High on Fire “Electric Messiah” Review + Stream…

HIGH ON FIRE

Electric Messiah – Limited Vinyl // CD // DD

eOne Heavy Records – released October 5, 2018

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

Location:
Oakland, CA USA

Members:
Matt Pike – Guitar / Vocals
Des Kensel – Drums
Jeff Matz – Bass Guitar (ex Zeke, member since “Blessed Black Wings” tour)
George RIce – Bass Guitar (ex-Dear Deceased, on :”Art Of Self Defense” / “SUrrounded By Thieves”)
Joe Preston – Bass Guitar (ex Melvins / Thrones, on Blessed Black Wings)

Previous Releases:

“The Art of Self-Defense” 2000

“Surrounded By Thieves” 2002

“Blessed Black Wings” 2005

“Live from the Relapse Contamination Festival” 2005

“Death Is This Communion” 2007

“Snakes For The Divine” 2010

“De Vermis Mysteriis” 2012

“Spitting Fire Live Volume I” 2013

“Spitting Fire Live Volume II” 2013

“Luminiferous” 2015

 

 

Review:

Way back in 1998, Matt Pike was deep in the band SLEEP as guitarist and when the other guitarist quit, Matt began inviting people to come to his garage to jam.  This led to Matt deciding to work in a power-trio again.  Within 6 months, the jams led to the formation of HIGH ON FIRE, allowing Matt to keep his tone similar while his playing style was becoming faster and more aggressive in delivery and structure and taking over vocals and writing the bulk of the new material.

As of 2007, the current and most prolific line-up solidified into the unit that is getting set to take the new release to the world. Having toured endlessly with a wide variety of acts from GOATWHORE to CONVERGE, including a stint on MEGADETH’s “Gigatour”.

Band Pic

With the release of “Electric Messiah” Pike & Co. are not trying to re-invent the wheel; FAR from it. Nine tracks and 59 minutes later, HoF have delivered what can only be described as the quintessential definition of what High on Fire has come to demonstrate;  aggressive precision seasoned perfectly with Matt’s lyrical creations.  This fits seamlessly into his 6-string myriads of hyper-aggro masterpieces. Tracks like ‘Spewn From The Earth’, ‘The Pallad Mask’ and ‘Freebooter’ show that the might is still intact and the longer compositions are still present as ‘Steps Of The Ziggeraut/House Of Enlil’ and ‘Sanctioned Annihilation’ show clocking in at over 9 minutes plus. ALL factors that encompass High on Fire are present and even the title track belies that they are even more cohesive and just flat-out IN YOUR FACE than ever before, using power-chords, bombastic bass tones and drum-attacks that ring in sheer might.

Matt Pike

The standout on this record, for ME, is the closer ‘Drowning Dog’.  I hear the culmination of the best of each previous release, all winding into this diatribe that allows Matt to give it all and offers what can only be HoF at it’s absolute top-notch performances.

If you don’t have it yet, GET IT asap. If there is any in your circle that may not yet be aware of what High on Fire entails, force-feed them until they know, support these guys live if you get the chance and above all else, KEEP IT LOUD!!

High on Fire Tour Dates

Tour Dates


SKUNK “Doubleblind” – Album Review & Stream…

SKUNK 

Doubleblind – CD // DD

Self Released – April 20, 2017

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

Not long before I went to bed last night the admin at Taste Nation LLC asked me to listen to Oakland, California SKUNK’s new album DOUBLEBLIND and share my thoughts. Problem was it was near midnight and I had to be up at 5AM so I postponed it for my morning commute to work. Man what an eye opener. Usually I’m draggin’ ass when I get out the door in the morning and need a few cups of coffee before I can put on my nice face. This morning was different. When I heard the opening riffs to Forrest Nymph I knew it was gonna be a good day.  Out of the gates you get catchy bluesy riffs and Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother-like vocals.   The album caught me between the eyes in the opening 4:30 minute offering.  Hooked by the wicked Hooks!!

 

Pro Band Shot

 

Upon further listen, I heard some real hard rockin’ tunes that sounded something like a combination of Bonn Scott Era AC/DCNazareth and Grand Funk Railroad paying homage to tits and weed!  While the music seems relatively simple, that is exactly what I like about SKUNK.  I don’t need a degree in music, English Literature or Art to understand it.  SKUNK seems to have figured out that people want to be able to feel like they are part of the music and they effectively make you part of the music with rock n’ rollin’ riffs, chugging bass grooves big booming drums (with plenty of cow bell) and clear vocals that ain’t mush mouthed.

If Skunk is ever doing a show were you live go because I have the feeling there will be lots of beer, weed, and chicks at the show. Some of my favorites from DOUBLEBLIND were ‘Forest Nymph’, ‘Mountain Child’, ‘Harvest Queens’, ‘Wizard Bong’ and ‘Devil Weed’.  If your looking for some hard rockin’ music for your party or to get you pumped up for work then look no further than SKUNK.  If you like classic hard rock then I am sure you will like SKUNK.

Band Members:

John McKelvy – Vocals
Dmitri Mavra – Guitar
Erik Pearson – Guitar
Matt Knoth – Bass
Jordan Ruyle – Drums

 


Album Review – Dealer “Billionaire Boys Club”

Album Review – DEALER

Billionaire Boys Club

Wicked World Records – February 17th, 2017

Vinyl / CD / Cassette / DD

Described as a cocktail of metal/punk/grunge/rock-n-roll, Dealer is a trio out of Oakland that is certainly not lacking in discordant rock solos steeped in crazed post-a-punk-a-lyptica with grunge sprinkled on for “color”… well then. Not my usual taste, but somebody said they really liked these guys so, I better check it out, right??

Opener ‘AM Gold’ is pummeling and thick from the first chord, showing this unit is a machine as opposed to some three chord wankfest, complete with vocals as snarling as the leads. ‘Slur’ comes out of the gate even faster and spares no one from the flying fingers ripping up the guitar in your face, taking me back to the days of bands like Quicksand, full of multi-tone harmonics screaming like so many insects swarming. ‘Total Horse’ / ‘Stone Freak’ / ‘Fester’ / ‘Solar Dominion’ and ‘Cake Walk’ all demonstrate the confidence to shift tempo on a split second and not drop a step marching through nonstop.

 

Band Pic on the Boat

 

Two tracks stood out to me in particular, the first being ‘In The Flesh’ which starts out slower than the rest with a loopy guitar intro, shifts into a faster jaunt before settling in on a lurching pace that pulls you forward without resistance. Longest song on this release, the frantic staccato soloing will not let you get bored but keeps you moving. This is the second best vocal delivery on this record in my opinion. The second standout is the rather lucid cover of ‘She’s As Beautiful As A Foot’ originally done by legends Blue Öyster Cult. Not straying very far from the original, they still manage to put their own signature and feel throughout while still paying homage to the song itself, definitely the clearest vocal performance on here.  Hailz for the effort gentlemen!!  Great band to watch in 2017………

Words by Ric “Sui-Syko” Dorr