“He seeks distance to change his perspective
In freedom and seclusion he arranges his thoughts
Strength and power he regains in nature’s shielding bosom
In vivid silence and familiar remoteness he can listen to his heart
Yet he experienced that from no wayfare you return the same
He knows that nothing will change until you change yourself
And therefore every revolutionary is a wanderer.”
HEAVEN SHALL BURN open the visually stunning booklet for their eighth studio album, “Wanderer”, with a quote which sums up the overall idea of the album: during confusing and troubled times you occasionally need to retreat from all the madness that surrounds you. This allows you to gain new perspective, energy and focus, so that you can attack those changes with a refreshed and strengthened mindset. Modern life has become so complex that sometimes choosing simplicity and solitude can give you the strength to conquer the chaos around and within you. “Wanderer” isn’t merely offering interesting historical and political stories, but also serves as a travelogue of a journey into one’s inner self. It is the search for a safe haven for our daily stress as well as an outlet for negative feelings and aggression.
Maik Weichert (guitar) on the lyrics of the individual songs on “Wanderer”:
“The Loss Of Fury”:
“The song is about preserving some of your (positive) anger and rage instead of being completely numbed by the daily struggle and grind. Don’t give up. Anger is a very precious emotion and the loss of fury is one of the symptoms of the gradual conformation and standardization of our society.”
“Bring The War Home”:
“It tells the story of a young person (which could be a man or a woman) that was sent to war under the motto of protecting his/her “country and family”. They come back home broken, traumatized and disabled, feeling betrayed by warmongers like politicians and the defense industry. Finally they realize that the ones they wanted to protect would have needed them most at home.”
“Passage Of The Crane”:
“The song and its lyrics were inspired by the story of Sadako Sasakis. The crane works as a symbol for peace and harmony.”
“They Shall Not Pass”:
“The ‘Battle Of Cable Street’ that happened in London in 1936, an event fairly unknown in Germany. The British fascist leader Mosley and his supporters, the ‘Blackshirts’, were put into their place by the residents of the London East End. It is a really nice example of how you can make a change when you unite and put aside your ideological and religious differences. It is a victory over self-proclaimed leaders, who are trying to misuse “the welfare and opinion of the people” in order to strengthen their power and the power of their supporters.”
“It is a song about escaping into the distance and into silence in order not to fall into despair over the current chaos that is happening in the world. However, the goal is to put your thoughts back into order and regain energy, so that you can attack such changes with renewed vigor. It is definitely not about dropping out just because you can no longer deal with your current situation. It is about the tactical step back that pretty much all great strategists take once in a while, the one that is necessary in order to arrange your formations and thoughts for the next major offensive.”
“Prey To God”:
“It seems like most people just need to believe in one or several higher powers – almost like an anatomical predisposition. Since the beginning of time representatives of any kind of religion have abused this tendency in order to manipulate people and get them involved in wars.”
“Getting help and inspiration from friends and role models is a true gift. Still, nobody can save you other than yourself.”
“Corium is a lava-like mixture that is formed during a nuclear meltdown. Luckily this has only happened three times outside of any laboratories. In the song, corium stands as a symbol for the insanity of the nuclear industry, which is ruthlessly profit-orientated, manipulative and irresponsible for our future. At first sight the use of nuclear power looks like it might have many benefits. Still, would you also buy an elephant and put it up in your living room if you had no idea where to put its droppings?”
“It is a song about the genocide of the Nama and Herero in the former German South-West Africa, now Namibia. Until now the German government hasn’t fully taken care of reparations and rehabilitation for the families and descendants.”
”A River Of Crimson”:
“The lyrics were inspired by the son of a good friend of the band who is battling leukemia for the second time. He asked us to write a song about blood, because it is so important and precious. It is not a song about the illness, but rather about the wonder that pumps through our blood vessels.”
For the breathtaking artwork of “Wanderer”, HEAVEN SHALL BURN sent their friend and photographer Christian Thiele on a quest and asked him to capture the beauty of mountains, plains and shorelines. Once again the album was produced by guitarist Alexander Dietz and co-produced by guitarist Maik Weichert. While the drums were tracked by Eike Freese at Chameleon Studios in Hamburg, the rest of the album was recorded at Dietz’s own Chemical Burn Studios in Bad Kösen. Tue Madsen mixed and mastered “Wanderer” at Chemical Burn Studios as well as at his Antfarm Studios in Aarhus, Denmark. “Wanderer” is the first album to feature Christian Bass on drums.
The “Too Good To Steal From” bonus CD compiles all of the cover versions they had ever recorded since signing with Century Media Records in 2003. After its release on HEAVEN SHALL BURN’s breakthrough album “Iconoclast”, the band’s cover of the Edge Of Sanity classic “Black Tears” quickly became a crowd favorite. Popularity has never been the driving force for their choice of covers, but rather paying tribute to some of their favorite artists and songs – no matter if they were coming from the realms of metal, alternative, punk or hardcore. HEAVEN SHALL BURN invited Frank Blackfire for a guest solo on their blistering cover of Sodom’s “Agent Orange”, which is available on all formats except the standard jewel-case and standard digital album. For their version of My Dying Bride’s atmospheric “The Cry Of Mankind”, they got support from Sólstafir vocalist Aðalbjörn Tryggvason, who added his hauntingly beautiful melodic vocals to the final track on the album. George “Corpsegrinder“ Fisher co-handles the vocals on “Prey To God” with Marcus Bischoff, while their friend Nick Hipa recorded some extra shredding for “Save Me”.
The luxurious coffee table Artbook comes with an extended 60-page booklet as well as the ”Too Good To Steal From“ CD. On top of all that, fans get an alternative mix, entitled the “Dark Purity Mix”, of all original songs done by Eike Freese at Chameleon Studios, Hamburg. It offers an extended soundtrack for your own personal journey.