Heaven-Shall-Burn-VetoHeaven Shall Burn

Veto

01. Godiva
02. Land of the Upright Ones
03. Die Sturme Rufen Dich
04. Fallen
05. Hunters Will Be Hunted
06. You Will Be Godless
07. Valhalla
08. Antagonized
09. Like Gods Among Mortals
10. 53 Nations
11. Beyond Redemption

[04/30/13]
[Century Media Records]

Heaven Shall Burn‘s career has seen a lot happen over the course of sixteen years. They’ve always maintained that archetypal German hard-working attitude as a band and that definitely shows in their productivity rate. Back in 2006, their fourth album Deaf to Our Prayers was considered one of the pivotal albums that blend hardcore influences with death metal to produce crushing results. The same design was used to create Iconoclast (Part I: The Final Resistance) and Invictus. This is where people, myself included, can get a bit argumentative. Using the same formula is quite the double edged weapon because it’s usually a hit or miss affair. So now with three years culminating to a period long enough to push Invictus to the background a little, album number seven Veto gets to see the light.

The line-up is still the same and the album’s production meets the requirements of such type of metal. It delivers a very meaty concoction of melodic death metal laced with enough hardcore influences to stoke a few ‘something-core’ genre arguments. Somehow, I seem to enjoy Veto more than Invictus which is a pretty good start. The starting track ‘Godiva‘ sets the pace really high as is customary with Heaven Shall Burn. The riffs chug away with millimeter precision and the drums never get a moment’s rest. Dont’ let the breaks on ‘Godiva‘ make you think that they have a new drummer; it’s still the same old Matthias Voigt. Other highlights that clearly stand out are the remarkably catchy melodic chords on ‘Hunters Will Be Hunted’ and the laid back mini-solo in the beginning of ‘Beyond Redemption.’

Identifying more signs of greatness in Veto past these points becomes more challenging with each spin. ‘Valhalla‘ comes off as one of the most memorable tracks on the album yet it turns out to be a Blind Guardian cover with Hansi Kürsch himself sharing the vocals with Marcus Bischoff. A careful examination of the lyrics, or maybe just a mind as obsessive as mine, will point you towards a couple of repeated ideas. On ‘Counterweight‘ from the aforementioned Deaf to Our Prayers, there was a mention of the ‘derision of the upright ones’, now they have their own land on ‘Land of the Upright Ones’ where they build a new foundation and bring forth a new era. Interesting? Maybe. I just can’t find a logical connection.

Another point of repetition is “the walls of Babylon.” This sentence was featured in ‘Profane Believers‘ (again on Deaf to Our Prayers) and comes up again on ‘Die Stürme Rufen Dich.‘ Maybe it’s just another case of fascination with exotic cultures but it just comes off as an attempt to re-use a catchy sentence as lyrical filler. Technically speaking, this album doesn’t really push Heaven Shall Burn that far ahead and it pales in comparison to Counterweight and Iconoclast (Part I: The Final Resistance). It is however an entertaining listen but one that doesn’t naturally demand multiple rotations. I wouldn’t fret about it that much if I were you.

Heaven Shall Burn – Veto gets…

3/5

– AN

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