Heaven Shall Burn - Iconoclast pt.1
Century Media
Metalcore/Melodic Death
14 songs (58:17)
Release year: 2008
Heaven Shall Burn, Century Media
Reviewed by Joe

Heaven Shall Burn. Well the name says it all really. You'd think this is gonna be hate filled, angry heavy metal and well...you'd be right. With American bands Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, All That Remains and God Forbid already making a name for themselves in the metalcore genre around the globe, the Germans of Caliban, Fear My Thoughts and indeed Heaven Shall Burn are certainly becoming strong contenders to knock the Americans off their mantle. With their 5th studio album titled Iconoclast pt.1, HSB have released an album that's certainly very good, but severely lacking originality compared to their previous albums. They've certainly stuck to the formula that has worked before and it sounds good, but I think a lot more experimentation in the future is needed to stop themselves going into a rut. It's not that the individual songs aren't good, they are great metal tunes, but when you have an entire album with songs like this then they start to lose character and everything just sounds so repetitive and generic after the fourteen songs have finished.

Things start off very nicely with a beautiful and serene classical intro, Awoken, which leads into probably the best HSB track I've heard thus far. Endzeit is heavier than hell, brutal and melodic, this is why I got into HSB. From then on it’s fairly hit and miss, Like A Thousand Suns and Murderers Of The Murderers proving decent tracks, though for the most part it’s basically good, albeit “heard it all before” compared to older releases. Black Tears seemed to jump out of the pack, with the most “happy” sounding melody and probably the most melodic on the album. Although with all due respect it’s a great song but remains a cover by Edge Of Sanity. Against All Lies is another more melodic track, which I would have loved more of to break up the more speedy, heavier tracks, there’s only so many times you can hear the same drum beat and guitar riff before it gets all too repetitive. The last two tracks are a very disappointing end to the album indeed. Equinox is similar to the intro Awoken, although not as emotive and far too long. Atonement is a basic instrumental track that really doesn’t belong on there. I really think the album should have been cut to ten very strong tracks, as more tracks can sometimes weaken an album. Some songs could also benefit from being a bit shorter, as I'm not sure if they can justify the track lengths, but I guess that’s just me being picky.

The songs on Iconoclast pt.1 are not in the slightest original compared to one another or in fact to the entire back catalogue, maybe some change of vocals is needed like more clean vocals as used a bit on Antigone or perhaps the odd female vocals? Some more keyboards as used with Soilwork or classical arrangements? Something is definitely needed to change their music just slightly to give it a different spin, certainly to keep themselves interested and most importantly the fans. When it’s on and it’s crankin very loud, it’s fantastic. If you're a fan of the band like myself, then I have no doubt you'll like this, but like me, I don't think it's something you can get massively excited about and you'll want something a bit different next time.

Killing Songs :
Awoken, Endzeit, Like A Thousand Suns, Against All Lies
Joe quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Heaven Shall Burn that we have reviewed:
Heaven Shall Burn - Deaf To Our Prayers reviewed by Ross and quoted 70 / 100
Heaven Shall Burn - Antigone reviewed by Jason and quoted 74 / 100
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:43 am
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