HEART OF A COWARD – Background
The band Heart of A Coward are a five-piece outfit from Milton Keynes, England. They are “metalcore,” according to the press stuff, but their website simply says “metal.” It is in the extreme metal genre, but reasonably accessible with quite strong choruses.
Disconnect is their fourth album and their first with brand new vocalist Kaan Tasan. The band have toured with bands like Machine Head and Sikth, as well as playing festivals including the UK’s very own Bloodstock Metal Festival.
HOAC are a new band on me, and, what I first thought was they can write a riff or two and had hints of both Slipknot and Linkin Park about them. I also noticed that musically they were very tight, with everyone doing their jobs well. The singer does have a touch of Chester Bennington at times with his style or inflections. No bad thing at all. It took a few listens for me to get into the album and to start understanding the lyrics and the thoughts and emotions they were conveying. Some tracks are about the disconnection in the world with others and, at times, yourself. There is anger at the evil of the world, but also the anguish of dealing with inner emotion and depression.
Disconnect – The Songs
They open with “Drown in Ruin,” which has heavier verses and melodic choruses, something which is a feature of a few of the songs. The lyrics appear to be about drowning in what is, now, a shit world. I would guess more about the pressures of the world as they engulf a person who is already struggling.
“Ritual” has an artillery type opening, faster and heavier than the previous song. This song appears to be more about internal struggles more than external. There is a very “jumpy” section at one point, in that when it comes in folks will surely bounce to it live.
The third song “Collapse” (six of the ten songs have 1-word titles, short and to the point) seems very topical now with all the extinction rebellion stuff going on. “We’ve bled our future dry, and there’s no one else left to blame,” they sing. The fact is that, as a society, we are “consumed by the mundane.” Folks are being concerned about wannabes and talentless famous people and their meaningless lives. This means that people are not truly paying attention to what is important. I quite like the whispered singing at the start on this.
This leads nicely into “Culture of Lies,” which seems to be about politicians (and perhaps religious leaders) who they call “snake tongued hypocrites.” This sentiment kind of reminded me that Jesus in the Bible referred to the religious leaders of the time as “serpents, offspring of vipers.” I am not religious, but I read the Bible when I was younger. It is quite a scathing piece, only beaten by the second to last song on the album, “Parasite.”
This song can translate in two ways. It is either about external foes or that what lingers inside, a mental health issue for instance. This track has a positivity in it almost being a call to arms to fight those foes that destroy or drag us down. The view is almost the exact opposite vibe from the previous two tracks, which are kind of the same track, one light and acoustic and one heavy, almost like an old Slipknot type song and vibe.
The acoustic tune “Return to Dust” is haunting and quite lovely, lyrically asking if there is a purpose to life. The drumming is soft and has a tad of early Fleetwood Mac feel to it.
“Suffocate” is the heavier side of the same lyric. There is a feeling of hopelessness, as I mentioned earlier, which is a contrast to the song “Parasite.”
The ending song is very important, especially lyrically. It is a description of depression, but with a mantra of “you are not in this alone” at the end. This is a strong message or statement. We have lost too many good people in music and life generally to these health issues. We need to be there for others, to make sure no one is ever left feeling on their own.
For a band I didn’t know about, in a genre (metalcore) that I (to be honest) know possibly even less, I am quite impressed. The band is impressive not just musically, but also lyrically. Plenty of fast and heavy moments, but with moments of melody and quite a strong and emotional singer. Furthermore, I think these guys should be pretty damned good in a live setting. Good stuff all round!
Out now on Arising Empire records.