High On Fire

Death Is This Communion

Written by: PP on 17/10/2007 14:07:20

High On Fire has been hyped up in pretty much every review across the net, so I figured it's time for Rockfreaks.net to join the club by reviewing their newest album "Death Is This Communion". Not just because other zine's say it's good, of course, but because the group's new album really is worthy of all that praise. I'm sure you all remember Mastodon and their sonic explosion of the kind nobody hadn't really heard before? The kind of sludge/drone metal packed into a better produced and more modern mold? Well, welcome to Mastodon part II.

Straight from the first notes of the brilliant "Fury Whip", High On Fire makes its mission crystal clear. This is a band that wants to blur the genre borders by taking some from a number of different genres: doom, progressive rock, drone and sludge to name a few, and they do it successfully. The title track drones along, featuring a number of repetitive passages only broken by the roaring voice of vocalist / guitarist Matt Pike.

The melodic interludes within songs seem to be endless, slowly creeping forward to crescendos. These are then often broken by intense time signature changes or brutally technical solos which are jaw dropping to say the least. The chord progressions are massive and near perfection, leaving you awe-inspired over their majestic intricacy or their perceived straightforwardness. The best way to say it that listening to the longest and most epic songs on the record is like staring straight into a paradox - songs that seem to have been created with a simplistic approach are in fact some of the most complex arrangements you'll come to hear this year. Personally I find myself stumbling over the many hypnotic riffs, and falling down in amazement of how catchy the songs can still be even with the endless throaty yells of vocalist Pike. And I mean that in an extremely good way.

The only weak points in the album are the slower songs and those which have slight middle eastern overtones included in them. They lack the same colossal momentum that the longer songs have, and though the drumming is equally impressive in these, it hardly lifts the songs up to the same level as ones like "Ethereal" or "Waste Of Tiamat". But in the end, those are in the minority and don't do enough damage to disturb the album from what it is in reality: a counterweight to balance Mastodon's dominance of the progressive drone metal genre.


Download: Fury Whip, Waste Of Tiamat, Ethereal
For the fans of: Mastodon, Isis
Listen: Myspace

Release date 24.09.2007
Provided by Target ApS

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