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Death Is This Communion

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iTunes Review

Death Is This Communion unveils new bass player Jeff Matz of Zeke and producer Jack Endino who has worked with Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney and Tad — but High On Fire’s fourth studio album hardly echoes grungy vestiges of the Pacific Northwest’s heyday. From the first few weighty bars of the opening “Fury Whip” you can still hear subtle remnants of frontman/guitarist Matt Pike’s riff-bending prowess that many a hessian fell for on his former band Sleep’s 1993 opus Holy Mountain. And as soon as he starts growling like the bastard son of Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister over more dynamic arrangements, it’s evident that this album marks an evolution in sound for High On Fire. It all becomes much clearer on “Waste of Tiamat” as high-strung acoustic guitars open to sound like medieval lutes before the riffs drop like anvils and a bludgeoning drum solo opens the gates of Pike’s Hell. “Khanrad’s Wall” is an instrumental that experiments with tambour and 12-string acoustic to approximate a cross between the Middle East and Middle Earth.

Customer Reviews

Dude! Look at the cover art! It sounds exactly like the way it looks

Love it!!!!!!

More metal than adamantium

Seriously, this is one of the heaviest albums I've ever heard. Definitly hear the Sabbath influence in it. It has that "dragging a body to the river in the fog of night" sound to it. Metal album of the year.


The songs are definitely there but the production... I gotta say I like Steve Albini's production on Blessed Black Wings better. I know, I know it was a little messy but that album just explodes out of the speakers. On Their latest, the drums are much further back in the mix, the bass is much more up front as are the vocals but the guitars don't seem to have the same roaring jagged menace as on BBW. I don't know, I'm not an engineer so I can't put my finger on it. That being said they are still way at the top of the metal heap. Go see them live, you will be transformed. If there ever was a Demon Lord of Metal, Matt Pike is Him.


Formed: 1998 in Oakland, CA

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Guitarist/vocalist Matt Pike, bass player George Rice, and drummer Des Kensel formed High on Fire in 1999, following the collapse of Pike's previous band, doom metal titans Sleep. But while Sleep had built their fame on impossibly slothful tunes and copious weed consumption, High on Fire's first release, The Art of Self Defense, displayed a far more aggressive though still fantasy-themed style of heavy metal. Released to mildly enthusiastic reviews, the album's prospects suffered from label Man's...
Full Bio
Death Is This Communion, High On Fire
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Customer Ratings

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