10 Songs, 57 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Probably the greatest compliment one can pay High On Fire is that no band comes heavier. As stoner/doom-metal dudes, Matt Pike and Co. (bassist Jeff Matz and drummer Des Kensel) go for the jugular at all points, relegating subtlety to other bands not as singularly devoted to producing such heaviness. The title track crunches for eight-plus minutes that tributes Celtic Frost at their heaviest before giving way to the album’s first “single,” “Frost Hammer,” where the band tightens the approach ever so slightly: only in comparison to the complete shredders that follow. “Ghost Neck” begins the furious roll of the album’s second half where the band makes a brilliant bid as 2010’s most essential metal band. “The Path” is the minute-and- -a-half intro that sends the group into its darkest corner. “Fire, Flood & Plague,” “How Dark We Pray” and “Holy Flames of the Firespitter” offer solid marching tunes that veer into melodic passageways just under the dungeon. The multi-year wait for Snakes has brought a notable addition to their impeccable catalog.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Probably the greatest compliment one can pay High On Fire is that no band comes heavier. As stoner/doom-metal dudes, Matt Pike and Co. (bassist Jeff Matz and drummer Des Kensel) go for the jugular at all points, relegating subtlety to other bands not as singularly devoted to producing such heaviness. The title track crunches for eight-plus minutes that tributes Celtic Frost at their heaviest before giving way to the album’s first “single,” “Frost Hammer,” where the band tightens the approach ever so slightly: only in comparison to the complete shredders that follow. “Ghost Neck” begins the furious roll of the album’s second half where the band makes a brilliant bid as 2010’s most essential metal band. “The Path” is the minute-and- -a-half intro that sends the group into its darkest corner. “Fire, Flood & Plague,” “How Dark We Pray” and “Holy Flames of the Firespitter” offer solid marching tunes that veer into melodic passageways just under the dungeon. The multi-year wait for Snakes has brought a notable addition to their impeccable catalog.

TITLE TIME
8:23
6:07
6:37
5:01
1:20
6:08
8:06
4:13
5:11
6:00

About High On Fire

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 Ruin imminent bankruptcy, and it wasn't until High on Fire landed on grindcore powerhouse Relapse Records for their second album, 2002's devastating Surrounded by Thieves, that their abundant promise was rewarded. Extensive touring and an ever-increasing fan base followed, so that by the time they unleashed their third release, Blessed Black Wings, in early 2005 (introducing new bassist Joe Preston [ex-Thrones and Melvins]), High on Fire had earned their place as one of the most widely respected heavy metal outfits on the planet. Preston would be replaced by Jeff Matz, who would play on their 2007 release, Death Is This Communion. In 2010, High on Fire returned with their fifth studio album, Snakes for the Divine, released on Koch. De Vermis Mysteriis, which translates to "The Mysteries of the Worm," followed in 2012. The following year the stoner metal masters released a pair of live albums, Spitting Fire Live, Vol. 1 and Spitting Fire Live, Vol. 2, capturing two skull-crushing performances in New York City with a two-album set. When re-entering the studio, the trio re-teamed with producer Kurt Ballou, who helmed De Vermis Mysteriis. High on Fire's seventh studio full-length, Luminiferous, was issued in 2015; it featured the band's sound at its most elemental and stripped down. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia

  • ORIGIN
    Oakland, CA
  • GENRE
    Metal
  • FORMED
    1998

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