Album Review: Heaven Shall Burn – Invictus

Calling the first track on Heaven Shall Burn‘s ‘Invictus’ an intro is a misnomer because it is peaceful, mellow and serene – i.e. everything the following 10 tracks are not. Calling it ‘Batshit insanity, epileptic-frenetic assault, inducing righteous hyperactivity’ might have been a better idea.

Heaven Shall Burn InvictusWith this album, Heaven Shall Burn complete their Iconoclast trilogy, and what a way to draw the curtain this is. Never ones to shy away from their angst-driven worldview, the songs on ‘Invictus’ draw from a plethora of influences, from oppression under Pinochet (‘Buried In Forgotten Grounds’), mercy killing (‘Given In Death’, which also features hauntingly beautiful female vocals) and bloody WW2 battles (‘Return To Sanity’). The band were also snowed in twice during the gestation of this album, which might explain the black metal influences you will hear. Every single vocal pattern, riff, bass line and drum hit screams with a fervent potency that sets a new standard in extreme. The Gothenburg influence is more apparent than ever, and songs like ‘Sevastopol’ instantly bring At The Gates to mind. There’s even space of In Flames-esque electronics on ‘Combat’ and ‘The Lie You Bleed for’.

Is there anything new here? No, but it can be called groundbreaking because the sheer intensity of ‘Invictus’ will probably decimate the very earth you stand on. There’s enough of a mix here to appeal to fans of both extreme and melodic music. One of the more pleasing releases this year, without a doubt. [7]


About Abhijeet Ahluwalia

Abhijeet Ahluwalia – I’m a freelance journalist who goes back and forth between London and Bombay. A huge metalhead, but I have an eclectic taste, from reggae to punk. Oh, and Manchester United are the greatest team in the world. Follow me on Twitter or drop me a line via Email.

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