In Hearts Wake – Skydancer
Following Earthwalker as the second of two concept albums recorded back in late 2013, Skydancer could wrongfully be written off as a cheaply assembled collection of material that didn’t make the cut for its predecessor. Reassuringly, for the most part, this isn’t the case as Skydancer holds its own identity and includes some huge singles and chilling instrumentals.
Skydancer follows the concept of fatherhood, whereas its predecessor, Earthwalker, is opposingly centred on motherhood. Frontman Jake Taylor explained: “I’d been searching for a concept that could explain the relationship between the masculine and feminine worlds and how we needed to be at peace with both in order to be whole”.
On the surface, it could appear quite careless that the record encompasses a total of three instrumental tracks. Fortunately, each of these extensively contrast, and a lot of consideration has been given to their placement. ‘Aether’ and ‘Father’ succeed as effective bookmarks to the record, whereas the progressively excellent ‘Oblivion’ helps to break things up mid duration.
Guest appearances include members from The Ghost Inside, Northlane and Hacktivist. Title track, ‘Skydancer’, has received a complete face-lift, experiencing huge improvements within front man Jake Taylor’s vocals, as well as a dexterous collaboration with The Ghost Inside’s, Jonathan Vigil. Ben Marvin and J Hurley of the UK rap rock outfit Hacktivist, make a powerful contribution to ‘Erase’, spreading a powerful message of racial equality, as well as adding depth and variation to the album.
‘Insomnia’, as the title would suggest, tackles the lyricist’s sleepless and paranoid struggle. The tracks sharpest hook comes from frontman, Jake Taylor, bellowing the lyrics “I can’t stop hearing these voices/when will they let me fall asleep”.
Skydancer may be the latter half of In Heart Wake’s ambitious 2013 project, but it fortunately stands out as its own release. Although some tracks simply communicate as filler, there’s more than enough highlights to make it worthy of a listen.