Reviews High on Fire Death is this Communion

High on Fire

Death is this Communion

What else can you expect from High on Fire other than an album with a thick, punishing sound that just sort of rumbles on across the hour or so that it takes to listen? For a band as consistent at their craft as High on Fire, it may come as a shock that this release includes the debut of the third bassist in over their last three releases (Jeff Matz of Zeke is the newcomer). Death is this Communion brings the tally up to four studio full-lengths from the band (not including the limited live album).

The monstrous, full sound of "Fury Whip" will knock you on your ass with its relentless riff after riff and broken sounding vocals, (Matt Pike sounds great). The title track to Death is this Communion is all plodding, war drum sounding heaviness over eight plus minutes that just comes pounding through the speakers while "Rumors of War" maintains the same punishing sound but at a much shorter length and what seems like more intensity. "Turk" is another killer example of the punishing music High on Fire can turn on the listener, but this song has an undeniable and catchy groove that contrasts nicely with the fast pace of the chorus; it also features what might arguably be one of Pike's most dynamic vocal performances put to tape with High on Fire. One element of this record that impresses me is that it ends just as strong as it begins with "Return to Nod."

High on Fire always have compelling artwork that tends to be steeped in fantasy type illustration and Death is this Communion is no different. I actually enjoy the cover art immensely and the illustrations throughout the booklet are all pretty grisly looking. Orion Landau did an excellent job with the art and captures the album well; the look is very apropos to the sound of the album.

Death is this Communion is a real good record that I find their most enjoyable since their debut, The Art of Self Defense; I know that it would be impossible for me to explain why because all of High on Fire's output is quality music. Regardless of my personal opinions on this record, Death is this Communion is a must have for aficionados of the High on Fire oeuvre.

7.7 / 10Bob
KFAI - Undead
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7.7 / 10

7.7 / 10

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