Released: Apr 19, 2013
Genre: Melodic Death Metal, Metalcore
Label: Century Media
Number Of Tracks: 11
This has turned out to be one of the most interesting metal albums I've listened to in 2013, both for the subject matter of the lyrics and some indefinable quality in their sound.
VetoFeatured review by: UG Team, on april 15, 2013 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: I came late to the game for HSB, but I've been trying to play catch up. They formed in 1996 in Germany under the name Consense, but changed their name to Heaven Shall Burn the next year with the release of their second demo album. One thing that caught my interest is the band makes a point that it considers itself a kind of protest/ social awareness band that supports anti-rascism and fighting social injustice. Most of the bands in similar genres are kind of over-dramatized talking about how evil they are or other things along those lines that kind of get on my nerves, so this was like a breath of fresh air. I went on to discover that the entire band are also vegans, but I'm not going to hold that against them. "Veto" is their seventh studio album and includes 11 tracks and clocks in at just under 50 minutes.
I will be the first to admit I don't understand all the intricacies of what qualifies as what metal sub-genre. I would call this thrash/death metal, probably. It is much more melodic that most death metal, but has elements of thrash as well so maybe melodic death metal? Or is it melodic deathcore? The point being that the songs aren't just pummeling heavy riffs from start to finish, though you do have the pummeling heavy riff quality, but usually with interesting melodies interwoven by the second guitarist. The vocals seem to go in between -core style lyrics and actual death metal style delivery. The guitar work is much more interesting than what I normally hear with music this heavy. The drums are really exceptional on the album, both in how well they are mixed and that they use actual drum patterns instead of constant double bass pedal patterns... Though you will occasionally hear some double bass patterns (it just isn't endless from start to finish) so kudos to Matthias Voigt. The musicianship on the album is really impressive across the board and it is mixed well. The compositions stay interesting. // 8
Lyrics: Marcus Bischoff provides vocals for the band, and he has a pretty wide range between death metal growls to deathcore/metalcore screams. The backing vocals on the album may be provided by the other members of the band or may be provided by the additional touring vocalists Andre Moraweck and John Gahlert... I can't find who is credited for it. Marcus really has an exceptional voice, as he can really do some brutal screaming but you can still understand what he is singing. That is what really separates vocalists in extreme metal genres to me. I actually find myself listening to the lyrics while I'm listening to HSB, which is different than my listening experience to most other extreme metal I've listened to lately.
I'm really enjoying that their lyrics have a message to them, even though it definitely gets into the realm of being pretty militant. Let me provide a sample. From the track "Land Of The Upright Ones": "There is nothing I can lend to you/ but whatever we will win is more than slavery/ this life, this golden future, its in our hands/ this world belongs to all of us/ no masters, no leaders, this is the end of treason/ this is nothing they will carry on/ black hearted are their promises/ their leaving energy is paid by blood." Pretty interesting stuff. Each song is saying something and I'm having fun going back and really listening to each song as an individual thing and hearing what they have to say. // 9
Overall Impression: I'm seriously enjoying this and for me it is one of the best metal releases in 2013 so far. I enjoyed the cover they did of Blind Guardian's "Valhalla" on the album. My favorite songs on the album otherwise would be "Land Of The Upright Ones", "Beyond Redemption", and "Hunters Will Be Hunted". I have only been aware of HSB for a few years and have been pretty impressed with what I've heard from them. On some of their previous albums a few of the songs were really solid and the rest sounded kind of rushed or at least not up to the standard of the best songs on the album, but on "Veto" I feel like they stay solid from start to finish. This album has a spot of heavy rotation on my mp3 player right now and probably for quite a while to come. // 8