High on Fire - Snakes for the Divine (E1 Music) 2010
1. Snakes for the Divine (8:24)
2. Frost Hammer (6:07)
3. Bastard Samurai (6:37)
4. Ghost Neck (5:01)
5. The Path (1:20)
6. Fire, Flood & Plague (6:08)
7. How Dark We Pray (8:06)
8. Holy Flames of the Fire Spitter (4:13)
9. Mystery of Helm" (3:58)
10. Eyes and Teeth" [live] (4:31)
11. Cometh Down Hessian" [live] (4:33)
It's not very often that I pick up a CD based on the cover art alone any more. Back in the 80's I use to do this regularly. I was walking through Best Buy killing some time and came across this album. The cover art grabbed my attention and I held it on my hand. I remember these guys. I actually saw them live once. I thought they were a great band but never really bothered to check them out. Now, walking through Best Buy, it was my chance and I am glad I took that chance.
High on Fire are a power trio formed from the ashes of vocalist/guitarist Matt Pike's stoner/doom pioneers Sleep. Their music is a mixture of doom, sludgy stoner rock and aggressive rock and roll. Think Motorhead meets St. Vitas meets Slayer. The band blast through eight tracks of sludgy, high energy rock from the bombastic title track to the high energy "Frost Hammer" to the oddly titled "Holy Flames of the Fire Spitter". "Fire, Flood & Plague" even touches on thrash metal.
Pike's vocals are gravely, hoarse and strained. He is far from an accomplished vocalist, but this is rock and roll, this isn't Amerian Idol. As such, his voice fits the raw, sludgy metal perfectly. Lemmy would concur!
Production for an album of this type is always difficult, with all the instruments usually fighting for the same sonic space. However, High on Fire's mix is quite good with each instrument heard clearly, even the bulldozer bass and pounding drums.
All in all, I am glad I picked up this album off the Best Buy shelves. This Best Buy copy even comes with three bonus tracks not available on other versions. Score!