There is no doubt that there is a climate crisis. The recent heatwave in the UK bringing in record breaking temperatures of upwards of 40 degrees provided a stark warning of what is to come if we don’t change things. However, musicians have been vocal in making people aware of it, whether that is through songs or music videos. IN HEARTS WAKE have gone one step further. They have created a documentary on climate change, as well as an album that is the soundtrack to the documentary, both of which are called Green Is The New Black.
The album comprises 20 tracks which include unplugged versions of songs, as well as remixes. Razor’s Edge kicks off the album. With its eerie synths that smoothly transition into hardcore instrumentals, this band grab you by the shoulders and demand you to listen to them. With some metalcore bands, the mixing of heavy metal and hardcore genres can sound like a mess, but IN HEARTS WAKE have perfected the metalcore sound.
Sometimes stripped-back songs and remixed versions of songs do not work on an album. This is because they can feel out of place, especially if they are shoved awkwardly into a record. However, in the case of Green Is The New Black, IN HEARTS WAKE do not succumb to this mistake with the unplugged songs. Both Flow and Husk benefit from being a welcome break from the heaviness. Furthermore, they are still upbeat songs, so the pacing is not affected. Unfortunately, the remix feels a little out of place. Its pacing is all over the place, and it does not fit the rest of the album. This is a shame because the record is very good until now. However, it seems to get more confusing from here.
Reflections and Wanderlust have no vocals whatsoever and were clearly a part of the soundtrack for the film. This continues on for the next few songs. It’s very jarring, and the pacing of the album is all over the place as it has gone from metalcore to acoustic. Some people might appreciate the break from the metalcore sound. However, some might question why the band didn’t make an entirely separate album that is the soundtrack.
Some of the soundtrack songs are quite experimental, such as F_ckPlastic, an electronic interlude song. It sounds a little bit like the sort of electronic music that would be in a KORN song; eerie and captivating. However, unlike a KORN song, it has no heavy instrumentation to back it up. The rest of the album comprises short electronic songs. These were obviously created for the documentary, and whilst they are pleasant to listen to, they are also unoriginal.
In conclusion, IN HEARTS WAKE have tried something new, which is commendable for them. They went out of their comfort zone to create something that is not expected of them. However, experimentation isn’t always good, and that shows on Green Is The New Black. It starts off strong with some excellent metalcore tracks that are very in-your-face, and its stripped-back songs feel like a natural progression. However, it all goes downhill when the remixed song comes on. The sudden change in genre feels jarring as the rest of the album has electronic songs with no vocals. Whilst the consistency of the songs is nice, the pacing of the album is all over the place. This creates a disjointed sound. It is a shame because the band are very talented, regardless of whether they are playing metalcore or electronic music, but this record proves that those two genres do not always mix well together.
Green Is The New Black is set for release on August 5th via UNFD.
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