High On Fire – Cometh The Storm Review

Exploring High On Fire's Grammy-Winning Legacy and Monstrous Sound...

Stoner/Doom/Sludge

MNRK Heavy

Release Date – April 19th 2024

 

Line Up:

Matt Pike – Guitar/Vocals

Jeff Matz – Bass

Coady Willis – Drums

 

Tracklist:

1 – Lambsbread

2 – Burning Down

3 – Trismegistus

4 – Cometh The Storm

5 – Karanlik Yol

6 – Sol’s Golden Curse

7 – The Beating

8 – Tough Guy

9 – Lightning Beard

10 – Hunting Shadows

11 – Darker Fleece

 

High On Fire has been around for over 25 years now, but they seem to have passed me by. It wasn’t until I was given this album, and I started researching the band, that I found out they won a Grammy! I don’t usually hold much stock in music awards, but that was something pretty special, especially when you consider that they’re still quite ‘underground’.

The opener, ‘Lambsbread’, doesn’t hang about as they get straight into a monumentally heavy groove before Matt Pike offers up his bear-like roar. This is proper heavy and introduces ‘new’ drummer Coady Willis as he literally pummels his kit into submission, all to the distorted bass of Jeff Matz, who spent some time in the Middle East, and it shows when the breakdown comes.

‘Burning Down’ starts with another down-tuned fuzzy riff from Pike before the Armageddon-like beats of Willis get us going on a huge soupy groove. This is masculine metal, not for the faint-hearted. ‘Trismegistus’ (relating to an Egyptian god Thoth or the Grecian Hermes who wrote various mystical, religious, philosophical, and alchemical essays). Crikey, this is heavy! Simple and direct with a blazing solo from Pike. It really doesn’t get any better than this. The title track gets sludgy with a different Lemmy-like vocal from Pike and a tribal pattern from Willis before the Middle Eastern vibes of ‘Karanlik Yol’ takes us to a Bedouin camp where the instruments are strummed around a campfire – the hand claps will definitely get the crowd going. It’s back to the metal on the crushingly heavy ‘Sol’s Golden Curse’ and the brutal ‘Tough Guy’, then we get some (almost) technical thrash on ‘Lightning Beard’ before the rockier ‘Hunting Shadows’. The final cut, ‘Darker Fleece’, is the epic starting with Pike grinding out some sounds before he is joined by the rhythm section who offer up a tidy groove that gets the head nodding. This is ten minutes of world-class sludge/doom which goes through different movements.

OMG! WTF! Just WOW. This is superb. It’s not perfect, but I don’t care. Stoner/sludge/doom should sound rough and dirty, and I don’t want the singer to be Bruce Dickinson or Rob Halford – the voice should suit the music, and Matt Pike’s voice is perfect for this music. Credit to producer Kurt Ballou who has managed to harness the volume into a huge mix. I smell another Grammy…

 

Written by: Smudge

Ratings: 9/10

 

 

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