The German powerhouse HEAVEN SHALL BURN were one of the first groups to ultimately shatter the boundaries that stood between the death metal and hardcore genres. Now they have triumphantly returned with Deaf To Our Prayers, a stunning portrayal of sheer aggression and musical technicality that will quickly catch the attention of any extreme music fan. With this effort the dynamic quintet have undoubtedly proved once again that they are taking metal in a new direction that knows no limitations.
HEAVEN SHALL BURN truly began to take form in 1997 and immediately started playing as many shows and festivals as possible. It did not take long for labels to start taking notice of the band’s unrelenting aggression and talent, which soon led to Deeds of Revolution Records releasing their first EP, In Battle There Is No Law, in the fall of 1998. This contained a grinding mixture of death and thrash metal with old-school hardcore aggression. The group soon signed to Lifeforce Records and unleashed Asunder, their debut full-length album. In the summer of 2000 the group released a split EP with Caliban and embarked on their first lengthy European tour ultimately broadening their underground fanbase.
However, it was with their 2002 album, Whatever It May Take, that metal and hardcore fans and critics alike agreed the band was definitely outplaying their peers while further blurring the lines between tough as nails metal and the heavy thud of hardcore. Reinforcing their reputation of being an extremely powerful live act, some of HEAVEN SHALL BURN's touring highlights in their young career include a European tour in 2001, a South American tour and UK mini-tour in 2002, two successful visits to Iceland in 2002 and 2003, as well as trips to countries like Greece, Norway and Denmark. This is all alongside appearances at such prestigious German festivals as Party-San, With Full Force, Westfalen Festival, Wacken Open Air and Summer Breeze, as well as Leper Fest (Belgium) and Goodlife Festival (Belgium). The group further solidified their stronghold on the genre upon signing to Century Media in 2004 to release Antigone, which was their first offering to garner worldwide acclaim. The album, mixed and mastered by Tue Madsen at Antfarm studios in Denmark (Mnemic, Himsa), further showcased the band’s melodic tendencies with the inclusion of more harmonies while increasing their scathing, brutal edge. Their socially aware and politically committed attitude remained prominent as they continued to forge a new exciting position within the scene. Following its release the band spent almost every weekend on the road, playing numerous festivals and shows all over Europe that was capped off with their first headlining tour. Their biggest break would come in the fall of 2005 co-headlining the first and highly successful edition of the Hell On Earth tour with As I Lay Dying and Evergreen Terrace. Unfortunately, guitarist Patrick Schleitzer would announce his decision to leave the band before the tour to concentrate on his private life. In came Alexander Dietz, who already did guest vocals on some of the album’s tracks. Upon returning home, the band immediately started working on new material.
Deaf To Our Prayers is the long-awaited follow-up to HEAVEN SHALL BURN’s highly acclaimed album Antigone. The new disc was recorded and mixed by renowned producer Jacob Hansen (Mercenary, Raunchy) in Denmark and it quickly evolved into the group’s most brutal offering yet. Guitarist Maik Weichert further describes his thoughts on the recording process: “Right from the beginning of the writing process we had the vision to record a raw and more direct album. I think Deaf To Our Prayers is a lot more brutal than our previous offerings while still retaining some mid-tempo passages. It’s simply 100% HSB!”
As on their previous albums HEAVEN SHALL BURN continues to back up their musical intensity with intelligent, thought-provoking lyrics as Weichert further explains: “The title is influenced by a line from a poem by Heinrich Heine that dealt with the situation of industrial workers from Silesia in the 19th century. The album also deals with many other historic aspects. ‘Armia’ for example is about the hopeless, 64-day fight that Polish partisans fought against the occupying power in the battle of Warsaw in August 1944. Again, we stayed away from topics such as heartache, fashion and parental issues since we know that there are people out there who want to use their heads for banging and thinking - that’s what we are all about.”