Passage is a poignant opener, littered within the brutal breakdowns that the five-piece are loved for and instantly impressing the album’s core theme, as well as its vital connection to humanity. Throughout the high-energy peaks of Nomad, the mosh-inducing Warcry, and the sullen moments of pace-changer Frequency, lead singer Jake Taylor’s vocals lead an impassioned plea for change.
Without context, the themes of Ark can come across a bit, well, Captain Planet-y – and without being able to seriously back themselves through their music those themes perhaps wouldn’t hit their mark – but this is a triumph of a record from a band that is modelling a genre which doesn’t get the commercial acclaim it deserves.
Like a perfect storm in the high seas IHW so passionately wish to protect, Ark’s pulverising highs start and finish the album, bookending the eye of the storm – a cleaner and more melodic shift in direction. It may polarise some, but ultimately it broadens the palette from which Australia’s leading metalcore band can choose their colours.
Ark is out now via UNFD.