Heaven Shall Burn dates all the way back to 1996, when guitarist Maik Weichert and drummer Matthias Voigt started a metalcore band in their hometown of Saalfeld in the German state of Thuringia. At first they called themselves Before the Fall, then Consense, and they released their first demo in the same year. The group's composition changed slightly when cousins Marcus and Eric Bischoff joined the band in 1997.
With Marcus on vocals and Eric on the bass, the band released its second demo, which was just in time for one final name change. The band members were big fans of Swedish black metal band Marduk, especially one of its albums. They took inspiration from the name of one of the tracks, and the new name was born: Heaven Shall Burn.
The new name had strong Satanist connotations, but although the boys were deeply critical of churches, religion and its institutions, they were certainly not satanists. A burning heaven was meant to depict a reality that doesn't live up to the expectations of a "perfect world".
They got to work shortly after Patrick Schleitzer joined and completed the band as a guitarist in 1998. After releasing a few EPs and split albums, the band secured its first major record deal with Lifeforce Records and released its debut album "Asunder" in 2000.
Heaven Shall Burn takes over the world
More Heaven Shall Burn albums were to follow and the band embarked on tours in Europe and South America, even making an appearance at Wacken. In 2002, the next album "Whatever It May Take" was released, which captured instant attention even outside of Germany. British "Terrorizer" magazine was usually very critical of German metal, but actually showered this album with praise.
The harsh-sounding album was loved in Germany too, and a fan base started to appear. The band went on tour and got working on the upcoming Heaven Shall Burn album, "Antigone", which was ready and released in 2004.
The album contains intros and outros from Icelandic composer Òlafur Arnalds, who met the band on a tour in Iceland. These classical sounds complemented the aggressive metalcore nature of the group perfectly and took the album to another level. In 2005, the band played together with As I Lay Dying and Evergreen Terrace during the European "Hell on Earth Tour", and the fan base grew and grew.
The next album "Deaf to Our Prayers" was released in 2006 and it rose high in the German and Greek charts, showing just how popular the boys were across Europe.
The iconoclast trilogy
A quick change to the band's line-up saw guitarist Patrick leave the band before "Deaf to Our Prayers" for personal reasons and so he could focus on his studies. Alexander Dietz stepped in on the guitar in his place, and in 2008, the next studio album was released, just a year after the release of the band's second album "Whatever It May Take". That means that there's plenty of Heaven Shall Burn merchandise to go around!
The "Iconoclast (Pt. 1: The Final Resistance)" disk rose to number 21 in the German charts. That, along with multiple festival appearances, for example Summer Breeze, propelled the band even further and made the audience bigger than ever. Finally, in 2009, the first live album with an accompanying DVD was released, capturing the group's power and presence during live performances.
It was called "Iconoclast II", and with that, the boys got to work on the final part of the trilogy. Released in 2010, "Invictus (Iconoclast III)" is a masterpiece that gained the band a single-figure position in the charts. It was even named Album of the Month by Metal Hammer!
Veto to Wanderer
The year 2013 threw a series of ups and downs at the band. The "Veto" album rose to an amazing number 2 in the German album charts and continued effortlessly on its path to success. However, founding member Matthias Voigt had to give up his spot on the drums like he did for several months in 2011 due to back injury.
Two years later and Matthias had put down his drumsticks for good. He was replaced by Christian Bass, who'd already stepped in for him live.
In 2016, a new album, released under the name "Wanderer", climbed to number 3 in the charts! The album offers exciting and interesting stories that serve as outlets for stressed-out souls, negative thoughts and pent-up aggression.
"Wanderer" serves us brutal hardness, which is rounded off with wistful guitar melodies. Our favourites: "Passage of the crance" and "Corium". In our opinion, "Wanderer" is by far one of the best HSB albums of all time!
Where do I get my Heaven Shall Burn merch from?
As well as Heaven Shall Burn albums, we also have a lot of different merchandise not to be missed! How do you fancy a HSB shirt? Pick out your favourites and get yourself ready for everyday fan life, as well as concerts and festivals!