Heaven Shall Burn
is a band I've had on my radar for quite a while now but nothing really sparked my attention enough in order to actually listen to a full album. I've heard some songs that I really enjoyed but that's it really, like I said before I was never fully interested enough in order to seek out more of their material. However this all changed with the release of Veto
, with a wicked cover art depicting Lady Godiva
, some initial positive reviews and the fact that it's been described as being more melodeath than anything they've done before my attention spiked.
Heaven Shall Burn
has always been a band that has never fit comfortably in any particular category, always in the mid point between melodeath and metalcore, the band has shown to flirt with both of these elements equally to create their own brand of crushing, heavy and at times melodic metal. Veto
however sees the band dropping the core influence massively and making a more pure melodeath record. There's still a metalcore influence but if you go into this album expecting clean vocals and breakdowns then you'll be surprised.
The change in style mainly stems from the guitar work, more complex melodic riffs dominate whilst the metalcore riffs have been drastically reduced. The sound still has the signature Heaven Shall Burn
heaviness, the heavy as hell palm muted riffs are still there but over them are placed some really nice melodic riffs that work well together. Hunters Will
Be Hunted shows the best melding of their signature heaviness with more melodic elements, having everything that defined this band in the past mixed with some newer more melodious sections. The introductory track Godiva
in particular highlights this new melodic direction with a breath taking intro that reminds me of early In Flames
Vocally I thought Veto
was great. The vocals from what I can tell have been diversified with a higher mixture of low death growls and a higher black metal esque snarl mixed with his usual hardcore barks. Although he doesn't get that much attention I really think Marcus Bischoff is an excellent vocalist. They have a very demanding presence, a very powerful and are diverse. His death growls are really aggressive and powerful, his standard hardcore barking has a lot of character and zest and his higher vocals are almost Black Metal
at times. Veto
showcases his impressive vocal range perfectly. There's also some clean vocals on Valhalla
(done by a guest vocalist, not Marcus) which unsurprisingly considering its name gives it a Viking
What I like most about Veto
is that they've added more melodic sections without altering their sound too much. Everything still has Heaven Shall Burn
written over it and they sure as hell won't be alienating any fans with this one, it's just more melodic. It's still skull crushingly heavy and dense which I appreciate and the added sense of melody really helps to keep it interesting. There's some amazing riffs in here and some sections that have a sombre vibe like the final track Beyond Redemption
which definitely comes with a sense of sadness and melancholy about it. It shows there's a greater amount of emotion on display here, this album is still angry no doubt about it but listen to Beyond Redemption
and tell me with a straight face that this song isn't sad and emotional. Even the vocals take on a more forlorn Black Metal
feel when they come in. It's another stand out of the album and one of the best I've heard from this band.
Overall I really enjoyed Veto
, I greatly appreciate the more melodic take on their sound and I like how they've cut the amount of core riffs. I also love the clean guitar opening of Godiva
which is one of the most beautiful things I've heard this year. Veto
is a great example of a band progressing in a good way, they've barely altered their sound but they have made some substantial changes over their own framework. It works brilliantly in their favour and Veto
is one of the best melodeath albums I've heard in a while.