Heaven Shall Burn
Asunder

t’s no secret to most of you that the genre of hardcore has morphed its shape and sound in recent years. In fact, I think it’s pretty safe to say that most of the modern-day warriors that our ears are being exposed to nowadays share little camaraderie with the punk rock icons that most bands of this genre used to draw inspiration from. Instead, these newer groups are fiercer and more abrasive in their delivery; outdoing an entire slew of metal releases with any individual listen.

While it used to be somewhat of a blasphemy for a metalhead to even appreciate a hardcore release, it has become almost impossible to even distinguish the difference in sound. Yes, I think that the grand crossover that many of us have been expecting for years has now officially happened. Case in point: Heaven Shall Burn. Hailing from Germany, this group spits more disgusting venom with their newest full-length, Asunder, than most Gothenburg bands combined. Blazing yet crunchy guitars, meet with a rhythm section that can throw a mosh-ready breakdown at you with the drop of dime, and a vocalist whose inner wounds are thrown about with one of the most utterly gut-wrenching deliveries ever heard.

When you combine all of these individual contributions, the end picture is nothing short of remarkably innovative. Asunder is to modern-day hardcore, what Left Hand Path was to death metal; and believe me the death metal references are there. Imagine the bastard child of Bloodjinn, old Dark Tranquility and Bolt Thrower, and you have a lethal combination ready to explode. Speaking of Bolt Thrower, the U.K. war gods are finely represented here as Heaven Shall Burn delights our ears with a remarkably accurate cover of The Fourth Crusade. All in all, I can’t imagine a single listener who wouldn’t be utterly blown away by a release as noteworthy as Asunder.

With all of the characteristic death metal influences of old, along with their own modern touch-Heaven Shall Burn has created a landmark of crossover appeal. Those of you who feel alienated or faithless with our music and culture, need only to take one listen to Asunder. In no time at all, the pride of being a metalhead will course through your veins like nothing ever felt before.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Bryan Allen
April 3rd, 2000

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