WildHeart hit hard & heavy with the confrontational ‘Rising Tide,’ addressing the injustices facing Indigenous people & the biases towards these communities from law enforcement & the Australian government.
With a balance of their fiercer metalcore sound and moments displaying their love for more dynamic melodic-hardcore, ‘Rising Tide‘ is a familiar yet completely written and driven track for Brisbane’s WildHeart. It’s a pissed-off statement about the mistreatment of our Indigenous people. For ‘Rising Tide‘ is just that: a rising tide of rage and indignation boiling up towards the powers that be that directly or indirectly allow the mistreatment and (preventable) deaths of Indigenous folk within the system.
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Gareth Hargreaves, the band’s latest aggressive metalcore piece is about the invasion of the Indigenous people of Australia. It’s about the white-washing of their culture and history; the removal of their land, homes, children, and rights; and the sadly still recurring racist rhetoric that plagues our first nations people.
It also focuses on the alarmingly high number of incarcerated deaths striking that demographic; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders make up 2% of Australia’s population yet constitute a whopping 27% of Australia’s prison population. The case of Rebecca Maher from July 2016 and the death of a man known to be suicidal in a WA prison back in June also paints a negligent approach from law enforcement, correctional services and federal government towards that of Indigenous Australians. Which is exactly what WildHeart’s latest single is trying to get across: there’s a cruel bias at play towards non-whites within the Australian prison system, at a state and federal level, and it needs to be addressed and stopped. (You can read more on the investigations into these deaths from The Guardian and the Australian Law Reform Commission, which are also cited sources in the video for ‘Rising Tide.’)
Choice, unfiltered lyrics such as “Dip us in bleach so it’s easy to blend in / You wouldn’t want us to be a stain on your nation” and “Slap us in paint and show us off to your friends / you make your money but then make no amends” pull zero punches and keep the message of WildHeart front and center. The cowards out there who don’t want politics and real messages in their art and music should be ignored in instances like this, as a song like ‘Rising Tide‘ is all the better for it sharing something important and genuine. Of course, Australia’s track record in terms of human rights for immigrants and its own Indigenous people is blood-stained and abhorrent. WildHeart knows this all too well. And while I don’t think most will need this song to make them fully aware of such abuses (though education through music is always a powerful thing), keeping serious issues like this at the forefront of art and discussion – speaking truth to power – is important for any kind of action and change to ever occur.
The Queensland group’s newest single also guest features the low-bellowed vocals from Shaun Allen of Nerve Damage, during the songs cleaner bridge section for a solid contrast, who is a man of Yugambeh/Bundjalung. Also an Indigenous man from Yugambeh himself, ‘Rising Tide‘ rests close to the heart of vocalist Axel Best. Fiery comments about our national anthem, Australian history, the Rudd government’s apology, the use of racist language, and more heatedly barrel forth from the vocalist’s mouth, but all with good reason. ‘Rising Tide‘ is a deeply personal song, but in a different way to that of much other hardcore and metalcore coming out of our country; a perspective not often seen in Australian heavy music, bar Homesick and select other artists. However, ‘Rising Tide‘ is not refreshing because of its rarity; it’s refreshing because of its thematic relevance, its important message, and its dire authenticity.
Open your ears to it below: