In Hearts Wake stick largely to the formula, but their subtle advancements in their craft make Ark their finest outing to date.
Following on from their career-boosting double album of Earthwalker and Skydancer, the environmentally friendly boys from Byron have made a triumphant return with their fourth full-length album, Ark. Opener and lead single ‘Passage’, which could be considered a fairly grass-roots In Hearts Wake song immediately wows with some neat guitar licks, and Jake Taylor and Kyle Erich’s shared vocal responsibilities sets the tone for the album ahead.
Kyle’s vocals have improved substantially, sounding far grittier yet no longer feeling like an accessory to Jake’s harsher vocals, but rather just as integral to their sound as one could hope. It sounds less like a simple back and forth of heavy and clean vocals and instead marks the change in sound towards two similar, albeit differently versed vocalists playing off one another.
The guitar work on ‘Frequency’ absolutely rips, complemented by a killer solo during the closing minute and Kyle’s vocal leads make the song a standout. However, it’s on the likes of ‘Arrow’ that Kyle absolutely shines, playing homage to the likes of ‘Wildflower’ with a sweet, almost sorrowful number that acts as a mid-point reprieve for the listener, before pummelling them with the one-two punch of ‘Flow’ and ‘Overthrow’, which make up two of the beefier cuts from the album.
While their progression in songwriting isn’t in leaps and bounds, In Hearts Wake have fine-tuned their sound in every aspect. There’s an even balance of the more delicate tracks to subside the heavier ones, the vocal and guitar work sounds purposefully more intricate, and there’s not one song that feels like it overstays its welcome.
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