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Heaven Shall Burn - Wanderer

Heaven Shall Burn
by Tim Bolitho-Jones at 20 September 2016, 8:34 AM

Remember when MILEY CYRUS came in like a wrecking ball? Well, the scantily clad pop maverick has nothing on the foundation-threatening power of HEAVEN SHALL BURN. For years the Teutonic five-piece have been carving out a reputation as Germany’s most uncompromising live act and their eighth album is a non-stop juggernaut of destruction. They might still be considered a Metalcore band but don’t be fooled; there isn’t a single melodic chorus or radio-tempting ballad to sucker the mainstream listeners in. This is a far nastier take on the genre than the shiny American version and “Wanderer” is an absolute bulldozer of an album.

From the opening “The Loss Of Fury” to the final ear-splitting moments of “The Cry Of Mankind,” it is astonishing how angry these twenty-year veterans sound. Age has only sharpened the edge of their righteous fury and their musicianship has noticeably improved as well. There are guitar melodies on here that could have been stripped from an IRON MAIDEN album and the duelling six-stringers ALEXANDER DEITZ and MAIK WEICHERT do themselves proud. They’re more than capable of dropping a catchy riff and enthusiastic solo into the mix and if it weren’t for them, “Wanderer” would run the risk of being nothing but an exercise in paint-stripping. Make no mistake though, this is not for the faint hearted. The likes of “Bring The War Home,” “Downshifter” and “Extermination Order” are abrasive, loud and pummelling, blast-beats shaking the stereo to pieces while singer MARCUS BISCHOFF screams like a banshee that’s drowning in semolina. “Prey To God” sees them going full Death Metal (with a CORPSEGRINDER FISCHER cameo too) and even “Corium,” the closest they get to an accessible number is still a raging, unchecked beast.

This does make listening to the whole album in a single go somewhat exhausting but even if you only make it two thirds in, “Wanderer” is an immense album. It’s a cathartic and razor edged roar of social injustice, as well as a contender for the nastiest Metalcore album of 2016. It’s not quite as good as the CALIBAN record that came out earlier this year, but it’s much, much heavier…and there’s no real chance of them stripping down to their underwear and swinging around on demolition equipment either which is always a plus.

Songwriting: 8/10
Originality: 7/10
Memorability: 8/10
Production: 9/10

Overall: 8/10

4 Star Rating

1. The Loss of Fury
2. Bring the War Home
3. Passage of the Crane
4. They Shall Not Pass
5. Downshifter
6. Prey to God
7. My Heart is my Compass
8. Save Me
9. Corium
10. Extermination Order
11. A River of Crimson
12. The Cry of Mankind
Marcus Bischoff – Vocals
Maik Weichert – Guitar
Eric Bischoff – Bass
Alexander Deitz – Guitar
Christian Bass – Drums
Record Label: Century Media Records


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