Heaven Shall Burn
About Heaven Shall Burn
Since 1996, Germany's Heaven Shall Burn have specialized in politicized death metal fused with metalcore, melodic death, and deathcore. Their lyrics typically express support for anti-racism and anti-fascism. They also write about resistance, oppression and animal rights. The band's members are all either vegan or vegetarian. The group's brutalizing sonic onslaught has drawn comparisons to traditional death metal bands like England's Bolt Thrower and Sweden's the Haunted, but is much more frenetic. Their second full-length, 2002's Whatever It May Take (packaged with a reissue of their EP In Battle There Is No Law), took them outside Germany to play festival and club stages in Iceland, Greece, the U.K., and at German festivals including Wacken Open Air. 2006's Antigone, their debut for Century Media, showcased a more chug-worthy riffing style that basically left the melodic death metal aspect of their attack behind. The album's commercial success netted the band a headlining tour of the U.K. Their Iconoclast trilogy (2008's Iconoclast I: The Final Resistance, the live-in-Vienna Iconoclast II: Bildersturm - The Visual Resistance, and 2010's Iconoclast III: Invictus), all landed inside Germany's Top 25 and established them as one of the most consistent seat-filling acts in heavy metal. 2013's Veto charted in the U.S. (number 14, Top Heatseekers Albums) where Heaven Shall Burn at last became a top concert draw. 2016's Wanderer proved to be their most successful album in terms of sales. It placed inside the Top 20 on five European charts, including at number three in Germany.
Founded by guitarist Maik Weichert and drummer Matthias Voigt in the fall of 1996, Heaven Shall Burn (initially named Consense) soon included singer Marcus Bischoff and bassist Eric Bischoff. Following a set of demos, the band recorded a 1998 mini-CD entitled In Battle There Is No Law (reissued on CD with bonus tracks in 2002) and a split LP with Fall of Serenity before welcoming second guitarist Patrick Schleitzer into their lineup. Signing with Lifeforce Records in early 2000, they subsequently unleashed the very competent Asunder album, as well as another split CD (this one with Caliban) and proceeded to tour both Europe and South America. 2002 saw the release of another acclaimed effort, and their first to gain worldwide distribution, Whatever It May Take, after which the group signed with Century Media and cut their third full-length album, Antigone, in 2004. Their Century follow-up, Deaf to Our Prayers, followed in 2006 and in 2008, the band released the first of three conceptual albums Iconoclast 1: The Final Resistance. The second piece in the set, Iconoclast II: Bildersturm - The Visual Resistance, was a live DVD/CD that appeared in 2009. Rounding out the Iconoclast series was 2010's Iconoclast III: Invictus. During this time, drummer Matthias Voigt was temporarily replaced on-stage due to back surgery. Though he returned for the release of 2013's Veto, he was forced to leave the band for good later that year due to recurring health problems and was replaced by Christian Bass on drums.
After extensive touring across Europe, South America, and the United States, and a short break, Heaven Shall Burn entered the recording studio with producer Alexander Dietz. They cut 12 songs and a pair of covers, Sodom's "Agent Orange," and My Dying Bride's "The Cry of Mankind." A deluxe edition included a bonus disc of covers that Heaven Shall Burn recorded throughout their career. A long international tour followed, winning them main-stage performances at virtually every metal festival on the globe over the next two years.
When the band re-entered the recording studio in 2019, they elected guitarist Alexander Dietz as producer. They cut Of Truth & Sacrifice as a loosely conceptual double album. The first, "Of Truth," and the second "And Sacrifice," consisted of 19 original songs and a cover (on volume two) of Nuclear Assault's "Critical Mass." Released in the spring of 2020, with a deluxe edition that contained the movie Mein grünes Herz in dunklen Zeit (My Green Heart in Dark Times) on a separate DVD. All told, the album comprised was some 97 minutes of music. The double set sold well internationally and marked the first time Heaven Shall Burn placed an album at number one the German charts. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia & Timothy Monger