Heaven Shall Burn, "Antigone"
Yes, it's fucking late but better late than never. The thing is, Heaven Shall Burn used to be one of my favorite metalcore bands but Antigone caught me indifferent and somewhat pissed off. "So another band signed to a large label and turned to shit," I thought to myself. Thus, I decided to shelf this one for what ended up being almost six months instead of trashing it on the first listen. In that span I heard numerous metalcore releases and now I can say with conviction that Antigone is as much of a disappointment six months later as it was when I first heard it.
Compared to Asunder or Whatever It May Take, both of which I must add I no longer listen to but still respect, Antigone sounds too safe, polished and subdued. Rough production that made band's previous material sound pissed is gone; rather than do it DIY again, Heaven Shall Burn decided to mix and master new material at The Antfarm studios notorious for garbage like Mnemic. Besides, the new compositions sport too many unnecessary piano parts and poor sounding clean vocals. Sure, this is better than the latest by labelmates Caliban, who I lost every ounce of respect for after release of The Opposite From Within, but this still does not make these songs good.
In retrospect, I feel like I have outgrown Heaven Shall Burn or any of the H8000 crew bands for that matter, although the latest Arkangel was a pleasant surprise. Right now, most songs on Antigone sound like a bunch of unnecessary screams over plain guitar riffs and lots of double bass. Antigone is the end of a Heaven Shall Burn chapter in my book. Let's not shed any tears.Mike.S