ARTIST : IN HEARTS WAKE

ALBUM: KALIYUGA

LABEL :UNFD

RATING: 8.5/10

WORDS :ALISDAIR GRICE

Step into the House of Kali and buckle up. Ever the kings of an enthralling narrative, In Hearts Wake bless us with their 5th album installment Kaliyuga. Following their previous four releases addressing four of the five core elements (heart, earth, sky, and water) that make up our world, it was not going to be long before IHW put the final nail in the coffin with an inferno of a conclusion. 

The dark age is upon us, and Kaliyuga is both a requiem for all we have lost and simultaneously a warning for the dystopian future our thoughtless actions could cause. Highlighting the social and ecological injustices in our world, the resounding mantra ‘Ecocide is suicide’ echoes throughout the entire record with an unexpected aggression from the Australian metalcore outfit.

IHW have adapted their previously passive activism into forward action

Igniting the spark is the intro track ‘Crisis’. Sampling Greta Thunberg’s ‘Our house is on fire’ speech over a pacey, furious riff, interspersed with glitchy, distorted moments of chaos, drives home the message that IHW have adapted their previously passive activism into forward action.

Following the harrowing introduction, singles ‘Worldwide Suicide’ and ‘Hellbringer’ bring IHW’s fury to a boiling point, treading into far heavier territory than we have become familiar with. ‘Worldwide Suicide’ is a sonic wake up call, with vocalist Jake Taylor spitting sordid lines through gritted teeth, bellowing crushing lows with a crazed tinge to his sharp vocals. ‘Hellbringer’ invites Polaris vocalist Jamie Hails to turn the track up a notch, and it’s exactly the antipodean assault we had hoped it would be. Brimming with rage, packed with intensity and leaving us with a breakdown to remember.

The album begins to settle as ‘Moving On’ begins, a bonafide metalcore anthem tinged with melancholy, packed with punchy snares, stadium filling choruses and beautiful call and  repeats between harsh vocalist Talyor and bassist Kyle Erich. The metalcore titans proceed to cement their position with ‘Son Of A Witch’, and absolute standout from the album with synth heavy verses and infectiously catchy choruses, concluding with the bone-chilling scream “I’m the son of a witch you failed to burn”, this track has hit written all over it.

In a world of transient and superficial activism, with millions utilising social media as an effective mask for inaction, IHW are having none of it. They’re sick to the core of a world falling apart in front of their eyes and they refuse to sit back and do nothing

Heavy nu-metal influences are apparent in ‘Iron Dice’ and ‘Timebomb’, with Chester Bennington style choruses and bass-centric rapped verses, pushing the envelope of our 2020 metalcore expectations. Industrial elements have never been IHWs forte, but their inclusion within Kaliyuga brings a fresh feel to the whole album, like a new coat of paint on a beloved family heirloom.

Georgia Flood beautifully utters ‘Love is the palace I can’t give up / Forever is never enough’ on ‘Crossroads’, a near antidote to the ferocity of the album, whilst penultimate ‘Dystopia’ is an exploration of the uncomfortable. Outspoken and passionate, Taylor speaks of overcoming unsurpassable obstacles, and his journey therein.

In a world of transient and superficial activism, with millions utilising social media as an effective mask for inaction, IHW are having none of it. They’re sick to the core of a world falling apart in front of their eyes and they refuse to sit back and do nothing. Whilst simultaneously questioning ‘Is it too late?’ and ‘What can we do to stop this destruction?’ IHW offers a critical, timely record that is an unfortunate product of our modern age.

With the album being entirely carbon offset, using recycled materials and plastic free packaging for all physical copies, it acts as a fervent message of activism against the destruction of the earth. You can’t help but admire their tenacity. This is a fight worth fighting, and although Kaliyuga is the end of a chapter for IHW, this is only round one of the battle.

Kaliyuga is out via UNFD now.

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