Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Gone A Bit Too Core - 55%

Five_Nails, October 3rd, 2016
Written based on this version: 2004, CD, Century Media Records

“Nobody's chosen to suffer, nobody's destined to rule,” these are the words that belt out in the song “The Weapon they Fear” which always gets me rock nodding and eventually headbanging to their break-beating chorus of “threw back-the baseness back from where it came”.

As a young high school lad I used to watch Headbanger's Ball late at night with Jamie Jasta of Hatebreed hosting a reboot of a show that had been relegated to the graveyard shift on MTV2 and was canceled after a few years. It was a ritual to rock out, find out about new bands, and end the week in a zen zone of my own. From that show I was introduced to the likes of Lamb of God, Shadows Fall, Trivium, Devildriver, Demericous, and all kinds of bands that were riding the wave of metalcore's heyday. The show would feature some Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, Satyricon, or Mayhem from time to time but metalcore and hardcore were the main focus of a network trying to cash in on the latest wave. The closest I got to black metal was Satyricon's “King”, the heaviest it got in death metal was Suffocation's “Abomination Reborn”. Though most of the content was music videos like “Embrace the Gutter” by The Autumn Offering, the show made it hit home just how big heavy metal culture is and helped to start a musical journey for this listener. Heaven Shall Burn was one in the long list of bands that fueled my metal journey and even then wasn't high on the long list. Having the full album “Antigone”, now has shown me how low on the long list they can get.

A German metalcore band that bridges on hardcore more than it does on metal, they really do bring some angst and rage in that opening badass song. Anti-fascism is a cause, sure, and I'm not going to rip on anti-fascism or fascism, or any political bullshit. Sorry anyone looking for some kind of great speech or political debate, that's not coming from me. I'm here to hear some headbanging music and Heaven Shall Burn brings enough of that in their main single, but the bands category on the tree of metal seems to be a place of contention with some people. I keep seeing the melodic death metal label thrown around a lot for this band, and believe me you're going to be disappointed if you're trying to find more than just hints to it in this album. The fleeting melodic riffs don't bring out their full potential and instead find themselves going back to breakdown chugging rather than sounding out their own place in the sludgy mix. This happens time and time again with Heaven Shall Burn's formula. “To Harvest the Storm” starts at a good clip, then breaks down, kicks back into gear, and then the cringe-inducing clean clean vocals turn the track into an absolute mess that has completely lost its way. Speaking of cringe, the album's intro and two outros are superfluous and don't lend anything to compliment the actual music. While these are worst offenders, I do like their opening to “Numbing the Pain” and the break beat into a shred riff style in “Bleeding to Death”, “Architects of the Apocalypse”, or “Voice of the Voiceless”. However, they make the breaks a bit more pronounced than I enjoy and the shredding doesn't have the substance that I'm craving. Sure these formulaic setups let them drop a heavy beat on you, but it doesn't give the songs the guitar payout they're hinting at with their fleeting Gothenburg riffs.

When it comes to Heaven Shall Burn, their music reminds me of how I felt when it came to many of the metalcore bands I was into early on. I got caught in the currents of heavy metal's latest tide and grew from the inspiration of my early metal days. The singles, the catchy tunes do work, but the band doesn't have the kind of substance I like about the bands under the surface that stand the test of time, and the ones that don't just ride the wave of what sells.

Get drunk and listen to this for some fun as it's not that bad when your senses are deadened a bit but in no way is this album groundbreaking. Instead “Antigone” makes me miss what I loved from Scars of Tomorrow, what captured me with God Forbid, and what bewildered me about Callenish Circle rather than want to hear any more Heaven Shall Burn.