Some general impressions:
This is the second full lenght album by Heaven Shall Burn, after their debut 'Asunder' and before their most recent CD 'Antigone' As the latter was the first album I noticed by HSB, I'm working myself back on the albums. But enough of the chit chat, down to business.
The first thing I noticed, was the different production quality, and the slight different style. Where melodic parts and elemtents were used on many songs on 'Antigone', you'll hear less of that here. It's still there, on songs like 'Implore the Darken Sky', but as I said, I have the feeling not as much as on 'Antigone'. So it has somehow a more rough Hardcore-ish appeal. Regarding the instruments, the work is somehow similar. Still, the bass is almost not noticable, on this record it is even worse compared to newer work. The bass drum sometimes sounds a bit 'hollow', and laks a bit power. Which is kinda sad. Vocals are on the same level, a lot of screaming and shouting, almost no 'singing'. Here and there some spoken words. But that's about it. Anyways, it fits perfect, so there's no minus there. Guitars sound good. But could better.
The lyrics are, from all I can understand and from what I could gather on the net, about injustice, false reign, etc. Critic regarding politics, and the society. From all that I understand, that is. But as 'Antigone' deals with similar topics, I guess I'm right on that one. :)
What I really like about the album:
This is a pure asskicker, I don't know how to describe it in other words. The songs deliver a huge energy. You have a bad day? Pissed with anything? Look no further, you've found music to deal with it. Still, a little melody here and there. Sweet. On some spots even strings, sound samples etc are used to accent a song. 'The Few Upright' is a great example. With the synthie elements, it get's an epic touch. Good work.
What is real nice, is an alternative version of "Implore the dark skies". A lot of melodic vocals as a bonus. Liked it. :)
What was not so good:
Well, like I already mentioned, the production could be better. The bass is barely noticable, and the drums sometimes do not sound the best either. Which is sad, as it is overall a great album. The guitars and vocals are good quality, I wonder why that could not be with bass and drums as well. Clearly for me, some song quality is been 'wasted' here. But I have a sensitive ear when it comes to sound/production quality, maybe I value that a bit higher than others.
This is an excellent record, but with the flaws in terms of production, it loses a bit sympathy from me. If it had a similar production quality like 'Antigone', I would clearly value those two albums equal. Great energy in all songs,great breakdowns, a bit melody here and there. But the bad quality of the drums and bass kinda ruin it for me. That could have clearly been better IMO.
Basically, the pure explosive energy of the music speaks for itself. If you're into stuff like Unearth, Caliban or similar, you'll probably enjoy this stuff too. If you can see beyond the flaws, you have an excellent album on your hands. Still, because of the production, from me: