High on Fire – Electric Messiah

8/10

I open the cover and take the record out. Put it on the record player, drop the needle and wait. A few seconds of silence before the opening track “Spewn from the earth” comes thundering at me like a freight train on speed. It’s full throttle right from the start and this is a killer opening track.

Equal parts aggressive stoner metal with Matt Pikes trademark vocal style and part Motörhead on a fast day.

Next up is a slower, darker, heavier song, “Steps of Ziggurat/House of Enlil”. It starts with slow heavy riffing and pounding drums. Then like a dark mantra or something from a black mass the vocals start chanting. During the 9min and 22 sec that follows I am cradled into a nightmare both beautiful and menacing. The wake up call doesn’t leave you waiting; the title track of the album “Electric Messiah” punches you right in the face in the same way the opening track did. It’s supersonic speed from start to finish and again the spirit of Motörhead is more present than ever.

“Sanctioned Annihilation” is a big flirt with Black Sabbath and the song “The sign of the southern cross”. It’s impossible to talk about High on Fire without mentioning Sabbath (and Motörhead) and the impact they’ve had on Matt Pike and in this song its very clear that this is the case. “In The witch and the Christ” High on Fire leave their stoner suit for a few minutes and become just a raging metal band. Fast, hard and heavy riffing with a bit of Slayer feel to it.

The closing song “Drowning dog” stands out a bit compared to the rest of the songs on this album. It’s back to basic stoner rock with classic shuffle beat and a bit cleaner vocals. And after the savage beating of the eight songs before, this one feels perfect as a last song because let’s face it; you won’t have that much energy left to bang your head this far into this album anyway.

Earlier this year Matt Pike released another album with his other band Sleep and call me crazy, call me stupid, but I think Sleep is starting to rub of on High on Fire. If you don’t know Sleep or their music then I suggest you go and check them out and then you will know what I am talking about. “Electric Messiah” is a great album with a lot of energy to it and it’s been a long time since I was this blown away by an opening track as I was with “Spewn from the earth”. It’s aggressive stoner metal with elements of thrash, doom and occasionally even death metal and by now I think that the fans know what to expect when High on Fire release a new album. This won’t let any fans down and even though some people might have a problem with the slower songs I’m sure that the speed of the other ones will balance the scale in the end.

 

Band: High on Fire

Title : Electric Messiah

Label: Eone

Date of release: 2018-10-05

Rate: 8/10

Stand out track: Spewn from the earth

Tobias Engdahl

Tobias Engdahl

Writer

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