Heaven Shall Burn
posted on 8/2004 By:
The more a metalcore band focuses on the “metal” rather than the “core”, the better it turns out. This is the essence of the latest album from Heaven Shall Burn, entitled Antigone. With some great, thoughtful moments and minimal breakdowns, this is some metalcore I can finally enjoy.
Naturally this isn’t to say this album is genius, so don’t go running to Amazon.com with your credit card just yet. Some of the melodies can be pretty predictable at times. Even more predictable, though, is the vocals. While the singer has a very good style and edge about him, the vocal arrangements are eye-rollingly formulaic. I can listen to interesting vocals over average backing melodies while still being entertained, and vice versa. In the case of this album, the vocals tend to go exactly with the beat and repeat the exact same tone over and over again. Now there’s something to be said for repetition in that it helps you remember the tune and it adds catchiness, but you can only take the same exact “vocal beat” over and over again for so long. Obviously, it is tough to describe, but trust me the vocals get tiring.
Thank god for some of the moments of melodic genius that pop up here and there. Just when you think a song is boring and you’re about to hit the “skip track” button, Heaven Shall Burn will surprise you with a blow-away moment in which the synergy of the band coalesces all at once and sends a glorious chill down your spine. Take, for example, the song “The Only Truth”. This song is full of boring “almost-breakdowns”, but then every now and then they’ll toss in an Amon Amarth sounding riff. They even have moments of hyper-melodic symbiosis in which you’ll practically cry out one million thank-you’s for the mere fact that they NEVER throw in any pussy-whipped clean vocals!
An album with its definite ups and downs, Antigone ends up being a fine example of what listening to Amon Amarth and Killswitch Engage can get you. Of course I’m being overly harsh when I criticize this band, but the fact of the matter is I really enjoyed the hell out of this album, and I would recommend it to anyone from the hardcore or heavy metal sides of our beloved genre.
Voice of the Voiceless - Great beat and aggressiveness
Numbing the Pain - A truly spectacular song with extremely catchy melodies
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