INTERVIEW: Heaven Shall Burn (07/04/2020)

Credit: Candy Welz

German metal heroes Heaven Shall Burn are back with another dose of metalcore, melodic death metal and deathcore with their double album ‘Of Truth And Sacrifice’. The album is split into two halves: “of truth” and “of sacrifice”. Guitarist Maik Weichert said “we decided that one album wasn’t good enough, but we wanted to create a double album as a statement. Our goal was a total work of art that people could dive into, something that leaves a lot of room for surprises and experiments. It was only fair to give our fans twice as much after letting them wait for so long.”

We had caught up with Maik for a further chat about selecting singles, the experimental double album, and the good old days.

DP!: Album number nine is out soon! How are you feeling going into the release of ‘Of Truth And Sacrifice’?
MW: Nervous, of course. First reviews come in and you´re always nervous about the first feedback from people. Musicians who claim to be easy about this phase of a record release are bloody liars. But so far the feedback is great and that makes me happy of course.

DP!: What was the thought process behind it being a double album?
MW: We wanted to have space for experiments. If you release a record with maybe 10 songs on it, you do not dare to compose like 5 experimental or unusual songs. But if you have like 20 songs on a record, you have to be more experimental and open minded, otherwise it would get boring.

DP!: How did you decide which song was on which part of the album?
MW: It´s a lyrical concept. Disc one is more like a call to arms and an empowerment. Disc two focuses more on the sacrifices one has made already.

DP!: You opted to join two new songs together into one joint video. How did you come up with this idea and what made you choose ‘Protector’ and ‘Weakness Leaving My Heart’ for this?
MW: To be honest we had no idea which song should be released first. ‘Protector’ would have made all our old fans happy and ‘Weakness…’ is quite experimental, which would have been better for the ones who were waiting for some progress. So we decided to show the double album concept in the video as well and just did a double video. So it was a compromise that 100% supported the concept, which was a win-win situation for everybody.

DP!: The video for ‘Eradicate’ sees you team up with African film producer Wakaliwood for one of his trademark eccentric and low budget style action stories. How did this come about and what was it like to work with the producer?
MW: It was a great honour we came to work with Isaac. I am a huge fan of his work and his personal history is impressive. I once saw his ‘Who killed captain Alex’ movie and I became a fan. Working with him was super easy, I just wrote him a few very long e-mails with what the song was about and what would be cool for the video – like woman beating up guys etc. – and his only answer was “yeah cool!”. After that I did not hear back from him. One month later he just sent me the video and wrote “enjoy”.

DP!: The limited edition version of ‘Of Truth And Sacrifice’ comes with a documentary following the band for a year. What was it like watching the footage back?
MW: It is always interesting seeing what a documentary film maker finds is relevant about a band or a person. Very often it´s things you do not think about at all. So, this view from outside deep inside the band was totally interesting to us.

DP!: If you could show this documentary to Heaven Shall Burn 20 years ago, before ‘Asunder’ was released, what do you think they would say?
MW: Haha, I have no idea. I guess we would make fun of these old farts, that try to be an aggressive band.

The band’s new album, ‘Of Truth And Sacrifice, is out now.

You can stream/download it online from Spotify (here), iTunes (here), Amazon (here), and Google Play (here).

You can keep up-to-date with the band and what they’re up to online via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.