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Death Is This Communion

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(12 Reviews)

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  • I think most people mis-understand HOF. If youre into complex time changes, overly-progressive song structures, intricate dueling guitar leads, and slick detailed production, this isnt the place to find any of it. Theres no time for any of that, theres a war on, and this is what it sounds like, the sound of battle, bones breaking and blood spilling. Pure, metallic brutality! and all from a 3 piece, no less.
    Whiskey soaked war cries ride furious battle-drums; wild, woolly, barbaric guitar playing that cuts like a broad-sword; fevered METAL lyrics relay accounts of epic Holy-wars, seances to invoke ancient evils, human sacrifices to monstrous demons, and extinguished races from lost civilizations. dont misunderstand, this isnt D&D geek stuff, there are more than threads of truth running through the songs, but I dont pretend to speak for the band.
    I wouldnt call this “Doom”, or “Thrash” but I suppose its somewhere in-between. Lyrically, it definitely references the worlds-end plenty, but musically, its too fast to be Doom, it does resemble Speed/Thrash metal, but its too dirty, too detuned and savage to be called that. Wholly original, the band once described it, though i may be mis-quoting, as “Warrior Metal”. But I hate comparisons and labels because they dont do justice, and High On Fire deserve much respect because their sound/style is completely original, and thats not something most bands can say these days.
    In a metal world full of “Black Metal” miscreants, mascara wearing “Emo” goth-posers, copy-cat Death Metal bands, and trendy metal revivalists/recyclists, High On Fire sweep through the entire plain like vengeful, blood-thirsty destroyers to obliterate the imposters and blasphemers. Simply said, they sound like absolutely no one else, and ‘EFFIN’ ROCKK!!!
    In HOF tradition, topping each previous release, i would say this is their most advanced work, the only gripe i have is that the guitars arent quite as loud and heavy. Gone is the happy medium they found on Blessed Black Wings, but dont listen to anyone who says theyve sold out, youre still not going to hear this on the radio, or see it on MTV. And the production is still raw and dirty. The difference I hear, is dynamics. There are some cool instrumentals that break up the savagery a little, and also the songwriting is stronger. “Rumors Of War” is probably their most hook-ie song so far, and at the same time, as raw and brutal as anything theyve ever done. “Death Is This Communion” is a slow, doomy tune about the summoning of some creature from the bottom of the sea/hell, ala H.P. Lovecraft. “Fury Whip” sports one of their best riffs ever, and the list goes on. The whole album, beginning to end is top notch.
    If you dig High On Fire already, or if youre new to their music (and youre not one of those people who only likes a band because no one has heard of them yet) then youll love this.
    You know you can trust me : )

    Posted on November 23, 2009