Tuesday, 9 October 2018

BAND SPOTLIGHT: High On Fire favourites, as chosen by the UK's finest doom bands

Through six full-lengths and a number of live releases and EPs, HIGH ONFIRE are an unmistakable force in the realm of heavy metal, influencing many and attracting hordes of avid followers, some of which include many of the UK’s fast rising doom scene.  Today we have invited a number of them to choose their favourite tracks from a band that has inspired others and attracted adulation from many more.  Check out their choices below.  HIGH ON FIRE are touring the UK in support of their new album 'Electric Messiah', 

Dates are as follows:

08/10 Academy 2 Manchester UK
09/10 Tivoli Dublin EIRE
10/10 Limelight 2 Belfast UK
12/10 The Mill Birmingham UK
14/10 SWX Bristol UK
15/10 The Dome London UK

Track name – “Nemesis”
Album – “Surrounded by Thieves”

The art work for this album struck me immediately. Rotoscoped image of a warrior, pure animated Bakshi Lord of The Rings. Matt’s guitar tone, pure Matamp soupiness. Des’s drums like aeons of a mountain forming, compressed into hammer fall precision. This song is High on Fire a top a mountain, slaying hordes of undead, impossible levels of gore and blood streaming down their armour. TOTAL CARNAGE.

Marc Prentice, Ohhmshttps://ohhms.bandcamp.com 

Track name – “DII”
Album – “Death Is This Communion”

I was late to the party when discovering High on Fire (from now on to be written HOF) as my first taste of them was when I bought a copy of 2007’s “Death Is This Communion.”  My sole reason for buying was based purely upon finding out that it was Matt Pike from Sleep’s other band. I was lucky enough to get a copy that had a ‘making of’ DVD. Watching the DVD and then listening to the record was enough to sell me. Riffs aside, I find myself attracted to the critical religious, conspiracy and fantastical theme of the song titles and lyrics. Being a fantasy and Sci-Fi fan, I loved the fantastical themed artwork and I’ve always imagined HOF as the Motorhead for Tolkien fans.

My ‘Favourite’ track is, unsurprisingly, from “Death Is This Communion”. It’s the instrumental track “DII”. There’s a part in the making of DVD where you see HOF in the studio creating this song and I think this is a part of the reason as to why I enjoy it. It also it’s great because it has a great heavy riff, melodic solo and a great synth part that plays over the end of a track creating a great otherworldly sound. The tone, mood and vibe on this whole record is great and I think this song captures the feel of this record perfectly. Great instrumental track and an amazing record.

Track name – “Bastard Samurai” 
Album – “Snakes for the Divine”

Love this tune due to its pure brutality and atmosphere it creates.  Plus, epic PHAT bass.  HOF’s use of fast power chord movement has certainly rubbed off on us somewhere. When I saw this band live about 12 years ago I was so high yet they totally destroyed my buzz by being so fucking brutal.   I then got a boner instead, maybe it was because of Matt being topless…  Don’t think I’ve ever had a weed boner before.

Jim Swainston,  Black Mothhttps://www.facebook.com/themothpit

Track name – “Snakes for the Divine”
Album – “Snakes for the Divine”

“Snakes for the Divine” is a song that for me is the essence of Matt Pike boiled down into eight and a half minutes of glorious riffery. It has quite possibly one of the best intros to a metal song of all time. When I hear those first chords ring out with that epic lick over the top I can’t help of that brilliant Pike quote from Such Hawks Such Hounds about heavy being about “pissed off and being a warlord.” You know you're about to be punched in the face with the riff to follow. This is warlording at its finest and you can just picture Pike taking his axe into battle. It’s one of those songs that makes you just wanna get loose in the same way that The Stooges’ Search and Destroy does. Raw fuckin power!! 

Wes Leon, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastardhttps://mammothweedwizardbastard.bandcamp.com 

Track name – “Bastard Samurai” 
Album – “Snakes for the Divine”

I bought this album whilst stranded in Europe in 2010 when all flights were cancelled because of the ash cloud from the erupting volcano in Iceland and I ended up playing it on repeat due to it being the only cd I had with me for the hotel's cd player. I like the softness of the verses. Something High on Fire don't do much of is go soft but when they do they nail it, & this makes the heavy riff seem even heavier when it comes in. This track stands out for me because of the slower tempo compared to most of the other tracks on the album. I’d say its a good album to be stranded somewhere with. 

Adam Robertshaw, Barbarian Hermithttps://barbarianhermit.bandcamp.com 

Track Name – “Snakes for the Divine”
Album – “Snakes for the Divine”

The title track of High on Fire's fifth album was the first that really caught my attention and for that reason it will always be a stand out track for me. I was a fan of Sleep and had heard the name HOF but when the album received such critical acclaim in the press I decided to check the album out, and from the off you're greeted by this monster. 

As soon as the epic, Maiden-on-steroids intro kicks in you're hooked in and dragged along for the ride as Pike and co blast through gritty thrash and thunderous groove territories. The guitar riffs and bass lines weave in and out of one another like the eponymous snakes in the title. 

You'll definitely hear the influence of this and other Hire on Fire tracks like it on our new album “Solitude and Savagery”, especially on songs like “Reawaken”