Heaven Shall Burn / August Burns Red / Whitechapel / In Hearts Wake @ the Garage, 21 March 2018
Sweat, thick air and powerful beats: In Hearts Wake, Whitechapel, August Burns Red and Heaven Shall Burn rock the Garage on Wednesday evening in Saarbrücken, Germany.
In Hearts Wake
First timers in Saarbrücken, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake opened the show. With four studio albums, this band has been changing minds since 2012 by striving to convey a message of environmentalism and conservation through their music and beyond. The setlist included nine songs nicely structured to cover all of the released albums. Show opener was “Overthrow” from their last album Ark, and the peak of the show was “Departure(Death)” taken from the album Divination (2014) when vocalist Jake Taylor actually departed on a crowd surf in a massive inflatable boat. In Hearts Wake is definitely a band among the best in its genre and surely a worth-seeing-live band.
Jack the Ripper comes next! Wait, no, just a joke! Deathcore band Whitechapel (whose name was taken after the district Whitechapel in London, famed for the notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper) starts the next act. They storm the stage and launch right off the bat into their set with precision and fury. The crowd is going insane, getting one the biggest pits of the evening in motion.
August Burns Red
Time has come for the Grammy-nominated band to enter the stage: Best Metal Performance nominee in 2016 and 2018 for the songs “Identity” (off 2015 release Found in Far Away Places) and “Invisible Enemy” (Phantom Anthem, 2017). August Burns Red is generally described as a metalcore band, and has also been said to share traits of other genres such as progressive metal and thrash metal. Their performance was also extremely intense, offering the public a unique feeling – as could have been told by the unstoppable crowd surfing and screaming of the lyrics. The setlist included five songs from their latest album Phantom Anthem and one song each from Constellations, Found in Far Away Places, Leveler, Messengers and Rescue & Restore.
Heaven Shall Burn
The moment the crowd waited for is here. Part of the metal scene for over two decades, the Germans from Heaven Shall Burn enter the scene in a charming lights game. Having set the scene with such vitality, Heaven Shall Burn launch into “Downshifter” with juddering riffs, building to a deft groove that is as crushing as it is irresistible. The general theme that the band adopts is related to contemporary social problems, with vocalist Marcus Bischoff sending out the message through astounding howls.
The setlist covered songs from seven of the band’s studio albums, including a Blind Guardian cover (“Valhalla”) when the crowd formed probably the biggest pit of the evening. The Final March is the last tour for Heaven Shall Burn’s latest album, Wanderer, which reached remarkable positions in the international album charts (#3 in Germany, #9 in Austria and #15 in Switzerland).
It was a monumental evening from all the perspectives I could think of: great sound techniques, amazing bands that performed flawlessly and most importantly, one of the most energetic crowds I have seen recently.