The Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake sound poignantly triumphant on their new album, Kaliyuga, which is available as of August 7 via UNFD.
The album is definitely not without its tumult—“Hellbringer” is a real scorcher, for instance, with some perfectly attention-grabbing breakdowns that blend heaviness and groove. Yet, even through the harshest moments on Kaliyuga, In Hearts Wake feel like they have invigorated their craft with a powerful melodic force that keeps the record, and the listener, looking forward.
The band’s sense of “triumph” thereby feels richly grounded, as the band guide listeners through murky musical depths but subsequently break through the metaphorical surface with their consistently invigorating guitar riffing, propulsive drum rhythm, and bass groove, which together propel the central perspective to the point of finding some kind of metaphorical light on the other side of initial chaos.
The band support their album’s sense of an emotionally grounded journey through tumult and off into the “other side” with a rich palette of heavy yet diverse dynamics. Some of the heaviest moments on Kaliyuga come towards the beginning of the album—the second track, for instance, is the startlingly caustic “Worldwide Suicide,” which stretches for less than two minutes but feels staggeringly beastly.
The breakdowns that close the track are absolutely earth-rattling; the band have maintained that hard-hitting melodic edge of invitingly familiar metalcore riffing, but they’ve made it absolutely pummeling.
By the time “Husk” rolls around, the band have evolved their album’s sonic perspective into something that features leading guitar riffing that feels like it’s a got a classically “hard rock” tone and vibe with plenty of room to breathe. (There’s also a slight kick in the rhythms that sometimes takes the song into a kind of contemplative post-hardcore territory.)
Although this gentler exploration of the softer melodic realms feels crucial to the album’s “soul,” the band get heavy again quick, like on the standout track “Force of Life,” on which frontman Jake Morse roars: “I am a force of life!” That particular track inextricably intertwines the blasts of melody with rabid ferocity, and it’s really hard to miss the impact here.
Activism has always been important to In Hearts Wake, whose music has frequently very directly advocated for themes like protection of the environment. This time around, the band’s perspective feels especially close to the chest, in a sense—they’re communicating a personalized and personally accessible portrait of what “this all means” for us.
This perspective gets communicated loud and clear on album closer “2033,” which features the lyrics: “Leave the past to the damned because the Now is in the palm of our hand!” The music, with its forward-looking, melody-driven ferocity, supports this lyrical perspective perfectly.