The opening track of “Iconoclast” is a small piano intro. It’s calm and solemn, but hints at potential destruction...Which then promptly segues into the opening chugging chords of “Endzeit”.
Then the Metalcore clichés pour out, as if someone opened up the floodgates. This wouldn’t be so bad if the music wasn’t so damn PREDICTABLE. HEAVEN SHALL BURN knows when and where to insert that faux off-beat guitar pattern, where to show off their knowledge of how to harmonize riffs, when to scream, etc etc etc.
There are two things that would make me to throw this album out my window before the other albums from similar, mediocre Metalcore bands, the ones that are all too happy to simply rewrite every single album that came before them without any desire to incorporate something new to the genre. Or, at the very least, try to write something LISTENABLE within the confinements of said genre.
Anyway, the first complaint is in the vocals department. It is no exaggeration when I say that I wanted to see what caused a worse headache: Me bashing my head against a brick wall, or listening to the “singing” on the album. After two seconds of “vocals” the onset of migraines began. It’s all so monotonous, and thoughtless.
The second complaint is in the riffs department…There are riffs on the album which are BLATANTLY COPIED FROM OTHER BANDS. I’m not talking about HEAVEN SHALL BURN having a riff that sounds a bit like one another band of their stature wrote. I’m talking about “Like A Thousand Suns” having the same damn verse riff as CARCASS’ “This Mortal Coil” and “Murderers Of All Murderers” having a melody suspiciously similar to one off the last ROTTING CHRIST album. It happened a couple of other times, but I stopped caring about “Iconoclast”, so I didn’t feel like finding out what riff they stole.
There’s also a cover of EDGE OF SANITY’s “Black Tears”, which is faithful to the original, at least music-wise. I don’t even want to talk the vocals, because Dan Swano is GOD compared to most famous Metal vocalists/singers, so comparing the vocalist of HEAVEN SHALL BURN to His Holiness Swano is like having The Terminator beat up a man with no arms in a street fight.
I honestly can’t think of a single reason to recommend this band over any other. The music is bland and highly derivative, the vocals make me want to jab pencils into my ears, the song structures were taken straight out of the “idiots guide to writing Metalcore”…well, at least the production is good.
Only good for inducing migraines and headaches.
(Online March 2, 2008)