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In Hearts Wake - Ark album review

Eco-conscious Australians return with a heavy heart

Yet more evidence that there’s something in the Aussie water! Hot on the heels of 2016 collaborative EP Equinox, In Hearts Wake once again combine the heavy with a humanitarian angle on their fourth full-length. The opening, instrumental title track hammers home those underlying themes by kicking off with the sound of waves. It’s clichéd but quickly gives way to the fiery salvo of Passage and Nomad. Jake Taylor’s guttural barks are punctuated with bassist Kyle Erich’s soaring clean vocals, and heady electronic flourishes akin to Sempiternal-era BMTH on Waterborne and Arrow merge perfectly with the chunky riffs and surging breakdowns. Arena-sized choruses sit alongside spoken word passages on Warcry’s call to arms, but it’s the deft rhythmic about-turns and Eastern-tinged melodic shifts during the second half that proves IHW aren’t afraid to deviate from the musical blueprint they’ve consolidated across three albums. Ark is as much about the mosh as it is the message.