I’m not going to lie, I’m a huge fan of German melodic death metal chaps Heaven Shall Burn a band who, even two decades into their career, are still finding ways to keep their sound exciting after all this time. Wanderer, their latest offering and eighth album, continues that trend with a sound that shifts effortlessly from blasts of ferocious metal to soaring, epic melodies.

Criminally underrated outside of mainland Europe, there are times when you wonder if Heaven Shall Burn will ever really crack the big league where they truly belong, especially when you listen to Wanderer – and tracks like “Prey To God” and “They Shall Not Pass” – where there is nothing here that has you doubting that the band could hold their own against the big hitters (like Arch Enemy and In Flames) of the European metal scene.

Even when they open the throttle and really go for the jugular on “Agent Orange”, it’s done with the kind of circle pit-inspiring chug and groove that has bands like DevilDriver gracing the covers of metal press all over the world. From start to finish, Wanderer is a flawless display of Euro-metal from a band who are clearly masters of their art. The riffing will level anything in the way, Marcus Bischoff shows off an immaculate vocal range and the melodies woven into tracks like “My Heart Is My Compass” add an extra layer of class to the whole proceeding.

Add in a polished production and stacks of groove, then rubber stamp the album with your own seven minute cover of “The Cry of Mankind”, a track originally by UK doom merchants My Dying Bride, and you have in your hands one of the slickest, classiest modern metal albums of the year.

Wanderer Track Listing:

01. The Loss Of Fury
02. Bring The War Home
03. Passage Of The Crane
04. They Shall Not Pass
05. Downshifter
06. Prey To God
07. Agent Orange
08. My Heart Is My Compass
09. Save Me
10. Corium
11. Extermination Order
12. A River Of Crimson
13. The Cry Of Mankind

Run Time: 52:36
Release Date: September 16, 2016

Check out the track “Passage of The Crane”

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.