Half time has arrived and now it’s time to swap allegiance and listen to something from the Nationalelf.

There’s an abundance of German music in my library, most of it thrash metal, but I’m going to look into another band that I saw at Hellfest. For the existence of their 20 year career I’ve managed to ignore them, even though I first listened to them back in 2000 when I had the Split Program CD that I really had just for the Caliban portion of the disc.

Taking their name from a Marduk album I give you Saalfeld “metal core” mob Heaven Shall Burn. They performed on the awesome Warzone stage and overlapped with Ghost, Enslaved and the start of Black Sabbath on the day. As I have no real interest in those bands I thought I’d give Heaven Shall Burn some of my time, more so out of curiosity and I have to say they were damn impressive.

That for me that is the beauty of festivals. You either camp out at one stage and stick to those few bands, or you can head off and explore a little and watch bands you wouldn’t necessarily pay money for once you get home. Your feet or other appendages might detest you come Monday morning, but you might just have discovered your new favourite band.

I’m not adverse to a slice of metal core every now and again – as long as it’s played well – but I don’t really get the genre tag given to some of the bands. Sitting precariously on a wall with melodic death metal on one side and hardcore on the other, Heaven Shall Burn owe their sound much more to the Gothenburg melodic death metal bands, but with a healthy dose of hardcore breakdowns slotted. If you visited your local record store and saw this lumped in the death metal section you wouldn’t complain about it when you got it home and stuck it in the CD player.

It is odd how these bands are embraced by the hardcore community when most of them are clearly death metal orientated. The Belgian H-8000 scene from the mid 90’s seemed to be the catalyst for the Slayer loving hardcore kids with bands like Liar and Congress. Maybe admitting to liking “metal” is uncool in the 21st century?

During the German’s set Ghost were letting off fireworks at the end of their performance. As metallers have a penchant for all things fire based the majority of the watching crowd turned their head 45° to watch. Vocalist Marcus Bischoff thought there was a problem in the pit somewhere, until he caught a glimpse of the sulphur filled air behind him.

Heaven Shall Burn are yet another band I’ll be delving into at some point, and with seven studio albums to go at it’ll keep me occupied for a while. Endzeit is taken from the 2008 release Iconoclast (Part 1: The Final Resistance).

Useless fact #1,456…

If you’ve seen Kreator live on the last few tours you might have seen bass player Speesy with an Endzeit (Last Days) logo on his attire in the Kreator font. That also happens to be the name of a bar he is involved with in Essen.