Hailing from the never more metallically fertile breeding ground that is modern day Australia, we understandably begin wonder just what they’re putting in the water Down Under as, following suit from international heavy hitters Parkway Drive, The Amity Affliction, Northlane et al, metalcore five-piece In Hearts Wake join the ever growing rouster of Aussie acts making a splash. Can ‘Earthwalker’, the band’s second full-length effort, reach such a lofty benchmark set by their homeland contemporaries?
The answer is either a resounding yes or no. Whilst the record’s sweet/savage blueprint is as passably accomplished as we would expect, the rather formulaic approach In Hearts Wake pedal certainly has the potential to grate quickly.
There’s nothing particularly offensive here, with songs such as the opening title-track serving up all the gut punch breakdowns and overtly polished clean refrains which oblige the genres bread and butter. Yet, proceedings all too quickly become an exercise in ticking boxes rather than pushing boundaries. Glimpses of potency do occasionally impress; the majestic stomp of ‘Divine’, ‘Sacred’‘s pit inducing bounce tailor made for crowd participation, and ‘Truthnorths’ choppy rhythmic work out all displaying a know how worthy of their esteemed peers.
However, the fact remains that ‘Earthwalker’ struggles to maintain that level of quality which devotees of modern metalcore are not only accustomed to, but consequently demand. Not a fatal misstep, yet In Heart Wakes will undoubtedly need to fine tune what is a nakedly derivative outlook if they hope to graduate to the globe spanning big leagues.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)