In Hearts Wake
ARK won’t make converts of any current Earthcore cynics, but the Byron Bay pioneers have piled on more than enough effects-laden shred to keep longstanding fans at bay. Cuts such as Flow and Overthrow beg for the mosh pit, the former with its riffs battered at a breakneck pace and the latter with its chugs as slick as they are savage. They’ve broadened their sound with a 50:50 split between Taylor’s vicious bellows and Erich’s soul-melting cleans to pave the way for softer guitar parts to peek through, but it’s very hit and miss: Arrow’s forced atmospherics hide what could have been a powerful ballad under waves of reverb and synth. The songs at large have more room to breathe, but when the crux of In Hearts Wake is those tight and tense bursts of maniacal energy ( Badlands… Departure), that isn’t really a good thing. Trimmed of fat, ARK is a killer five-track EP.