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High On Fire - Blessed Black Wings (Cover Artwork)

High On Fire

High On Fire: Blessed Black WingsBlessed Black Wings (2005)
Relapse Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: BrandonSideleauBrandonSideleau
(others by this writer | submit your own)

High On Fire are heavy; very, very heavy. Call it whatever you want: stoner metal, black metal, grindcore...regardless, it will fuck the teeth out of your skull. The brutal threesome's latest effort, Blessed Black Wings (produced by the great Steve Albini), is a real assault on the senses, and also .
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High On Fire are heavy; very, very heavy. Call it whatever you want: stoner metal, black metal, grindcore...regardless, it will fuck the teeth out of your skull. The brutal threesome's latest effort, Blessed Black Wings (produced by the great Steve Albini), is a real assault on the senses, and also a bit more varied than their previous works. Where their past albums have chosen to stick with (more or less) one style throughout the whole album, this album adds in hints of classic hardcore, thrash and punk along with the usual, amazing "Sabbath-esque" heavy metal riff. It's utterly brutal and an amazing experiance from start to finish, already a contender for my favorite "heavy" album of the year.

Vocalist and guitarist Matt Pike is a real monster; he manages to serve up some of the heaviest riffs and some of the most intense vocals in modern music simultaneously. As with their previous releases, the almost poetic lyrics tell fantasy/hellish tales. I'm not entirely sure if there is a political message or not, but regardless, it's powerful stuff.

"Devilution" kicks the album off with an explosive thrash metal/hardcore anthem; comparisons can be made to Discharge at their heaviest. The song "Silverback" follows a similar path. "Annointing Of The Seer" is a killer punk/metal hybrid, and "Brother In The Wind" is the most metallic of the bunch, resembling Sabbath at their heaviest. The album closes with an epic instrumental "Sons Of Thunder."

This is some amazing stuff, and if you dig any of these kinds of music you should pick it up immediately. This kind of music has much more relation to classic hardcore punk than you'd think.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Germs - M.I.A.: The Complete AnthologyBad Brains - Bad BrainsThe Stooges - Raw PowerMastodon - RemissionPropagandhi - Potemkin City LimitsMastodon - LeviathanThe Clash - London CallingDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeDescendents - I Don't Want to Grow UpAdolescents - Adolescents

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
BrandonSideleau (March 1, 2005)

actually...jackass.....this has plenty of black metal and grindcore influences. It may not be "pure" grindcore or black metal, but it certainly has plenty of the sound. I cant think of anything that is "purely" one form of music.

Anonymous (March 1, 2005)

"Call it whatever you want: stoner metal, black metal, grindcore"

no no no no no no no NO... how is this even REMOTELY black metal or grindcore? learn your genres BEFORE making such a dense statement.

Anonymous (February 28, 2005)

Why are reviews for Caution and Infirmary appearing in AP in the first place? 2002?!

-Chinatown

Anonymous (February 28, 2005)

excuse me, it was razorback

Anonymous (February 28, 2005)

razorblade>>>>>relapse

bizzlebrizzle (February 28, 2005)

I'm gonna have to agree....but punk rock fashion/culture is just as laughable, and stands pretty much in contrast of what punk rock really is.

Agreed, but seriously Corpse Paint, those ridiculous outfits? Medieval Weapons? Sounds like a fucking D&D fair!

Anonymous (February 28, 2005)

this score is for Scott slamming HWM 'caution' and Alk3 'from here to infirmiry' in the latest AP.

paul

PS> no score?!?! finally!?!?!

BrandonSideleau (February 28, 2005)

I'm gonna have to agree....but punk rock fashion/culture is just as laughable, and stands pretty much in contrast of what punk rock really is.

bizzlebrizzle (February 28, 2005)

Black Metal fashion/culture is laughable, but the music is good. And no I don't mean bands like Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth.

BrandonSideleau (February 28, 2005)

Many people over the past few years have seen Black Metal as the "new punk rock", punk having truthfully lost it's edge and all. I can kind of see this point of view, but I don't think punk is entirely extinct.

xWileyx (February 28, 2005)

Yea somone should do more black metal reviews no dimmu borrgir like sombody did a while ago though. Immortal, opeth I'm up for more of that stuff on this site and let it take hipster indie rock.'s place...I'll read Pitchfork if i want that stuff

Anonymous (February 27, 2005)

It's so predictable that this album get's high scores across the board. Let's make it clear though - this album has huge amazing production which does a pretty good job of covering basically mediocre celtic frost/motorhead throwaway riffs. And the "songs" are only riff collections, not actual songs. Another Relapse album that gets tons of accolades for no apparent reason. I will say one thing, Relapse Records are the best at media propaganda/hype-creation/PR-masturbation. They are like the BushCo of the metalworld.

Anonymous (February 27, 2005)

"And what the hell are you talking about BSD?"

That wasn't really me. Of course, who knows, this might not really be me for all you people know.

-The Real BSD

jamespastepunk (February 27, 2005)

The key word there is moderation.

BrandonSideleau (February 26, 2005)

Actually primevil......bands like Black Flag, Discharge and DRI all ventured moderately into this kind of territory, to me it just seems like an evolution of hardcore. Just listen to the last 3 tracks on My War, pure drone/stoner type metal. And what the hell are you talking about BSD? Rapping? What album are you listening to?

bizzlebrizzle (February 26, 2005)

Yeah, Primeevil is right.

Anonymous (February 26, 2005)

These guys sound way too much like a nu-metal band. The rapping parts on track 6 don't help.

-BSD

jamespastepunk (February 26, 2005)

Brandon, i like your reviews, but I really don't think High on Fire is that close in style to classic hardcore bands like Minor Threat and 7 Seconds.

Of course, I've been wrong before.

InnuendoAndOutTheOther (February 26, 2005)

"this is the most blantant Motorhead rip off ever...fuck this shit "

one of THE most ignorant posts ever recorded in the history of Punknews... STFU and stick to your Good Charlotte CDs, you dirty ass pirate.

yea b/c I don't listen to High On Fire...I must listen to Good Charlotte...get a clue asshole

bizzlebrizzle (February 26, 2005)

For comedic value of course...to see how many people get pissed off.

bizzlebrizzle (February 26, 2005)

Can I start review Black Metal bands like Ulver, Nokturnal Mortum, Darkthrone, and Enslaved?

bizzlebrizzle (February 26, 2005)

what happened to good punk rock bands? don't they have new stuff? most times I don't even read theses reviews entirely cause they boring really and the band doesn't even seem interesting...

At least the site is covering some sort of aggressive music.

Anonymous (February 26, 2005)

what happened to good punk rock bands? don't they have new stuff? most times I don't even read theses reviews entirely cause they boring really and the band doesn't even seem interesting...

PsychoOS231 (February 26, 2005)

satanic? Thats the lamest gimmick around today..

Anonymous (February 25, 2005)

are these guys really satanic?

stevejonestherealbones (February 25, 2005)

maybe i should pick this up

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

mateo (February 25, 2005)

this score's for electric wizard's dopethrone.

Anonymous (February 25, 2005)

Great, great album. I caught them 2 weeks ago with Planes Mistaken for Stars and they were quite wonderful. Great riffage, great vocals. Very fast too, which is nice, not a lot of bands attempt speed metal anymore

Jesse (February 25, 2005)

This band slays.

8dollarclarinetsolo (February 25, 2005)

so is it heavy?

punkcorekid (February 25, 2005)

i've been hearing good things about these guys.

Anonymous (February 25, 2005)

High On Fire > all the crap you listen to

Anonymous (February 25, 2005)

Pussy shit, I'll take the Postal Service over this any day.

Anonymous (February 25, 2005)

But this didn't come out in the 80s......

-Chinatown

Anonymous (February 25, 2005)

i bought "surrounded by thieves" on word of mouth alone, and thought it was pretty rockin. then last year, i finally picked up "the art of self defense" reissue. i thought that was great too, but the 2 bonus tracks were on another level entirely. the point of this is, "blessed black wings" reminds me more of those 2 bonus tracks than the 2 full lengths, and that's a very good thing.

also, the 1st press comes with a live dvd, which was nice since they skipped cleveland to play columbus last friday with planes.

aubin (February 25, 2005)

I'm always skeptical about bands that run around with all the D&D imagery. When I hear that, I can't help but think about a guy who runs a comic book store and has a "degree in Folklore and Mythology." But I'll give Forty some faith and check this out.

Anonymous (February 25, 2005)

"this is the most blantant Motorhead rip off ever...fuck this shit "

one of THE most ignorant posts ever recorded in the history of Punknews... STFU and stick to your Good Charlotte CDs, you dirty ass pirate.

InnuendoAndOutTheOther (February 25, 2005)

forgot to edit the score...I score this album with this post...I guess the last post's score is for the better Relapse titles like that, DEP and Nasum-Shift

InnuendoAndOutTheOther (February 25, 2005)

this is the most blantant Motorhead rip off ever...fuck this shit

you want a good Relapse title

try Buried Inside or Mastodon-Leviathan

hubitcherkokov (February 25, 2005)

I hate this band but that "they'll fuck the teeth out of your skull" comment was great! Good review.

Anonymous (February 25, 2005)

For 10 stars, an album better be one of the best and most important punk albums of the decade. I didn't get that kind of ridiculous enthusiasm from your review.

theundergroundscene (February 25, 2005)

fuck the teeth out of your skull

LOL

rock the fuck on

i need to check this out

bizzlebrizzle (February 25, 2005)

This band is fucking amazing.

For fans of:

Isis
Mastadon
Neurosis
EyeHateGod
Buzzoven

I haven't heard this one yet, but I think I may end up liking these guys more than Isis.

Benjasaurus (February 25, 2005)

This band has been recommended to me before. This review was too short, although it was fairly well written.

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