Heaven Shall Burn

Iconoclast I: The Final Resistance

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Concept albums are a rarity among metalcore bands, but Iconoclast is, in fact, a rare example of a metalcore-friendly concept album. And Maik Weichert, one of Heaven Shall Burn's two guitarists, described the concept this way: "Iconoclasts are warriors who are sent to judge and destroy the murderers of God. With God dead, the only thing that's left is to take revenge for His murder." But even if one doesn't get into the album's lofty, abstract concept, Iconoclast is still one of the more noteworthy metalcore-minded releases of early 2008. This 58-minute CD is not designed for metalcore purists; rather, these German agitators combine metalcore with a strong death metal influence and, at times, hints of black metal. But metalcore is the dominant ingredient, and the abrasive screaming vocals of Marcus Bischoff are quite typical of metalcore and hardcore singers. Iconoclast has some selections that are fairly melodic (most notably, "Black Tears" and "Against All Lies"), but more often than not this album takes pride in being caustic, harsh, and flat-out ferocious. One of the things that Iconoclast has going for it is the fact that even though the songs are tied together by the disc's overall concept, individual tracks can still stand alone. So if, for example, one listened to "Murderers of All Murderers" without hearing any of the other material, it wouldn't lose anything. Not all of the tracks are as memorable as "Black Tears" or "Murderers of All Murderers," but for the most part, Iconoclast paints an exciting picture of Heaven Shall Burn's vicious ferocity.

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