“Forever and always, there are warriors walking this earth- throughout all times and eras, amid all civilizations. Ever so silent and solitary, still unrecognized and beyond recognition. Nether books, sagas, nor ballads told their stories and no stone ever bore their names. Their killing fields do not touch any horizon, their weapons do not dip into any waters or fires, their blades are only hardened by man’s flaming hope and their iced heart’s cold.”
Heaven Shall Burn is a band which revolves around a firm set of principles. They have their opinions, and quite frankly they are not ones to be changing their minds. Whether these principles are shown through their music or through their unusually societal influenced lyrics, they stay the course through anything which may be thrown at them. It’s in this belief of standing up for what is right and what you so blindly believe in where Heaven Shall Burn takes their musical styling. Since 2000’s Whatever It May Take
, their sound has evolved little, for better or worse depending on your point of view. However, within this strand of unchanging tendencies and uncompromising songwriting, Heaven Shall Burn have tackled some of the biggest real world issues, past and present, which not many bands in today’s world even touch upon.
The idea of an iconoclast is based on the idea of never going down quietly. It has been a revolving theme around nearly every single Heaven Shall Burn album since the band first formed. These iconoclasts take many forms, whether it be the underground society known as “The White Rose”, which refused to acknowledge the ideals of Nazi Germany and took it upon themselves to educate others about the atrocities of the Nazi party.
All but one member of “The White Rose” were executed by the very people they sought to expose.
It’s with stories like these that Heaven Shall Burn’s lyrics point out such strong viewpoints. The feeling of hopeless anguish simply envelops you as the piano chords of the intro “Awoken” bear down. It’s a moment in which the stage is set for everything that is to come, because there is simply no break in the relentless music until 48 minutes later when the final two instrumental tracks close it in the same vein as it was opened. Sure, the music sounds the same during many of the songs, but the thing with that is the way in which Heaven Shall Burn space the really melodic tracks throughout the album, making the listener almost always interested. You can take the more melodic tracks such as “Endzeit”, “A Dying Ember”, “Black Tears”, and “The Bombs Of My Saviours” and notice their positioning in the album. It’s the perfect mix of heavy and melodic tracks which makes this rather lengthy album flow so well.
The formula upon which Heaven Shall Burn create their music hasn’t really changed since Deaf To Our Prayers
, but for some reason sounds much more mature than it ever has before. More refined, better production, more interesting and distinct songs, it all plays a part in what makes this album so solid. There is even a cover of Edge Of Sanity’s “Black Tears” integrated into the album, which is a great choice since it not only adds an insane amount of melodies to the album, it fits perfectly in with the entire theme of the album. Throughout, the guitars will sneak in a melody which will undoubtedly catch your attention since it contrasts so much with the more straightforward crushing riffs. Case in point: the heavy track “The Bombs Of My Saviours”. It deals with a very real topic in today’s fight against terrorism, and that aggression and anger toward this topic is certainly conveyed well, but there is a riff during the chorus which just slams you with a sense of hopelessness and a shocking feeling of helplessness as Marcus Bischoff screams:
I watch it burn, my Fatherland
To blood red skies I pray
Impatiently I wait, I’m waiting for the end
As I hail the bombs of my saviours.
It’s an almost surreal feeling which Heaven Shall Burn so well convey with this album. That’s where this sense of maturity and shocking realism comes from, their uncanny ability to write about things which will make you just sit back and think
. It comes on different levels of both straight up heaviness and calmer melodies, like the one mentioned above. “Murderers Of All Murderers” is a heavy, heavy song which does nothing but slam you with it’s message, all the while “A Dying Ember” uses its soft, melodic bridges to plea with you to listen to what is being said. The contrast here is just stunning.
Everything from the vocals (which, for the record, I think are amazing) to the songwriting to the instrumental performance, this album is just something to marvel at. This is easily Heaven Shall Burn’s best effort, I’m sure many fans of the band will agree. Sure, it may seem a bit old after 4 or 5 albums of this, but to me it still sounds as fresh as when I first heard this band. I’m sure if you take the time to listen to the album in its entirety and digest what it is Heaven Shall Burn is trying to get across, you too will be completely taken aback by the amazing level of realism and maturity which is hidden amidst the chaos.
“Tortured, betrayed, and murdered, now buried in forgotten grounds. Nothing can be done to change it and there will be no words of consolation. Revenge is all that is left. Their wrath has dawned and war begun, a war all by themselves to fight a world of murderers, the final resistance…… The Iconoclast”
A Dying Ember
The Bombs Of My Saviours
Murderers Of All Murderers