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Album Reviews : In Hearts Wake – Ark

By on May 5, 2017

I have seen ‘trends’ in heavy music, that the so-called ‘true’ metalheads have dismissed as being ‘flashes in the pan’, go from strength to strength and very much take their place as major ongoing staples of the worldwide heavy music scene. Nu-metal is a prime example. While it’s certainly not as pervasive as it was in the 90s, many of its prime exponents are still going strong today despite being pegged as fads by Slayer and Napalm Death fans.

The proggy ‘djent’ sound is absolutely heading that way. It sure as hell ain’t going away, and is only gaining strength. And you can definitely add the melodic metalcore/post-hardcore thing as well. Take this Aussie band for example, you can trace the origins of In Hearts Wake back more than a decade, and Ark is their fourth album. Some ‘fad’.

Ark makes a very strong statement right from the outset, with the title track, which is a minute-long ambient set-up for the album, establishing its ‘water connects us all’ concept. Then Passage explodes in melodic fury and all hell breaks loose.

Of course, the juxtaposition of fury and melody is what this band and what this sub-genre of heavy music is all about, and it is all over this record. The ‘light’ is probably best exemplified by the emotive, almost ballad-esque Arrow, which is sure to get cigarette lighters (or mobile phones as it is these days) waving in the air when they play live.

At the other end of the spectrum, Overthrow is a pounding, throbbing hard-rocker that will undoubtedly cause mosh pits across Australia and the world erupt.

Elsewhere, that heavy/melodic tradeoff exists very happily and enjoyably within the context of a single song, arguably to best effect on Nomad, Passage and Warcry.

Rounding things out very nicely indeed is the strange, but strangely compelling Now, an ambient outro that really does give the feeling of being totally immersed in water, and hearkens back to the ocean-inspired soundscape of the intro Ark.

All up, this album is a highly enjoyable voyage across alternately calm and heavy seas, and is sure to please fans of the melodic metalcore/post-hardcore sound no end. Ark is a winner.

Band: In Hearts Wake
Album: Ark
Year: 2017
Genre: Metalcore/post-hardcore
Label: UNFD
Origin: Australia


Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine,, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.