Heaven Shall Burn sound invigorated & enraged on ‘Protector’ & ‘Weakness Leaving My Heart.’
I have a soft spot for Germany’s Heaven Shall Burn. While their last few records – 2013’s ‘Veto‘ and 2016’s ‘Wanderer‘ – were fine at the absolute best, I still respect the melodic death metal band’s work ethic. Yet that’s mainly down to the sheer amount of goodwill that they’ve built up with the killer releases they put out during the 2000s: 2004’s anarchistic ‘Antigone,’ 2006’s massive ‘Deaf To Our Prayers,’ and 2008’s fantastic ‘Iconoclast (Part 1: The Final Resistance).’ I mean, ‘Iconoclast‘ has better riffs and energy than what most wannabee metalcore bands could ever hope to have nowadays.
But that was then, let’s get to the present. Forthcoming double LP, ‘Of Truth & Sacrifice,’ arriving March 20th, has had two new glimpses released: ‘Protector‘ and ‘Weakness Leaving My Heart.’ From that album title alone, as well as the evocative cover artwork seen above of a wounded woman protecting a child, the two themes dealt with here will, obviously, be concepts of truth, love, family, and sacrifice. In fact, you can already see a dichotomy in the music with ‘Protector and ‘Weakness Leaving My Heart.’
‘Protector‘ is the usual Heaven Shall Burn melo-death sound, through and through, getting right to the core of their sound as quickly as possible. The chugging, syncopated groove parts matched with their trade-mark melodic Euro-metal guitar work, wicked galloping double-kick patterns, crisp guitar harmonies, and Marcus Bischoff’s demented piercing screams; it’s classic HSB. And I like that; I still enjoy that shit after all these years.
In the flipside, ‘Weakness…‘ is a longer slow-burn, beginning with emotive violas, electro beats, and sombre piano melodies, before guitars start to creep in, then all hell breaks loose when it jumps into this crushing, stomping metal track. A dynamic movement that the song then repeats as strings and guitars intwine, as steady drum beats and powerful vocals lay out a clear path for a defiant spoken-word finale. The lengthier instrumental flourishes heard on this mournful song are nothing new, similar movements used on older albums, ut they executed those familiar elements very well here.
Judging by these two songs alone, HSB’s upcoming 100-minute double album effort will be nothing new in terms of style, yet it may yield some of the group’s more memorable and impactful songwriting in almost a decade. As it stands right now, Heaven Shall Burn fully sound invigorated and enraged again, and that’s often when they’ve written their greatest material. So colour me very keen for what’s to follow. Check out both new songs in the fanciest looking TedX talk and then the bleakest apocalypse below: