Being based close to Frankfurt am Main, Germany, is a very fortunate situation. There are plenty of tours starting over here due to the fact that we have big venues like Batschkapp in Frankfurt and Schlachthof in Wiesbaden, but also the fitting infrastructure like the big Frankfurt International Airport. So I was happy enough to catch the tour start of the current Heaven Shall Burn tour, called ‘The Last March’. With support coming from In Hearts Wake, Whitechapel, and August Burns Red this was predestined to be an interesting evening…
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In Hearts Wake
The Australian outfit had the honor to start what Impericon called #touroftheyear. In their set of 30 minutes, the band delivered a catchy mixture of metalcore, which stood out thanks to heavy breaks that crushed the audience. A negative point was that the four-piece were missing one guitarist (it was sampled throughout instead). While the leads came on in the speakers, their guitarist restricted himself to only patterns and chord work, which left me a bit underwhelmed. Also, the bassist and clean singer had some problems getting his tones together. Anyway, the band focused on their performance, which they pulled off in a very dynamic and convincing way!
This band was one of my favourites when I was younger. I loved This Is Exile and the brutality delivered by Bozeman’s vocals. Having three guitarists, Whitechapel seemed way more organic compared to In Hearts Wake, whilst they delivered heavy grooves and riffing. Singer Bozeman still is capable of doing his vocals properly, and thus turns the instrumental background into a very heavy and hard-hitting outfit. Playing mostly new songs, the band left the stage very early after only 25 minutes of playtime. There was no further explanation on this, but they didn’t play their closing track „This Is Exile“ even though the time schedule still was correct. This ended up being a little disappointment for sure.
August Burns Red
There is no other band like August Burns Red! Thgey’ve been doing their thing for years, releasing records that work mostly in the same principle, but still sound fresh. The following ten-song set featured a very heavy focus on Phantom Anthem, which is a clever decision given the fact that they probably wanna promote it on this tour. But the band also got one song each off their last five records in as well, while only fans of Thrill Seeker might have been a little disappointed. Playing “Empire“, “Ghosts“, “Composure”, “Spirit Breaker”, and “White Washed”, the band chose what are probably their most anthemic songs for performing at this co-headline tour. While new ones such as “Invisible Enemy” also served its purpose with amazing the audience, August Burns Red once again proved that they deserve the status they have in modern metalcore music. I don’t know how you feel about them, but this band doesn’t seem to ever get boring at all!
Heaven Shall Burn
I have to admit that for a German band, Heaven Shall Burn is a very big deal when it comes to metalcore. They have been one of the first bands around in the scene and had a high impact on modern metal music, not only in Germany. Songs like “Endzeit” or “Black Tears” made their way into each and everyone’s playlists, but for some reason I never considered myself to be a fan of them. Them being very traditionally ‘metal’ and the riffage used in the songs of Heaven Shall Burn seeming rather simple, they somehow felt pretty standard to me.
Anyway, this show was massive! That being said, Heaven Shall Burn were able to prove me wrong and truly impress with an overwhelming stage presence, stage production, and overall performance. Having Alestorm‘s guitarist as a fill-in, they managed to set a very high level that was consumed by the masses with massive support. When given the chance to see Heaven Shall Burn live, you should take it, even if you’re not a fan at all! Fans of heavy metal music will dig it, even if it’s only due to their massive and highly professional performance!
Credit for all photos used in this article goes to Rodney Fuchs. Make sure fo follow all bands involved on their respective Facebook pages (In Hearts Wake//Whitechapel//August Burns Red//Heaven Shall Burn)!