In Hearts Wake 'Skydancer' Is A Monster Hit
When you think about Metalcore songs that have an average length of three and a half minutes, you probably think of Bury Your Dead and Caliban, releasing tracks with fairly standard structures and solid breakdowns. While the majority of songs like this are brilliant, they exist only to be metalcore songs, while more progressive song writing techniques are left to the progressive bands that make longer songs. However, Byron Bay’s In Hearts Wake are one of the few bands of note to integrate awe with aggression on last year’s 'Earthwalker'. They’ve done it all over again with companion album 'Skydancer', only this time it’s bigger.
On the plain surface, every track on 'Skydancer' is a monster hit, characteristic of many metalcore peers, though occasionally the group put their own spin on these techniques (Gotta love the role-reversal in "Breakaway" where clean vocals are used in the verses and screams in the chorus.) Tight production makes Ben Nairn and Eaven Dall’s grooves pound listeners on tracks like "Badlands", while every time bass drum is hit, the sound is so beefed up, anyone listening could only be naturally compelled to move their heads whenever the motion is carried out.
However, there’s much more production-wise going on across the album, which will take more than one listen to. Synthesized backdrops are present, which adds an extra layer of atmosphere to the songs gracefully. The more present they become with each listen, the more they add to the songs in building up tension or completing the emotional spectrum the band capture, whether it be one of isolation or freedom. It brings a genuinely epic touch forward, which compliments the full band performance by emphasising the heaviness of breakdowns or power of choruses.
An impressive list of guest vocalists is present on this album all of whom play to their strengths. The Ghost Inside’s Jonathan Vigil delivers a lightning paced performance on the title track while one of the biggest surprises is the appearance from J Hurley and Ben Marvin of Hacktivist whose politically-charged grime rapping provokes much thought on "Erase".
'Skydancer' makes the perfect companion piece to 'Earthwalker' which together showcase In Hearts Wake strength as a modern metalcore group. The band’s performance is blistering and packed with enormous breakdowns and melodies, making it a perfect metalcore album on it’s own, but the band just give more, with immersive soundscaping and heavy concepts. It’s an effort that goes above and beyond and has as much brains as it does brawn.Words by Andy Davidson To find out more about In Hearts Wake
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