Review Summary: Warning: Listening to album may give listeners an overwhelming urge to march out into an epic battle. Viewer discretion is advised.
There are two types of metal in this world (more like 200). One, the technical thinking man's metal, and then there's the kind of metal that makes you want to kill hordes axe wielding enemies with a giant sledge hammer. This is the latter. Heaven Shall Burn have always had a hard hitting, powerful sound that few bands recreate, and it's taken to the next level in the Iconclast trilogy.
Like most HSB albums, it opens with a soft classique instrumental piece, that opens up into an ocean of skull shattering beastness in the song Endziet. This opener sets the tone for the rest of the album quite well, which is based on the league of Iconoclasts, an army hellbent to take revenge on the murderers of the gods. The album really does an immaculate job of recreating the feel of the story, with strong political lyrics, and heavy hitting instrumentation that really sets you in the mood set to fire to, blow up, or otherwise obliterate your opposition.
Taken as a whole the album can be a bit tiresome for some at a nonstop 58 minute aural assualt of slow churning riffs and blast beats set behind the unique voice of Marcus Bischoff, who lies somewhere between a death growl and a burning house cat. But in a good way! The Saafield natives blur the lines between metalcore and melodic death metal with this album, and despite it's relentlessness, there is no sloppy work by any members to be found amongst the chaotic atmosphere that is Iconoclast (Part 1)
The varied lyrics touch on typical HSB themes of suffering, oppression, misanthropy, theocracy and totalitarian governments, however with a more unifying theme in this release. HSB also throws in a great cover of Black Tears by Edge of Sanity that not just blends with the album well, but really compliments it.
Anyone who likes HSB's earlier works will definitely enjoy this album as another step in the right direction for this band. The album is still unmistakably Heaven Shall Burn but is a progression into more melodic, rhythm oriented song structures. In many cases this marks the beginning of a metal band's end, however HSB pulls it off in a way that doesn't sell out or push for the mainstream, and it certainly won't alienate any old fans.
If taken as individual songs, this album's content is superb, however, after even listening to half of the album, you've pretty much heard everything. It's a long 58 minutes if you have the patience to sit down and take in the whole LP. The music can get quite repetitive, and Marcus Bischoff doesn't play around with his voice much, nor does the rest of the band, which could stand to put in a couple solos at the very least.
For new and old fans alike, and for those just wanting something to pump them up before they assault a field of locusts with a flamethrower, this album is right up your alley (so long as you ave the stamina.)
A Dying Ember
Quest for Resistance
Black Tears (Edge of Sanity cover)