Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Best of 2007 - #10

10. high on fire - 'death is this communion'
Matt Pike, High On Fire's legendary frontman (he was in Sleep with Al Cisneros) said in an interview shortly after the release of 'Death Is This Communion' that he doesn't need to dress up in a warrior's costume covered with blood and guts to prove that this band is for real, and that is the perfect way to start to understand High On Fire. Crystallizing like few others the true spirit of what rock and metal really are, High On Fire are just a kickass power trio like they used to make 'em, belting out fist-to-the-face tune after fist-to-the-face tune, grooving wildly as if the devil himself was whistling a tune. It all sounds loose and devil-may-care, but underneath it all there is a rock-solid structure that makes this album one of the strongest of the year on a musical level as well, besides the unbeatable feeling. The balance of songs is spot-on, and you'll be sorely missing out if you just hear an isolated song from this. It's an album and meant to be enjoyed at one, from the roaring-out-of-the-gates enthusiasm of opener 'Fury Whip', reminiscent of stuff from 'The Art Of Self Defense', you're totally hooked, and from there the record see-saws between wildly different moods. Perfectly captured by yet another legend that is producer Jack Endino, you get Eastern-tinged exoticism ('Waste Of Tiamat' and 'Khanrad's Wall'), blitzkrieg go-ahead brutality that will make you smash any furniture unfortunate enough to cross your path if you listen to it at home ('Turk') and tribalist intensity that Sepultura would kill for ('Headhunter'). The ending is the final climax to this mind-twisting collection of songs, as the strangely moving 'Return To NOD', where Matt's lingering solo work is more epic than any band, well, dressed up in warrior's costumes covered with blood and guts. A blindingly intense album, supremely mature but that will nevertheless make you feel like a teenager all over again.

1 comment:

  1. There you go. That is a wise decision; High on Fire is an amazing and incredible band and they deserve so much more. Nice blog dude. I always read it.