Heaven Shall Burn
Wanderer


2.0
poor

Review

by Jared Ponton EMERITUS
April 15th, 2018 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: All fall.

The title for this album is applicable for fans of Heaven Shall Burn, mainly because of the obvious question that it asks: Where do they go from here.

At the time of Wanderer’s 2016 release, Heaven Shall Burn had been a band for twenty years. They have released a number of notable releases throughout their long career together – 2004’s Antigone, first and foremost, but also 2002’s Whatever It May Take, and 2013’s Veto.

What made these albums so good was not to be found in any innovation or progression in the band’s core sound: Marcus Bischoff’s demonic, layered vocals; a twin-pounding, relentless guitar attack from Maik Weichert and Patrick Schleitzer (or Alexander Dietz, who replaced Schleitzer after 2005); and the thunderous drums from Matthias Voigt (now replaced by Christian Bass, following Veto).

These albums were so good because the songwriting therein was strong and inspired. In layman’s terms, these releases had some killer songs that drove and pushed these albums forward with purpose and distinction. The weaker spots in Heaven Shall Burn’s discography, in direct contrast, are all marked by containing weak songs and weak album directions, overall, though their core sound has more or less stayed the same throughout for just about every release.

Wanderer is their weakest album by far, even with the addition of a number of guest musicians in the mix: George Fisher of Cannibal Corpse’s fame provides vocals on “Prey to God”; Adalbjorn Tryggavanson of Solstafir provides vocals on “The Cry of Mankind,” a My Dying Bride cover that closes out the album; Nick Hipa of Wovenwar fame provides a guitar solo on single “Corium”; and Frank Blackfire plays guitar on “Agent Orange”, a Sodom cover.

Unfortunately, none of the guest musicians provide any highlights in the typical Heaven Shall Burn sonic stew. The only songs that reside with listeners are “Bring the War Home”, the second track -- which follows an ill-placed, boring opener to the album in “The Lost of Fury” -- and “Down Shifter”, which recalls Antigone’s momentous closer, “The Dream is Dead”, with its opening synth effects, though the prior is still nowhere near as strong as the latter.

The rest are by the numbers Heaven Shall Burn that play homage to the worst of the Iconoclast trilogy and even the dull middle of 2006’s Deaf to our Prayers in both of their collectives' stagnation and mediocrity. Wanderer is just Heaven Shall Burn songs with the core sound still intact, but with poor songwriting all of the way through.

2013’s Veto was such a strong and powerful release because the songs therein were of such high quality. With that release, Heaven Shall Burn had kept their identity as a band intact, sonic structure-wise, but the inspiration and power found in the songwriting made that album so strong as a whole. Veto proved that the band could still make killer albums, while still not having evolved their signature sound in over a decade.

2016’s Wanderer is the direct counterpart to Veto, in the most negative of ways. The songs are not strong, and the band sounds bored. They didn’t go into the studio, nor did they release Wanderer, with that intention, of course, but that is what we have here, more or less: exhaustion, in auditory form. Much needs to be done on the next release, or this band might as well be done for and gone. Which is sad, because few metalcore bands can hit as hard as they have in the past.

Until then, we wait.



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user ratings (85)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
April 15th 2018


6204 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Rusty. Been far too long.



Also, can't seem to use question marks in the review without it being turned into a quotation mark.



Hope you guys are doing well.

Digging: Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind

Toondude10
April 15th 2018


12486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Also, can't seem to use question marks in the review without it being turned into a quotation mark."



that bug has been around for a while now

Digging: A Perfect Circle - Eat the Elephant

Ponton
Emeritus
April 15th 2018


6204 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

ah, good to know. Thanks.

SowingSeason
Moderator
April 15th 2018


26046 Comments


Welcome back. Very nice review although I don't care about this band at all.

Digging: Meek Mill - Dreams and Nightmares

Ponton
Emeritus
April 15th 2018


6204 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Definitely not something i see you liking ever, but thank you, sowing. I am here.

bloc
April 15th 2018


49404 Comments


Whaaaat, didn't know they had a new album coming so soon. Shame about the rating though. Album art makes it seem like this one's different from the rest.

Digging: Inferi - Revenant

Darius
April 15th 2018


12516 Comments


Ponton?! It's been a year or two hasn't it? Nice rev btw

JustJoe
April 15th 2018


2803 Comments


Another Emeritus Sighting.

Good read, indeed.

Digging: The Weeknd - My Dear Melancholy

Ponton
Emeritus
April 15th 2018


6204 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

albums been out since 2016, but nobody reviewed it so i chose to.



Thanks guys. I actually never left. I have been posting here and there for a while now.

Darius
April 15th 2018


12516 Comments


I loved your reviews back in the day when i lurked, i thought you went awol back in 2015 lol

JustJoe
April 15th 2018


2803 Comments


[2]

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2018


1073 Comments


Hey

bloc
April 15th 2018


49404 Comments


"albums been out since 2016, but nobody reviewed it so i chose to."

Oh wow, I feel dumb haha. I even have it rated lol. Yeah this album sucked.

siren
April 15th 2018


12 Comments


band sucks

Ponton
Emeritus
April 15th 2018


6204 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i went awol in 2011

Ponton
Emeritus
April 15th 2018


6204 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

hola, eli. Been a long time

AdolfChrist
April 15th 2018


15854 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"Nick Hipa of Woven War fame"



Yeah thats what we all know him from, lol.

Digging: Secede - Bye Bye Gridlock Traffic

Toondude10
April 15th 2018


12486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I definitely like this more than most people, but man the production is just terrible and really drags this down a lot.

Ponton
Emeritus
April 15th 2018


6204 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Good point. May just be my copy, but this is one of HSB's worst-produced albums. Veto's production values are way more powerful in comparison.



And Hipa is from As I Lay Dying too, whatever, blah blah.

Toondude10
April 15th 2018


12486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wovenwar is one word btw



Veto's production values are way more powerful in comparison. [2]



They need the Jens Bogren touch



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