HIGH ON FIRE
Electric Messiah – Limited Vinyl // CD // DD
eOne Heavy Records – released October 5, 2018
Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr
Oakland, CA USA
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)
“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
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”.
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.
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