High on Fire
De Vermis Mysteriis


4.5
superb

Review

by Adam Thomas STAFF
March 27th, 2012 | 347 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hell on Earth

From the start of its opening drum fill, De Vermis Mysteriis sounds like a High on Fire reborn. Their previous album, Snakes for the Divine was unavoidably tepid, seemingly drained of all energy by the slick fingers of producer Greg Fidelman. There has always been an air about High on Fire that makes one feel as though they're gazing through the haze of a crystal ball filled with weed smoke into whatever strange tales vocalist/guitarist Matt Pike has though up of this time, but Snakes was too clear in its approach, stripping the stoner power-trio of the sludge and mire that is essential to such a hulking approach. In the end it begged the question was it just a misstep or had Pike finally started to lose his edge. Within seconds De Vermis Mysteriis instantly erases any and all questions caused by Snakes of the Divine. This time paired with Converge's Kurt Ballou at the helm, High on Fire have released their most visceral album to date. Building off of the gnarled atmosphere of high octane fuzz and a rush-of-blood-to-the-head intensity not seen since Blessed Black Wings barnstormers like “Commeth Down Hessian”, only now even more immediate, De Vermis Mysteriis is the shining culmination of High on Fire's career to this point. Ballou's thick and gritty production perfectly compliments the crushing slabs of megalithic riffs that Pike builds ever higher and ever heavier throughout the album's 52 minute run time, with tracks like the roaring “Bloody Knuckles” and the inescapable Motorhead gone tribal groove of “Spiritual Rites” proving once and for all that when firing on all cylinders High on Fire are an untouchable force in stoner metal.

Delving deeper into the madness that is De Vermis Mysteriis, “King of Days” sounds as if it was born out of the recent reuniting of Pike's former flame, stoner-sludge titans Sleep. Its methodical drone and lonely lead work is more akin to something found Warning's trad-doom masterpiece Watching From a Distance but this respite is pulled of without a hitch which, along with the Kylesa swamp-prog-esque interlude “Samsara, adds a wonderful sense of flow and balance to the record. The Sleep influenced sound can also be seen heavily in De Vermis Mysteriis' latter cuts, especially in the penultimate title track and the closing “Warhorn”. “Warhorn” is High on Fire at their most down tempo and guttural. Its thundering coalescing of distraught sludgy chords and powerful plodding drums ends the album by taking a trip through quicksand while wearing lead boots. It's disgusting. It's massive. It's fucking incredible.

De Vermis Mysteriis is the album that High On Fire have always been hinting that they could create. It is a ferocious and captivating listen that twists and turns through the deepest darkest depths all the while pushing forward into new sonic territory. Blessed Black Wings and Death Is This Communion were great, but this... this is something special.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
CaptainDooRight
March 27th 2012


29146 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

what do we have here sir

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

Inveigh
March 27th 2012


24968 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

based on the review and the 4 recommended albums, I am going to love this

I was pretty disappointed in the last album as well, though Death is this Communion was pretty good

evilford
March 27th 2012


22571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Death is This Communion is one of my favorite albums at the moment. has been for a while. SFTD was ok, but not nearly as good. god I can't wait to hear this

Digging: Thormenthor - Abstract Divinity

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2012


7391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The album is wicked. Especially Warhorn is mindblowing.

Good review.

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus

Ire
March 27th 2012


41780 Comments


There has always been a air about High on Fire


an?

yeah good review can't wait to hear this

jayfatha
March 27th 2012


2882 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Their previous album, Snakes for the Divine was unavoidably tepid, seemingly drained of all energy by the slick fingers of producer Greg Fidelman.

Nailed it. This rules

SteelErectedb4you8er
March 27th 2012


2616 Comments


I agree with this review wholeheartedly. From when I started to when I ended the record, I felt a sense of awesomeness coming from my speakers. I am fan of all the High on Fire records, but this one just oozes the true force that is High on Fire to it's full potential. I will say after hearing "Snakes for the Divine," it was definitely slick production that kept from captivating people.

D41V30N
March 27th 2012


949 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I HAD NO IDEA THIS WAS COMING OUT!
I should end my life.

Great review. Gonna get this tomorrow. This year has been so bland in the metal sector so far. Hopefully, this will give me some hope.

Inveigh
March 27th 2012


24968 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it hasn't necessarily been a spectacular year for metal thus far, but there have been a few good releases. Pallbearer and Fire in the Cave come to mind, as does Lord Mantis.

a few decent dm records too (Horrendous, Ignivomous, others I'm forgetting).

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2012


7338 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fuck yeah this rules, possibly their best.

Great review.

Rev
March 27th 2012


9423 Comments


Can't wait to hear this

south_of_heaven 11
March 27th 2012


5433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

listened to this today in full

really fucking good, I am happy.

I think Snakes for the Divine has better individual songs, but this one as a whole feels more complete.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2012


7391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Christian Mistress and Greenleaf are my favorite metal albums of 2012 so far, along with this, Meshuggah and Lord Mantis.

evilford
March 27th 2012


22571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nice rating so far...4.4

god dammit I need to hear this

Goatlord
March 27th 2012


405 Comments


It's fucking awesome. I must of streamed the whole thing at least ten damn times at work today.

klap
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2012


10429 Comments


so how does this compare to other shoegaze bands

Digging: Tennis - Ritual In Repeat

Inveigh
March 27th 2012


24968 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you mean like deftones

Rev
March 27th 2012


9423 Comments


is there a download for this, or just the stream so far?

Yazz_Flute
March 27th 2012


18783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Never really listened to these guys. Might as well start here.

Digging: Battles - Mirrored

Athom
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2012


17213 Comments


^i'd seriously recommend it.

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Vaudeville



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