Album Review: High On Fire, “Electric Messiah”

Matt Pike is keeping busy this year.

Sleep released a phenomenal album, The Sciences, in April, and now High On Fire are releasing Electric Messiah. Pike is legendary in the doom/stoner metal world for good reason – his riffs are second only to Tony Iommi.  Yes, I said it.  Yes, I mean it. Pike is a God in the metal world, and with Electric Messiah, he further substantiates my claim.

High on Fire brought Kurt Ballou back to the producer’s chair for this one because “Kurt just has a knack for us, man,” Pike says. “We all work really well with him. Even if we have differences about how we want to record something, he works with us and understands what we do. We’ve been sticking with him because we haven’t made a bad record with him yet.”

“Spewn from the Earth” opens up the Electric Messiah with pure High on Fire ferocity.  It’s fast, furious and in your face.  “Steps of the Ziggurat/House of Enhil” is nothing short of epic with nine-plus minutes of tribal riffs and drums interlaced with Pike’s gravelly vocals.  The pace picks up to a frenzy by the end of the song. The title track, an homage to Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister, is an instant classic.  It’s another fast-paced bruiser. “Sanctioned Annihilation” is slower, heavier, and Pike’s guitar solo is nothing short of amazing. “The Pallid Mask” demonstrates the band doing what they do best. It is heavy, fast, hypnotizing and fucking amazing; a swirl of chugging riffs and beastly vocals. “God of the Godless” is my favorite here.  The song is an all-out mass of chaotic riffs and tribal drums. The band nail some cool tempo changes and bring the song full circle, building to a pummeling end. “Freebooter” brings back that out-of-control pace, and “The Witch and the Christ” is dark and especially heavy. “Drowning Dog” takes the album out with a bit of melody and a hook. You will be hearing this one in your head for weeks!

Electric Messiah is High On Fire‘s most consistent release to date, and it displays everything the band is capable of, all wrapped up in one excellent package.  It’s their best album yet.

Electric Messiah is out October 5 on Entertainment One. Buy it here!

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High on Fire - Electric Messiah - Promo

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