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Surrounded By Thieves

High On Fire

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Album Review

Matt Pike might be the most metal person alive. His dogmatic refusal to kowtow to trends is unparalleled for a relative young'un. He was stoner before stoner was cool (for the second time) with Sleep, and with High On Fire, he adds a speedy dimension, yet retains that doomsaying guitar tone that's thicker than a sumo wrestler's ankles, showing that going somewhere fast beats going nowhere slow more often than not. On sophomore release Surrounded By Thieves, the first, second, and third thing you hear is his guitar, a solidly packed continuous riff that sounds like Motörhead's bass chug. It is relentless, even when Pike solos, which then allows the band to mimic Saint Vitus on amphetamines. All eight songs sprawl on for several minutes at a time, each one an epic that rolls like sinister thunder across the landscape; storm coming, you better hide. There's not much variation on Surrounded; the whole disc pretty much locks in at 11, grabs your jugular, and refuses to let go, but when you get locked into a groove this good, who needs variety anyway? ~ Brian O'Neill, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Like giving CONAN a guitar, and saying "Play."

If Frank Frazetta's art was to have its own soundtrack, High on Fire would be its composer. If his "Death Dealer" had a voice, it would be Matt Pike's. You may as well buy this and 'Blessed Black Wings' at the same time. If you You're going to end up doing it anyway.

Outstanding

Listening to this album is much like standing near a jet engine if full throttle. Its loud and assaults your eardrums without mercy...But with repeated listening you can hear thru the sonic hurricane and catch some finely crafted lyrics and top-notch drumming. Dez shines more on this album than he does on Self-Defense. Case in point: The opening of Hung, Drawn and Quartered. Speedwolf picks up momentum throughout the song and then unleashes it on you towards the end. Surrounded By Thieves is good ol fashioned, kick you in the groin metal...Razor Hoof is a masterpiece of doom-laden heaviness...and its interesting to note that the drum solo at the end of Razor Hoof is also the same solo that opens Devilution... Only HoF could write about Yetis and Aliens together and make it cool...which is just what they did with the Yeti... While this albums overall mixing and engineering couldve been more speaker-friendly, its still a "cant miss" and an absolute must for any High on Fire fan...

DAMN!!!!!!

High on Fire is one of the Heaviest bands out there. This is one of there best albums. If your a fan of High on Fire then you must have this album. Buy it, but only if your brain can handle it.

Biography

Genre: Rock

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
Surrounded By Thieves, High On Fire
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Customer Ratings

Contemporaries

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