Heaven Shall Burn's latest release, Antigone, is aggressive and hard-hitting from start to finish. Antigone combines elements of power, death and hardcore metal with a European smack.
"Echoes" may be the soothing piano piece that introduces the album, but all relaxation ends immediately with the dominant "The Weapon They Fear." Marcus Bischoff's coarse vocals reflect that of Max Cavalera during the early Sepultura days.
The next track, "The Only Truth," is a full-on assault. Eric Bischoff's pummeling double-bass drum technique attributes to the weight of the song, while guitarists Patrick Schleitzer and Maik Weichert produce stocky riffs that could break one's neck.
"Architects of the Apocalypse" is callous and brutal, lashing out against overpowering governments.
Bischoff's lyrics throughout Antigone reflect on questioning such grand aspects of life as politicians, religion, war and racism. The character and validity behind the lyrics are well delivered through Bischoff's projections.
"How can I smile as this age dies, like everyone else / Dancing around the fire that burns this world," Bischoff wails in a track about disability and conformity, "Numbing the Pain."
"Bleeding to Death" and "Tree of Freedom" are tracks that best represent the musical structure of the band. Both cuts start out as a headbanging stomper, similar to America's Machine Head, Fear Factory and Exodus. Out of nowhere, the tracks quickly change into morbid, classic death metal.
If Antigone is a glimpse into the future, Heaven Shall Burn will become a force to be reckoned with and not just another European metal band.