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Last Active 11-26-18 7:20 am
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High on Fire Ranked

ranking the project conceived by The Riff Master aka Matt Pike
8High on Fire
Electric Messiah

I really wanted to love this record. Kurt Ballou helming production again, an excellent single, and interviews hyping this record really got me excited. However, despite a few standout tracks, this is just HoF being average. Most of the tracks here are either long-winded and overstay their welcome or are pretty standard thrashy tracks executed much better on previous albums like De Vermis and Death is this Communion.

fav track: Freebooter
7High on Fire
Snakes For The Divine

While I agree with most of this record's criticism of rather lackluster production, I don't think it's nearly as bad as a lot of people make it out to be. The title track is a straight up HoF classic, and the tracks following it (Frost Hammer, Bastard Samurai, Ghost Neck) are almost equally as good and regularly are rotated in my metal playlist. The downfall of this record, while ultimately being the stale production, can also be found in the last 2 tracks, How Dark We Pray and Holy Flames of the Firespitter. While being competent tracks by themselves, these are pretty boring HoF imo and really do not cap off the record in any meaningful way with any sort of interesting riffing or change of pace.

fav track: Snakes for the Divine
6High on Fire
Art of Self-Defense

Hof's debut could've easily been a Sleep clone and still probably have done well, considering their already-legendary status. However, from the opening track Bagdad, Matt Pike establishes that while they might be in the same genre, HoF are much faster, heavier, and dangerous than Sleep. What we get here are a set of tracks that don't deviate too much from the mid-paced stoner sound, but do that sound incredible justice with groovy riffing, an extremely heavy rhythm section, and a mixture of gruff and melodic vocals from Pike.

fav track: Fireface
5High on Fire
Surrounded By Thieves

although I think this record would be even better if Kurt Ballou remixed it, it still is a stoner metal classic, keeping to a similar sound throughout the entire record but still keeping enough variation in the riffing to keep things interesting.

fav track: The Yeti
4High on Fire

While I don't think this record has quite the same amount of incredible diversity as De Vermis, Pike and Co. still deliver the goods track after track on this thing. The opener (one of the best metal music videos of all time) is nothing short of classic, and the slower, galloping tracks such as Carcosa and the Falconist are such a nice change of pace and allow the listener to take a break from the relentless headbanging from tracks like Slave the Hive and the title track.

fav track: The Falconist
3High on Fire
Blessed Black Wings

Devilution is possibly my favorite HoF opener and quickly establishes that the band can pull off thrashy tracks as well as slower sludgy tracks. But what I find even more impressive about this record is how they can blend relentless raw production with quality song composition. Tracks like To Cross the Bridge and Anointing of Seer exemplify this by being the sonic equivalent to a semi-truck collision but also incorporate pretty progressive structures in their rather lengthy run times.

fav track: Anointing of Seer
2High on Fire
Death Is This Communion

Considered by many their magnum opus, this album took their thrashy stoner sound nearly-perfected by their previous record, and elevates it with more variation in their sound and even heavier production. This record also had short and banger-worthy tracks like Rumors of War that helped further establish their name in the metal scene.

fav track: Cyclopian Scape
1High on Fire
De Vermis Mysteriis

The chemistry between this band and Kurt Ballou was something special from the beginning. From the opening drum fills, to the weed-filled choruses, to the slow and dirgy closer, this album is fucking filthy, melodic, and hard-hitting all at once.

fav track: King of Days
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