CD review HEAVEN SHALL BURN ‘Of Truth & Sacrifice’

To state it right away, ‘Of Truth and Sacrifice’ is the best Heaven Shall Burn longplayer to date and knowing that the band owns a discography with strong longplayers makes the newest addition even more valueable.

Four years after having revealed the brilliant ‘Wanderer’ album the German quintet returns in a massive fashion. Already the fact that the Thuringia-based quintet brings with ‘Of Truth and Sacrifice’ a 19 songs comprising double album to the plate is impressive. The greatness of the new album is, that things doesn’t end up solely in a noise orgy. Although Heaven Shall Burn stick to their heavy roots, they intensify the musical variety that already shimmered through on ‘Wanderer’.

Metalcore is still the base for the five-piece powerhouse. Marcus Bischoff’s screams, shouts and growls are a substantial part of Heaven Shall Burn, accompanied by melodic guitar lines by Maik Weichert and Alexander Dietz. What makes the album stand out from other releases is the twists the guys add to the general pattern. Heaven Shall Burn sticks to their musical history without falling into a cookie-cutter approach.

Bringing in guys like composer Sven Helbig (Rammstein, Pet Shop Boys) and conductor Wilhelm Keitel helped the quintet to discover new twists with ‘Übermacht’ being one example. If you fuse the intensity of songs like ‘Endzeit’ with some Rammstein-ish sound elements you get to ‘Übermacht’, a song being a highlight amongst many others on this release. Especially the massive start of this song is monster.

‘Expatriate’ is another song, showing the diversity of Heaven Shall Burn. Cinematic soundscapes together with Bischoff’s oppressive spoken words create an apocalyptic atmosphere. Violins and piano add calmness to the mix but don’t take away any emotional intensity.

Next to these songs there are the typical Heaven Shall Burn smashers on the album too. ‘What War Means’ and the brutal ‘Eradicate’ are musical knock-out punches, a category also ‘Truther’ and ‘Critical Mass’ belong to. ‘Tirpitz’ is another song you shouldn’t miss. Reminding me a bit of Bolt Thrower, the five Germans fire on all cylinders with riff-power that acts a devastating wrecking ball.

Also CD 2 comes with some surprises. ‘La Résistance’ is such a tune and combines Heaven Shall Burn’s Metal power with Electro elements. What sound shocking isn’t shocking since they do it in a way that the song still fits into the context of the album.

With ‘Weakness Leaving My Heart’ the album offers an almost peaceful ending. Like the calmness after the storm the song is mostly a peaceful and cinematic one, again equipped with great piano parts. In the last quarter the songs builds-up for a little while, before a narrative part, accompanied by guitar, ends a longplayer that for sure belongs to the most relevant releases in 2020.

‘Of Truth and Sacrifice’ is heavy, aggressive and brutal. At the same time it covers moment of vulnerability and reflection. It’s this mix, together with lyrics being far away from meaningless blablabla, that makes Heaven Shall Burn’s 9th album to a 97 minutes experience. This record is more than only a carrier of music. It’s a milestone for the band and Metalcore in general. ‘Of Truth and Sacrifice’ lifts the bar and belongs to the musical diamonds in 2020 and beyond, a musical masterpiece. Timeless.

Rating: 10 out of 10.

Tracklist:

CD1 of Truth

  1. March Of Retribution
  2. Thoughts And Prayers
  3. Eradicate
  4. Protector
  5. Übermacht
  6. My Heart And The Ocean
  7. Expatriate
  8. What War Means
  9. Terminate The Unconcern
  10. The Ashes Of My Enemies

CD2 of Sacrifice

  1. Children Of A Lesser God
  2. La Résistance
  3. The Sorrows Of Victory
  4. Stateless
  5. Tirpitz
  6. Truther
  7. Critical Mass
  8. Eagles Among Vultures
  9. Weakness Leaving My Heart

Label: Century Media

Genre: Metalcore

Release Date EU: March 20th, 2020

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