One year ago the Australian band In Hearts Wake released their album EARTHWALKER and approximately a year on the 08.05.2015, they will release the long-awaited follow up SKYDANCER. As you may have noticed, both titles are linked together and this is for good reason. Both records aren’t single albums, they are part of a bigger project and therefore SKYDANCER can’t be seen without EARTHWALKER. Did In Hearts Wake manage to make this big project work out or did they reach too far? Impericon has the answer here in our review:
While producing EARTHWALKER the guys had to plan to make the record part of a bigger project. Not only the name and artwork of both records are somehow linked, but also the topics on the albums. While EARTHWALKER represents the feminine, SKYDANCER stands for the masculine. If you take a closer look at the cover of both than you see a male face (in the sky) and female face in the mountain – With both sexes being represented through the vocals. All in all this sounds confusing as hell, but it’s the sheer thought behind the release that can truly make a record like this shine.
The sound of SKYDANCER
Bands coming from Down Under are among the best metalcore bands on the planet. If you follow the recent developments in the scene you will realise that the sound is constantly changing. Younger bands aren’t copying the sound of Parkway Drive or I Killed The Prom Queen. A good example for this are the guys of Northlane or The Amity Affliction. These bands are mixing up classical metalcore with progressive elements and/or clean and softer hooks. It’s exactly this kind of new and fresh metalcore which is typical for In Hearts Wake. The whole record isn’t moving from breakdown to breakdown, everything is in fact more complex. With this pretty neat sound the guys from Down Under are in the same league as Northlane or The Amity Affliction that’s for sure.
There are a lot of technical elements and the whole sound sounds way better than stuff we heard five years ago. This doesn’t mean that you can’t feel the rage and emotion anymore. An interesting thing: In Hearts Wake are changing the traditional song structure a little but, just like Northlane. Usually metalcore songs have a hardcore and a sometimes a soft hook. In some songs on SKYDANCER the band have changed this and tried to get hard hooks and a soft core – Making for a more interesting and innovative sound.
With their latest record they also added some groove to their progressive sound and it is easy to nod along. A good example for this is the song ‘Cottonmouth’, where i’m not 100 % sure whether it is a allusion to the snakes or the character from the infamous movie Kill Bill (Cottonmouth = O-Ren Ishii).
The concept of EARTHWALKER and SKYDANCER
As I said in the introduction, you can’t see the records as standalone’s, you have to see them in combination with one another. The artwork, album titles and the tracks on the records are all linked together. But what about the most important part? The soul?
While EARTHWALKER is the feminine, it sounds also a little bit more softer and focuses more on the nature. SKYDANCER is the masculine and explores more spiritual things. That doesn’t mean that their latest record is way more brutal than their previous one, but you can feel the difference while listening to it. Even though both records function as one big concept, you could pick out single songs and listen to them for their own brilliance. Hence why some tracks from SKYDANCER could easily find their way onto your workout playlist or along those lines.
Both records are extraordinary. In Hearts Wake prove that they are able to push the boundaries of the genre without loosing themselves in the complex details. They tell a great story, wrapped up in a decent sound. The Magnum Opus is a success.