Heart Of A Coward – ‘The Disconnect’

By Dave Stewart

Heart Of A Coward are one of the UK’s most beloved heavy acts, and they’ve got something to prove. After the departure of front man Jamie Graham, they found themselves in search of a new vocalist that had some very big shoes to fill. That man ended up being Kaan Tasan, and he’s stomped his way all over their brand new record ‘The Disconnect’. They may be operating a different set of pipes, but the machine behind those pipes is exactly the same as it’s always been. They’re picking up exactly where they left off.

The entire record is pure pit material. Every song features two or three riffs that have the potential to incite riots. Every. Single. Song. The riff at the end of ‘Drown In Ruin’, the pounding gallops of ‘In The Wake’, the verse riff of ‘Senseless’ and countless others all possess enough weight to crush anything unfortunate enough to be in their radius. Some of these riffs are the most addictive and punishing of the bands career – check out the entirety of ‘Suffocate’ and the Meshuggah-esque tones of ‘Parasite’ for definitive proof.

The heaviness isn’t all this record is packing, though. For every ounce of havoc there’s a measure of melody that’s been decoratively scattered throughout the record. The chorus of ‘Culture Of Lies’ is one of the best Heart Of A Coward choruses to date, using a haunting vocal melody to add a layer of darkness to the enormous low tones beneath it. The chorus of ‘Ritual’ plays a similar role, acting as an elegant and uplifting breather from the furious pace of the rest of the track. Album closer ‘Isolation’ blends both the heaviness and the melody of this record into one perfect package, weaving in and out of both with ease. There’s no filler here whatsoever – this is a record that means business.

‘The Disconnect’ is jam packed full of all the sonic carnage that you’d expect a Heart Of A Coward record to come with. The riffs are all groove-ridden monsters, with guitars and bass entwined to create an unstoppable sonic bombardment. The drums are never too flashy, but they don’t need to be – they act as a perfect foundation for the staggering weight above them. These are all characteristics that you’d expect – so how do the vocals fare?

Considering how big Jamie’s boots were, Kaan has stepped into them with real finesse and class. He’s approached the record in his own style rather than imitating what came before him, and that’s one of the best and most refreshing things about the entire record. There are some Jamie-like rhythms that Kaan maybe took inspiration from to make his own approach sound more familiar, but the way he performs them is completely different.

Kaan’s vocals are very diverse – he’s able to switch from raw and pained screams to clear, crisp and passionate cleans with ease. His grasp on melody and harmony is incredible too, creating the catchiest choruses that the band has released to date. A different style of vocals for sure, but a change that works in their favour.

‘The Disconnect’ displays a band completely unwilling to be slowed down by anything. This is a record that elegantly doffs its cap at everything that’s come before it as well as clearly display the path they’ve begun to walk down. A brutal and beautiful offering from one of the most consistent bands the UK has to offer.

DAVE STEWART

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