Let’s face it. Metalcore is not the easiest genre to work in, let alone in Ukraine where metal bands aren’t exactly playing in stadiums full of people. But what’s life without a bit of a challenge, right?
On the other hand, paraphrasing an old saying, Heartprints want what they want. And now this metalcore band from Zaporizhia is truly making their own way in the music world.
This path began in the mid-noughties when two current teenage members of the band Eugene ‘Snow’ and Alexei ‘Hare’ formed a pop-punk band with their friends. Years later, the lineup of the band kept changing as well as the musical aspirations of its members until 2012 when they finally turned to metalcore.
Sunset Poetry, the band’s name at the time, lasted for one EP, single and a lyrics video. By the time the next record was in the making, two new members joined the gang and it was obvious that the band’s music evolved enough to the necessity of the changes. That’s when Heartprints came to life.
The band’s touching and slightly naive name stand in contrast with the sound of its music. But in a way, it describes its members whose goal is “to leave marks in the hearts of their listeners”, as well as every life event does.
If the previous bands were more like a creative search for all the members, the development of Heartprints took a much more serious approach. Besides the name change and the lineup finalizing, the band released a video and, finally in May 2018, a full-length album. That’s when they started talking about performing on The Best Ukrainian Metal Act — BUMA, but at the time, it was more wishful thinking than a real intention. Their first LP was just released and the awards were in 6 months, so nobody really believed it could happen.
photo: Kirai Gigs
That’s when Best Rock and Metal Song of November 2018 Tournament on Louder.me changed their plans. 130 rock and metal tracks were chosen for the tournament, which included contestants from the United States, India, China, Sweden, The Netherlands, and Ukraine. 64 compositions made it to the final voting, which proceeded in several stages. Every day, half of the contestants dropped out.
Heartprints made it to the final match for the prize of $1000 which they won over Goa-based band, Within Ceres, by a 7% difference. Right after, they were asked to perform for the BUMA 2018 and were nominated for “Best Band”. Talk about meant to be.
See It All
The topics that Heartprints explore in their music deserve special attention — the deep and spot-on lyrics truly are the signature feature of the band. For example, the track that won the Tournament is called “Closer to the End” and speaks about the problem of environmental pollution, something these musicians are no strangers to living in the industrial city.
“Have you ever wondered what the end is nigh? Just look out of your window and you’ll see it’s already here. Every one of us blames all the troubles on everyone and everything around, except himself. Look in the mirror and think about who’s the one to blame for the lack of resources on the planet needed for the existence of humanity? We released this track from our LP ‘See it All’ firsthand, hoping to get through to every conscious listener. No more just thinking, it’s time to act, or we’ll all be buying clean air in a few years,” says Ruslan, the frontman of Heartprints.
Every member of the band is sympathetic to what really matters and it shows, even in the fact that all the songs, music and lyrics are created hand in hand. “In our record, we show different life situations and raise important questions, which every listener should find an answer on its own,” Heartprints tells us. “In every track, the listener can see the reflection of himself and learn his own lesson. That’s why we called our album See it All.”
Their music is not so much about uncomfortable but vital questions, as a nudge to reflect about life in general. For example, “Dead or Alive” explores the theme of loss. “Every one of us has lost a loved one,” says the frontman of the band, Alexei. “The heavy burden of it is hard to bear, but our memory is remarkable. Through the pain of the loss, it keeps only the good moments. You shouldn’t forget your loved ones, as they remember us even being in another world. They become our guardian angels, who lead us, support us and protect us. Honor the memory of your near and dear, as they are alive, though not around, but always in our heart and our memory.”
There is More to Come
Though the general preoccupation with the world’s problems is not new for the heavy genre, still, the meanings that Heartprints put into their songs make their work nearly educational, especially nowadays, and therefore even more valuable. For example, it’s easy enough to wake teenage angst in the teenager, but making him angry and worried about something on the level of climate change is much trickier work. This only makes us wonder what else these guys are capable of.
photo: Kirai Gigs
For now, Heartprints is talking about releasing an EP and a couple of singles, and hopefully even bigger performances. However hard can it be to make it as a metalcore band on the modern scene, this band has the guts to make it. Take the fact that they weren’t shy and took the risk in our Tournament. That effort totally paid off, and that’s an example you should follow.