Heaven Shall Burn
Antigone


4.5
superb

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
December 20th, 2006 | 35 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


Heaven Shall Burn’s Antigone is an anomaly in the metalcore world. You see, these five gentlemen from Germany use a formula of metalcore which contains no breakdowns, no watered-down, fruity guitar leads and don’t rely on solely frets zero and one to create their heaviness. Instead, the use of simple but effective melodies and a progression of chords and riffs which take advantage of the twenty-something other frets on their guitars coupled with a downright vicious vocal department to create an album which is not only inherently heavy, but also injected with subtle nuances that make it much more than just another album in a trend which has long overstayed its welcome.

Indeed, Antigone is something different than what you’ve come to expect with metalcore. There are three neoclassical instrumentals, one being an intro and the other two being outro’s, composed by Icelandic musician Olafur Arnalds. These three tasteful pieces accompany the atmosphere of the rest of the album with startling precision, and when you take some of the slower bridges of the album such as the one in the single “The Weapon They Fear” you can see a direct correlation in the sound. However, putting these moments aside, the remainder of the album is all about business. The politically charged lyrics talking about tyranny, animal rights, and anti-fascism make great fodder for vocalist Markus Bischoff’s eclectic and powerful layered scream which is quite simply one of my favorite voices in metal. The vocals are just as prominent and drive the music just as much, if not more so, than the guitars do. The riffs are fast, the chords are crushing and the hints of melody both powerful and effective. However, on songs like “Numbing The Pain” the heaviness takes on a slower, more doom metal-like aspect, with a piano piece driving the song instead of the guitar riffs.

The use of two outro tracks makes for an interesting effect, as after “To Harvest The Storm” fades away the album seems to enter another phase entirely. The three concluding songs, more notably the final two “Tree Of Freedom” and “The Dream Is Dead”, take things to a whole new level in terms of intensity, as if the album builds and builds in anticipation of its final moments. While the apparent highlights such as “The Weapon They Fear” and “Voice Of The Voiceless” steal the spotlight, it is often the less praised songs which make this album what it is. “The Only Truth” and “Tree Of Freedom” are some of Heaven Shall Burn’s best moments, yet they go wholly unnoticed. Amidst a production which sadly washes out the bass completely, the songs are otherwise mixed perfectly, with the drumming laying out a couple blast beats here and there and a healthy portion of double bass during selected riffs.

Antigone is easily Heaven Shall Burn’s flagship album, containing some of the band’s best tracks which amounts to their most accessible album to date. Each song is brilliant in some way, a feat which they hadn’t achieved before or since. It is the album which shifted their sound from the rough, heavier Whatever It May Take to their more streamlined approach of today. It really got the band’s name out there as something to watch out for in the saddened state of metalcore, and to this day they continue to be one of the most interesting bands in the scene, something which can be directly credited to the sheer quality of Antigone.



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user ratings (283)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Damrod EMERITUS (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
south_of_heaven 11
December 20th 2006


5438 Comments


[quote=reviewer]and there are no solos[/quote]
Exactly why I'll never check this out.

Eliminator
December 20th 2006


2067 Comments


Totally a god reason not to listen to something right?

Wizard
December 20th 2006


19607 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

An ok review. Certainly not a 5 though. There are bands who are way better at this type of metal. But hey, whatever floats your boat in the world of metal.

Digging: Full Of Hell & Merzbow - Full Of Hell & Merzbow

south_of_heaven 11
December 20th 2006


5438 Comments


Totally a god reason not to listen to something right?


Any kind of heavy music that has no solos doesn't appeal to me.

Oh wait...nvm...you said 'god'...:confused:This Message Edited On 12.20.06

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2006


17941 Comments


Any kind of heavy music that has no solos doesn't appeal to me.

: (This Message Edited On 12.21.06

kalkal50
June 24th 2007


2386 Comments


Try HypocrisyThis Message Edited On 06.24.07

Cravinov13
June 24th 2007


3854 Comments


There are a lot of melodic death metal bands better then this.This Message Edited On 06.24.07

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2007


16466 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm not talking about better Melodic Death bands, I was mistaken before. I know there are better ones, I was talking about Metalcore bands. This band is technically classified as Metalcore, and I would like to hear a more brutal Metalcore album than this....This Message Edited On 06.24.07

Cravinov13
June 24th 2007


3854 Comments


Converge are considered metalcore, though they are definitly not the typical metalcore.

chimera908
July 1st 2007


713 Comments


I've never heard this but I can almost guarantee Converge, Botch and The Dillinger Escape Plan make better metalcore than this. Although none of them make typical metalcore at all. Converge and Botch are really in a realm of their own and hard to describe. Dillinger uses a lot of jazz fusion and some grind influence too. And as for brutal once again I havn't heard this but I dont think you can get much more brutal than Converge. Unless your Dethklok.

BallsToTheWall
July 21st 2007


44789 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

This cd never ceases to amaze me.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

Pluh
December 14th 2007


579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i've only listened to this twice so far, so i need a few more listens to grasp all that this cd has to offer. but so far, this has great melodies, drumming, and even vocals ( i really took to his voice fast). all in all, i'm really liking this album a lot, and also, nice review.

Writer
November 21st 2009


136 Comments


I like this review: it was a good personal one from you.

I'm finally getting to check out the rest of the band's back catalogue from before Iconoclast. I think this is my favorite one out of the three I'm currently listening to.

bloc
November 21st 2009


34998 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice, what did you think about Whatever it May Take?

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

Writer
November 21st 2009


136 Comments


I'm listening to that one now; it's definitely going to be a grower.
The second version of "Implore The Darken Sky" is the same but with exclusively clean vocals, right?

bloc
November 21st 2009


34998 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

right. personally, i prefer the dirtier one.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2009


16466 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

haha this was my third review, I wrote it back when I didn't know any better and wrote a lot of pseudo-track by track reviews. Looking back I'm actually a bit embarrassed but hey, we all start somewhere.

Writer
November 21st 2009


136 Comments


right. personally, i prefer the dirtier one.


I do too; a bit random for the band to include it I must say. The remastered version of the album is particularly good too by the way.

Looking back I'm actually a bit embarrassed but hey, we all start somewhere.


I'm not sure if I'll ever review an album on this site, but yes I agree; no one is going to be perfect the first time out. Other than a few grammatical and spelling issues, I though it was good. Maybe a little too subjective, but you still got the job done. Oh wow, that was nearly three years ago!


Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2009


16466 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was bored so I just completely re-wrote this review.

BallsToTheWall
November 21st 2009


44789 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Sick record is sick.



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