Straight bludgeoning. Not a moment’s rest. “Eyes and Teeth”’s opening bass rumble is the only serene moment on this disc. From there the album turns the listeners ears and intestines gelatinous, pounding relentlessly with an endless well of riffs, tribal drumming and scorched-earth vocals.Gone are the paens to Sabbath and the Melvins that were found on “Art of Self Defense”. In their place is a louder-than-nuclear-war homage to groups such as BoltThrower, Voivod, Neurosis and even “Jerusalem”-era Sleep, taken to atmospheric levels of woofer-destroying volume. Choice cuts are “Speedwolf”, the dinosaur riff-maze called “Yeti”, the powerfully intensive title track and the blasting “Hung, Drawn and Quartered”. Upping the ante is the name of the game, and it’s brutally frightening that this group is only on their second album!High on Fire is truly a great band. “Surrounded By Thieves” is going to become one of the biggest underground metal classics this world has ever seen. BELIEVE the hype.