Erase.”

Overall, Skydancer didn’t have any particular weak points, and will please fans of Blessthefall, Memphis May Fire, and later Asking Alexandria. It’s put In Hearts Wake on my musical map, and has invaded the space of my car radio, which doesn’t seem to show intention of letting it go any time soon.

About

Benjen is a qualified teacher residing in the south-east suburbs of Perth. Benjen was introduced to hard rock at the age of 12 with Papa Roach's "Love-Hate Tragedy," and has developed a love for hard rock and metal since. He also has a keen interest in gaming and almost every fandom imaginable, from Doctor Who to Deadpool. He can be followed on Twitter @thetoadmode