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Heaven Shall Burn-Iconoclast Album Review

In the beginning when Metalcore was a new thing I really did enjoy the genre. At The Gates, Caliban, Killswitch Engage and the like were innovative. Bands like these took the heaviness and technicality of death/thrash metal, hardcore style breakdowns and combined it with melody and some cleaner singing parts. It seemed like a good formula but boy oh boy have I grown tired of this genre. Heaven Shall Burn was indeed a pioneer of the Metalcore genre but on their latest album Iconoclast, I don’t hear much growth. Iconoclast definitely is much heavier than your typical Metalcore release but not much about the album stands out. The musicianship is top notch and the band displays pretty much non stop heaviness throughout the album but, these days with so many bands, it takes a special element to stand out which I believe Iconoclast lacks.

Oh and another thing, guys please stop with the 90 second piano/electronic intro to the album. It’s been done far too many times and it only makes me want to skip the track. And I’m not just talking to Heaven Shall Burn (you know who you are). That is admittedly a minor nitpick so lets move on to some good points of Iconoclast shall we?

As noted before, the musicianship is excellent. These guys are fairly technical while staying heavy and some what catchy. In my opinion, the drummer is excellent and his work definitely stands out on Iconoclast. The production is clear and chunky and not the muddied mess that you get with a lot of the heavier bands these days. You’ll get the usual fare of blistering twin guitars, tons of double bass and, heavy, sinister sounding vocals. Overall it is a good metal album but what does it lack…?

Iconoclast lacks an identity of its own. There is nothing particularly bad about the album except for the fact that it doesn’t possess that element, whatever it may be that grabs the listener’s attention. Fans of Heaven Shall Burn will no doubt embrace this album as it is a lot more of what they appreciate about the band but, casual listeners or first timers may dismiss it as yet another Metalcore/Deathcore album. I’ve always thought the band has put out solid releases but this one just seems to miss the mark with me. I actually prefer their 2004 release Antigone. Don’t consider this review a bashing of Heaven Shall Burn because it’s not, it is merely one mans opinion that a band of this caliber that’s been together for almost 10 years now would release a more memorable and listenable album. Not by any means is it bad but it is far from excellent. 6/10

Webmaster Recommendation: Heaven Shall Burn-Antigone

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