After 2017’s ‘Ark’, which continued the goodwill that they’ve received over the years, metalcore mainstays In Hearts Wake have set out again with their fifth album, ‘Kaliyuga’.
‘Crisis’ starts with a large amount of promise and excitement, with its intro not too far away from The Prodigy, as a sampled Greta Thunberg speech (this certainly won’t be the last time a band does this) helps to set the scene. A random rave break later enters the fray, which will certainly leave you guessing.
Lead single ‘Worldwide Suicide’ also has an air of unpredictability to things; the breakdown comes in suddenly, and we also have the sound of a machine gun among other effects that we’re bombarded with. It’s a strong start, but it’s arguably the point where the album’s peaked already.
‘Hellbringer’ has a toe-tapping groove, and generally shows that In Hearts Wake bring a bit more to the table than the vast majority of this kind of metalcore. Yet, as the album goes on, more clichés unfortunately rear their head.
‘Moving On’ could be many other bands, going in one ear and right out the other, and the chorus on ‘Timebomb’ chorus sounds like stereotypical American radio-rock fodder, and its breakdown has been done millions of times. You’ve heard it all before.
‘Crossroads’ has lots of positives, but we have to get through some more hackneyed screamed vocal passage that unfortunately resemble David Gunn from King 810 (still, at least Jake Taylor doesn’t sing about guns every other line). Georgia Flood‘s vocal contribution does elevate this song significantly though, and we have a solid pop-rock song on the whole with hooks aplenty.
The biggest drawback is that there’s no real feeling of consistency. ‘Husk’ and ‘Force Of Life’ offer more clichés, and Randy Reimann‘s (ex-Massappeal) feature in ‘Iron Dice’ is actually grating and annoying. You want him to shut up rather than feeling at one with his anger.
But, summing everything up, we go from a low point straight to a high point. Kyle Erich‘s clean vocals really help to carry the song on ‘Dystopia’, and ‘2033’ is by far the most emotionally impactful song on here, with a brooding intro building into a monstrous scream-along chorus. At least this album ends on a high.
In Hearts Wake have noble intentions, and have clearly made a real go of it. The consistency isn’t really there on a songwriting level, making for generally up and down record, but there’s still enough on ‘Kaliyuga’ to peak interest.