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Heaven Shall Burn Iconoclast

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01. Awoken 02. Endzeit 03. Like A Thousand Suns 04. Murderers of the Murderers 05. Forlorn Skies 06. A Dying Ember 07. Joel 08. Quest for Resistance 09. Black Tears 10. The Bombs of My Saviours 11. Against All Lies 12. The Disease 13. Equinox 14. Atonement
2008 Century Media Records
Our score 5

by Josh H.
6/13/2008

Back in 2002 when Heaven Shall Burn released their defining album Whatever it May Take, the German quintet seemed poised to become one of the most promising bands riding the metalcore wave. Somewhere along the way however, the band fell into a creative black hole, most notably with 2004's Antigone, an album that rightfully garnered a rather lukewarm response from the metal community. Sadly, Heaven Shall Burn's fifth full-length Iconoclast is no different, delivering plenty of the patented death metal-meets-hardcore aggression the band is known for, but very little in the way of substance or stylistic evolution. From the get-go, it's perfectly apparent that Iconoclast is a metallic one trick pony. All the same worn out trappings of the band's last few albums are present and accounted for, from the quasi-political sloganeering so many German acts seem to be fond of to the chugging Bolt Thrower-isms that initially made them stand out from the pack. From the short, Antigone-esque piano-based intro track onward, Heaven Shall Burn appear perfectly content to shamelessly rehash and recycle elements from their previous recordings and even the extremely high level of intensity the band maintains throughout Iconoclast can't save it from wallowing in mediocrity. The main problem with Iconoclast is that it is nearly impossible to differentiate one song from the next. Sure, Heaven Shall Burn do attempt to break up their alternating Gothenburg-derived melodies and lumbering heaviness with the occasional, fleeting subdued moment or gentle synth flourish, but as whole the songs blend together to create one indistinguishable metalcore morass that makes it next to impossible to pinpoint standout tracks. Only "Black Tears," an Edge of Sanity cover, manages to provide any sort of respite from the constant monotony. It's clear the members of Heaven Shall Burn can handle their instruments ably, but their approach to composition lacks variation and progression, two very necesarry elements of compelling songwriting. This lack of deviation from the tried-and-true formula they perfected years ago, coupled with a running time of nearly an hour make Iconoclast an utterly exhausting listen. Bottom Line: Unfortunately, Iconoclast sees Heaven Shall Burn once again failing to live up to the promise of their early recordings. The band has become more known for ripping themselves off than for any of the ambitiousness or individuality they initially exhibited.

Comments (27) post new comment
anonymous 6/13/2008 10:44:35 PM

first post mutha f*cka lick dees nuts bo!


jor_ 6/13/2008 10:47:01 PM

dick spatula


gassymcgasserton_ 6/13/2008 10:58:24 PM

don't know about your antigone statement, ive seen maybe 2 or 3 bad reviews for the album on crap sites but the majority that i have read were favoring the album as one of the best of 04' and nearly flawless. hell even lambgoat gave it a decent score (regardless of cory being terribad at everything). anyway, i thought this album was pretty fun disagree with the score but its not a perfect album by any means.


lgfagz_ 6/13/2008 10:59:47 PM

lambgoat reviewers=gays


rustav3ry_ 6/14/2008 12:06:19 AM

this album=gays


xpoopshootx_ 6/14/2008 1:07:15 AM

f*ck this piece of shit band. a 5 out of 10 is WAY too generous. don't see how anybody can enjoy this garbage.


agent_friday_ 6/14/2008 1:21:55 AM

what? the? f*ck? is? this? review? black tears was the only shitty part of this album.


anonymous 6/14/2008 2:34:48 AM

this album is pretty much the same as everything else they put out


Augusti s eaten_ 6/14/2008 3:32:33 AM

Same all time, good all time. I love HSB.


makebabies_ 6/14/2008 4:28:49 AM

good review, agree


jawohl!_ 6/14/2008 5:58:30 AM

ze german heavy musik kids vill destrukt everyzink with ze power of heavyn shall burn! bringk out ze mosh!


Word Yo_ 6/14/2008 8:22:31 AM

Pretty harsh. It at least deserves a 7 in my opinion. Kills stuff like Black Tide, Winds of Plague or even new Unearth. This definitely kicks the shit out of Caliban, but that's probably obvious. It's not to flashy, but it has some fat beats and sweet rifgaye.


crowflier_ 6/14/2008 2:43:21 PM

you forget to mention that blatant carcass ripoff riff.


Wow_ 6/14/2008 3:06:24 PM

Yet again, Lambgoat makes a craptastic review. LG is up to a grand total of 0 good reviews.


adam HELLBOUND_ 6/14/2008 3:58:37 PM

i respect the reviewer's right to his opinion, but i humbly disagree. i don't think this is a GREAT album by any means, but it's got plenty of fun moments. it's better than a lot of the melo-death influenced metalcore that's coming out these days.


honky_adonis_ 6/14/2008 4:00:43 PM

i do not respect the reviewer's opinion and reserve the right to call you all gays


theoneironaut_ 6/14/2008 4:21:26 PM

yeah, i mean you know what youre getting into with HSB, and the review just reminded me of that. i dont think anyone can call them a bad band, but they have become very bland.


j33bus_ 6/15/2008 1:15:43 AM

eh i'd bump the score up to a 6 or maybe 7. not a groundbreaking album by any means, but it's an enjoyable listen.


murder_ 6/15/2008 12:07:01 PM

review > bull! crap! antigone was bliss, this one just lil weaker...


mortimer_ 6/15/2008 4:21:00 PM

How exactly does a band rip themselves off?


elliot_ 6/15/2008 7:22:42 PM

Stop stealing Shogun's album title.


anonymous 6/16/2008 7:16:59 AM

is awoken even a word?


blahfuck_ 6/16/2008 12:21:09 PM

first two songs>rest of the album. i just can't fully get into this band. they are one of the better metalcore bands but that doesn't say a whole lot


xote_ 6/16/2008 6:20:04 PM

Only gays who like FALSE metal listen to this shit.


anonymous 6/16/2008 7:49:15 PM

the song "joel" is the main reason i keep listening to this...heaviest song in a while. they were really funny live too, that helps. good album.


xBEARFIGHTx_ 6/25/2008 12:24:08 PM

This album is just boring after the first two songs


anonymous 12/15/2008 11:39:04 AM

I really disagree with the review. I hate when people gripe at bands like HSB for not changing, but other bands get praised for it. This album brings it from start to finish. As one of the harder-hitting released this year, the production quality is astounding. The vocals and lyrics are both perfect as well. The only way I can see that you would dislike this album is if you had an arbitrary reason to hate this style of music or HSB. Josh H. - You fail at this album review. This might ta