Wildheart – Global Crisis
Released: November 5th, 2021
Axel Best // Vocals
Adam Finlay // Guitar
Nathaniel Patterson // Bass & Vocals
Jaya Shinn // Guitar
Andrew Cooke // Drums
Queensland natives Wildheart have been making a name for themselves over the past few years which has earned them their stop at next years edition of UNIFY Gathering. The world we live in has seen quite a lot of changes over the past few years, from the BLM movement making a massive impact on society to the current COVID pandemic and the awareness around the destruction of our planets natural environment, as well as everything in between. All of this seems to be the themes that fuelled this new release.
Opening track ‘Intro’ lures me in with softly played guitar riffs. The track is short at just 53 seconds long and there isn’t much more to it but it has me believing that I am about to embark on quite a journey with this album. We are then taken into ‘The Lucky Country’ where we see this band return to playing on a tempo we are familiar with hearing from these guys. fast-paced riffs take the charge as the catchy lyrics “Break down everything, break everything down…” have me singing along through the chorus before we arrive at a furious breakdown which isn’t too much or too little, it’s perfectly fitting and doesn’t seem out of place. So far, this album is off to an excellent start.
Passionately delivered words about the environment and our delicate ecosystem in a spoken word manner brings us to ‘Backburner’. Low tuned guitars quickly drown out the spoken word before vocalist Axel Best delivers his strong mid-range vocals. The strong drumming brings together a very tight and powerful rhythm that leaves me in suspense. Clean vocalist Nathaniel Patterson adds a dynamic to the soon that I didn’t know it needed with his catchy hooks. A seemingly pop-punk inspired guitar riff introduces us to ‘Heartbreaker’, but that theme quickly disappears as Best begins his vocal duties. Once again, I am left in awe of Andrew Cooke‘s drumming, nothing seems out of place and it perfectly flows to creating an excellent listening experience. Lyrics “Fuck the abusers…” throughout the outro of the song hits hard.
‘Know Justice’ starts on the heaviest and fastest note, with no buildup and has instantly drawn my full attention. Technical guitar riffs steer this track in a mesmerising direction and seem to have a strong Counterparts influence, which is no complaint by any means. The tempo slows down towards the end of the track, which leaves space for more emphasis put on the powerful lyrics. Focussing on the tack’s powerful message more than anything else, ‘The Long Slow Whisper’ is a slower rendition squeezed between high tempo tracks throughout this album. Danielle O’Grady offers a beautiful addition as a guest vocalist, her soft, higher-pitched vocals compliment the lyrical content magnificently. Filler piece ‘Oblivion’ is simplistic and doesn’t have much to it, just a few slowly played guitar chords. It perfectly slots in as an addition to the previous song.
Picking the pace back up is ‘No Peace’. A long, drawn-out instrumental, which includes a two-step drum rhythm has me enticed. Chuggy guitars offer something refreshing but are not a constant, the to and from between guitar styles on this track is quite impressive. Replacing a breakdown is a slowly spoken word interpretation, which is a turn that I didn’t expect this track to take, but cannot I cannot fault it. The message is significant and has me pondering over it long after the tracks end. Low tuned beefy guitar chugs take us into ‘Rising Tide’, the two-step drum beat throughout the introduction has me rocking in my chair. Vocalist Best shows his range in this one as he expands to higher ranges, which feels invigorating. Shaun Allen of Nerve Damage comes in as a guest vocalist and manages to add to what is already a huge track.
Initially ‘Like A Dragon’ felt like a repeat of what has already been done throughout this album and I even thought that it wouldn’t have hurt if they didn’t include it, just to trim the fat… but then I got to the breakdown towards the outro of the track and I was amazed by the guitar work. A slow high pitched guitar riff overshadows what else is going on, it’s quite unique and in my opinion, blatantly genius. Arguably the albums heaviest offering ‘Out For Blood’ has me spin kicking on the spot. Chugging guitars with pick squeals are delightful to hear. The breakdown itself is otherworldly, Best takes his vocals to a new low, at first I thought that it must have been a guest vocalist but no, it was Axel himself who left me pleasantly surprised.
‘False Hope Fake Happiness’ continues on the high tempo trend. Cooke’s powerful drumming never stops and has consistently left me having to pick my jaw up off the floor, with this track being no exception. Clean vocals provided by Patterson through the chorus is catchy as heck and provide balance to the heavy guitar riffs. Much like the previous song, this breakdown makes me want to put my size eleven vans through my wall. I dare you to listen to this song while remaining still, it cant be done. Closing out the album is ‘Show Me What It’s Like To Be Worthless’ which begins as a slower ballad but quickly gathers momentum. Cooke seems as if he is going to belt a hole through the skins on his drum set, his expression as a musician is powerful, to say the least. A groovy chorus has me humming along right to the end of the track.
To be blunt, I love this album and can’t fault it much at all. It’s full of powerful emotionally fuelled expressions. I don’t know about you but I am counting down the days until I can witness some of these songs being played at UNIFY Gathering.
Wildheart – Global Crisis tracklisting
2. The Lucky Country
5. Know Justice
6. The Long Slow Whisper
8. No Peace
9. Rising Tide
10. Like A Dragon
11. Out For Blood
12. False Hope Fake Happiness
13. Show Me What It’s Like To Be Worthless
Revisit our interview with the Wildheart boys talking all things Global Crisis and UNIFY Gathering here