Heaven Shall Burn - Antigone
Century Media
Death Inspired Hardcore
12 songs (49:12)
Release year: 0
Heaven Shall Burn, Century Media
Reviewed by Jason

Has it ever happened that you tried evaluating something objectively, but when looking at it through different perspectives it gave you conflicting results? Kind of like the “Two-Faced Lady” episode of Seinfeld, when Jerry’s girlfriend looked either attractive or repulsive depending on the light settings. Well this is the situation I’m faced with this week. When listening to Heaven Shall Burn’s new album “Antigone”, there are two angels on my shoulders bickering away at each other. One is a Vegan straight-edger, with his arms crossed saying “This album is beyond killer!! I’d pull a fat windmill if it wouldn’t hit your big fat head beside me!!”, and the other angel is sitting there, chaffing my other shoulder with his denim, with a Randy Rhodes strapped to the back of his Maiden T-shirt saying “Meh…it sounds Metal... and its not all that bad, but it lacks something”. Bluntly put and with metaphors aside, this is a great hardcore album but a sub-par metal album.

If I were to describe the sheer power and aggressiveness of this album I’d say it was on the verge of nuclear. The riffs are so hard they almost crunch, the drums are destroyed rhythmically, and the vocals sound so radically passionate and aggressive that it gives me goosebumps. It’s almost as if they’ve taken all the best and brutal aspects of Killswitch Engage and upped them a few notches. Many of you will be quick to point out that other metalcore inspired bands like Converge are more brutal, and you couldn’t be more right. The considerable difference is that HSB isn’t chaotically brutal, but more “Angry barbarians beating on the war drum” brutal. The tracks are mostly dominated by plodding tempos that are occasionally interrupted with some quick foot work by Matthias Voigt. So, if you’re into the hardcore scene, this is perfect to flail your limbs in fury to. Metal-heads won’t be too disappointed as the guitars and vocals border death, and on occasion melodically resemble In Flame’s Lunar Strain/Subterranean period. Hearing hints of the bands main influences such as Amon Amarth, Earth Crisis is also easily noticeable throughout the album.

The disc soothingly begins with a melodramatic piano and violin interlude which serves to relax your muscles before being immediately kicked in the face by “The Weapon They Fear”. With his astounding howl, Marcus Bischoff’s starts off the politically oriented tune (most of the tracks are) singing :“Words – These words of freedom!!! A Bequest – Never to be silenced!!!”. With a band name like Heaven Shall Burn and track names like “Voice of the Voiceless”, it’s fairly obvious the lyrics are religiously and politically orientated. The important thing is that they are well written, poetic, and are more than just a “Fuck church and state” statement.

“Numbing the Pain”, one of the slower tracks, incorporates some nice melody through eerie pianos and just oozes with passion. I can just picture some avid fans at a HSB’s show against the stage with eyes closed, fists pounding, shrieking uncontrollably to this one. My personal Favorite, “Bleeding to Death”, has the most musical variation and is the most brutal track on the album. The beats change up regularly and Bischoff’s vocals tear through your speakers with a hellish quality.

Although I understand that this is a genre with musical limitations, my main complaint about this album is the lack of variation. It’s certainly difficult to tell each track apart because of the typical rhythmic drums and “chugging” guitars. I also believe that the dramatic intro and 2 outros is a bit overboard. The smooth and eerie intro was nicely fit in, but the 2 outro’s just killed it.

If this website were called hardcorereviews.com, I’d probably listen to the little vegan angel I have on my left shoulder and give this album a 93. But, unfortunately this is a metal site and sadly hardcorereviews.com the home of hardcore pornography (yes I checked). To listen to the other angel and give this album a 55 would be unfair. I truly believe that this is a good album, so the democratic thing would be to average it out… 74… a critical grade.

Is this a worthwhile purchase? If you like hardcore even a little bit I suggest saving up and running to your record store on the day of the release. If you don’t, don’t touch this album because there simply isn’t enough metal to keep the average metal-head entertained for long enough.

Killing Songs :
"The Weapon They Fear", "Architects of the Apocalypse", "Bleeding to Death", "The Dream is Dead"
Jason quoted 74 / 100
Other albums by Heaven Shall Burn that we have reviewed:
Heaven Shall Burn - Iconoclast pt.1 reviewed by Joe and quoted 70 / 100
Heaven Shall Burn - Deaf To Our Prayers reviewed by Ross and quoted 70 / 100
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