Review Summary: Meet Matt Pike, one of the few riff Gods on the planet.1 of 1 thought this review was well written
disbanded after constant problems with releasing their stoner masterpiece "Dopesmoker", Matt Pike went on to create High on Fire
with his own twist on what had already been accomplished with Sleep. High on Fire is bass heavy and has great basslines and, has some real tasty, fiery, ember-like guitar tones and riffs from the stoner God, Matt Pike. Matt Pike took elements of his former band and added some speed and heavy metal elements to it as well to create something heavy and awesome. It all started on this album here, Art of Self-Defense.
Baghdad- Starts off the album with some pretty distorted guitar and introduces the audience to Matt Pike’s vocal style and makes you wonder why he never sang lead vocals in Sleep. The lyrics of almost all the songs on the album deal with Religion and mythical quests or tales. Great album opener. 4/5
10,000 Years- Begins with an extremely groovy drum line and bass line. One of my favorite basslines to personally play and listen to. And when that guitar comes rushing in at about 50 seconds, Oh man. It gets even heavier and groovier. This song is probably what it sounds like when mountains move and when volcanoes erupt. One of the best songs on the album. 5/5
Blood From Zion- Has an EXTREMELY driving riff (Not to the extent of “Son of Nothing” by Electric Wizard) and the drums always compliment the riff in this album and along with HoF’s discograpghy. Also has a pretty cool solo in the song. Matt Pike has some pretty “lion-roaring” vocals in this one too. Not one of my personal favorites but is nonetheless, pretty damn good. 3/5
Last- Has a very present wall of feedback as Matt Pike sings the verses and chorus. The songs on this usually have a great vocal melody in them and this one is no exception. I like this song’s epic-ness to it and the drums in this song are outstanding as well. Good song. 3.5/5
Fireface- I just love the heavy presence of bass in this album especially on tracks like “10,000 Years” and this one. The song begins with a pretty sweet bassline and the drums and guitar just slowly come in and begin to melt your face too. I honestly wish people made more albums like this one. This song has another great and maybe the best solo off this album. I just really like this song a whole lot. 5/5
Master of Fists- Sadly, our journey ends here (That is unless you have the Tee-Pee Records edition of this album which has 2 extra tracks and I do not :/) and after all the amazing, incredible riffage in these stoner metal masterpieces, we come to Master of Fists. A 10 minute jam with echoing, intense vocals from Matt Pike (which we ALL should learn to love)and another great drum and bass performance from this trio. The dissonant sound of Matt Pike’s solos in this album are just great. Most likely resulting from his great amp set-up of Laney, Green, and Orange Amps that he has used throughout his music career. Good album ender. 4.5/5
This is my first review and I wanted to do it on something I really appreciate and apparently, not enough people do to make a review about it. This album is pretty rare and I wish they would put this thing on iTunes for all legal music-downloaders to hear. I recommend this album to anyone into any stoner band or heavy music in general. This thing is just great stoner-metal.