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Heart of a Coward - The Disconnect

Heart of a Coward
The Disconnect
by Jack Lynch at 30 April 2019, 6:06 AM

It’s been about four years since UK quintet HEART OF A COWARD dropped their last album – “Deliverance” and since then there’s been a line-up change. The band has split with previous front man Jaime Graham, and welcomed new singer Kaan Tasan (No Consequences) into the mix. Not easy shoes to fill as Graham’s powerful vocals on “Deliverance” made it a stunner of an album, and one of the most surprising releases of 2015. However, with the “The Disconnect”, “Heart of a Coward” makes some noticeable adjustments in order to play to Tasan’s strengths, but still retain what makes them a fun listen.

Let’s first focus on the obvious; “Drown in Ruin” starts things off, kicking the door in with the band’s familiar sound; walking a sweet line of djenty palm mutes and metalcore chugs without making it the fulcrum. The opening few measures are sure to get any fan of heavy music pumped up.  Kaan Tasan makes his debut, displaying his range of raspy screams that echo into the distance. If you weren’t sure who this band was you might immediately mistake Tasan for some side project of Sam Carter of “Architects”; its similar enough. This changes however on further tracks on the album, and unfortunately not in a way I liked. It’ll become more noticeable on tracks such as “Culture of Lies”, “In the Wake”, “Senseless”, and “Return to Dust”, as the choruses become more drawn out and the melodies take center stage, that Tasan, at times sounds like the late Chester Bennington of “Linkin Park”. I was never a fan of that band, and once the idea snuck into my head, I couldn’t get it out.

Thankfully though, unlike the teen friendly alternative nu-metal band, HEART OF A COWARD have Tim Beazley and Carl Ayers manning the axes, as well as Chris Mansbridge (Fellsilent) on drums. They surround their lead singer with enough creativity and heavy riffs to remind the listener this is still the groove metal outfit of yesteryear. Some listeners will respect Tasan’s impressive range of hardcore influenced vocals and adjust accordingly. But those still solidly in the Jaime Graham boat will feel the absence of his bruiting “Meshuggah” lows (see the track “Anti-Life”.) No matter how you slice it; they are two drastically different styles, and it’s up to the individual listener to decide whether the band’s overall sound suffers.

“Isolation” – ends the album on with a nasty, low, off-timed rip, that would fit in comfortably on any Deftones album. Tasan and the entire band shine brightest on this track and it’s within this moment we see just how good they can be with their new member. The track is a crashing tidal wave of sound that’ll generate the feels as it plays out. You’ll be tapping the repeat button again and again. If you’ve never heard HEART OF A COWARD before, I recommend you listen to “The Disconnect” first. I think you’ll be surprised how a band of this caliber fell underneath your radar for so long. Similarly, you’ll be surprised in a way the rest of us were when we first heard their previous work.

However, those hoping to hear “Deliverance 2.0” should check their expectations at the door. “The Disconnect” is not that album. Tasan is not Graham. There are fewer deepening growls on this one. There is a greater focus on melody and letting Kaan Tasan find his footing with the other musicians. The album may not be as memorable as their previous one, but what “The Disconnect” does offer is pretty good. Every song is well put together, and despite an uncomfortable comparison to another singer, I’d be hard pressed to say I didn’t like any of them. There is more than enough of what the band does well still intact. I recommend everyone check it out. “The Disconnect” releases June 7, 2019.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Down in Ruin
2. Ritual
3. Collapse
4. Culture of Lies
5. In the Wake
6. Senseless
7. Return to Dust
8. Suffocate
9. Parasite
10. Isolation
Lineup:
Kaan Tasan - Vocals
Carl Ayers - Guitars
Steve Haycock - Guitars
Vishal "V" Khetia - Bass
Christopher "Noddy" Mansbridge - Drums
Record Label: Arising Empire
     


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