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INVICTUS by Heaven Shall Burn (2010) - 74%

MystifyXD, August 17th, 2010

After I listened to Heaven Shall Burn’s previous effort, “Iconoclast” (reviewed last April 2010), I found it lacking and I promised myself to listen to this album since I want to know if they could do better. Well, we now have here the latest album from these German melodic death metallers. Metalcore tendencies still included. Well, not in a Whitechapel way, though.

Firstly, I have to admit that this sounds better. “Invictus” indeed has that thrill you seek (which is rather absent in “Iconoclast”). The melodeath riffs are indeed great (ferocity included), though the rhythms were somehow like “chugga-chugga” riffs. Some songs feature keyboards (and other instruments too), which definitely added up to the album’s melancholic factor. Another thing: the drums seem to jive with the rhythms, which, again, added up to the metalcore tendencies. Meanwhile, the vocals are still more similar to screams than grunts; no complaints though, since the vocals were performed reasonably well.

First, we have “Return to Sanity”, which sounds loud, with a little dash of melancholic goodness at its intro. “The Omen”, on the other hand, has its share of brutality done in a mid-paced manner. Meanwhile, “I Was, I Am, I Shall Be” sounds like a fast-paced version of “The Omen”. “Combat” has those techno beats in between but at least it sounded like variety, and definitely not crap. Last, but definitely not the least, we have here “Given in Death”, being the real (melancholic) deal here. With female vocals and a lack of distorted riffs (especially in the pre-chorus parts), they have made a serene-sounding song that is quieter compared to the tracks prior to this one.

What I don’t like here though is that this album, in essence, is just like “Iconoclast” itself (but I can’t blame the band for this, since they said that “Invictus” is the third part of “Iconoclast”). What we hear here is the same production and the same style that you hear and feel in “Iconoclast” (though this album definitely sounds better). Another thing is that some songs sound like other songs (though less prevalent compared to “Iconoclast”). Lastly, they could try having more variety in the vocals, like having grunts and/or rasps. Well, this album is worthwhile, as far as I know, and, well… just buy this.

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