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CD review: HEAVEN SHALL BURN, "Invictus"

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By Ben Apatoff

The cover art suggests that they've missed ALICE IN CHAINS' comeback. The title is taken from a a poem that's almost as over quoted in the metal community as anything by Nietzsche. Don't count on Germany's HEAVEN SHALL BURN for originality on their sixth album, Invictus, but musically it's a very enjoyable set of melodic death metal.

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"Welcome to a world of pain!" screams vocalist MARCUS BISCHOFF at the start of "Combat," and it's almost as hard to not laugh as it is to not scream along. The song's best riff is the one that sounds almost exactly like the main progression to "Heaven and Hell," but the rip is subtle enough to come across as tribute and not theft.  Heaven Shall Burn's influences are all over Invictus, most notably in a rousing, metalized cover of THERAPY?'s "Nowhere" that uncovers HSB's punk appreciation. Less successful is the enlisting of DEADLOCK members being to drag down the sappy "Given in to Death," but for the most part Invictus is a good death metal record, brutal and entertaining if not distinctive enough to leave a lasting impression. It's good enough in parts ("The Omen," "Of Forsaken Poets" and "Combat" standing out) to make a great case of that inevitable Best of Heaven Shall Burn CD.

Rating: 3 William Ernest Henleys out of 5

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