Heaven Shall Burn may get a bad rap for their metalcore roots but their past few albums have continually seen the band evolving. Sure some may now just write them off as another dreaded 'deathcore' band, but there's something to this band that tends to defy the typical genre tag conventions. This latest conceptual effort neither relies solely on wretched vocals and blast beats or sappy choruses and breakdown overloads, thus finding somewhat of a destructively happy middle ground.
While the album does kick off with some ominous piano/string laden eeriness, the rest of it sees fit to continually pummel the listener with an enraged rhythm section that seems intent on caving in chest cavities. A whirlwind dual guitar attack wrenches out the ever menacing riffs and throaty vocals screech and hiss their malicious intent upon the listener with venomous intensity. The surprising thing is, even while playing both sides of the fence this German outfit seem to have hit upon a more varied balance than most of their American peers.
However, the problem that has continually hindered Heaven Shall Burn is still in place. For while the band have as much aggression as a kennel full of abused pitbulls, they lack the foresight to push themselves on a song to song basis. Barring an electronic sampling or a haunting outro each track is generally a mauling with no relent and while this is great for a few tracks, its not long before the cracks begin to splinter into spiderwebs. Simply put, a number of the songs included here are barely recognizable from the next. In turn Heaven Shall Burn remain a bit more archetypal than iconoclast, even though their combination of death metal and metalcore is about as explosive as it gets.
(3 / 5)