Up until now much has been said about High On Fire mastermind Matt Pike's time in Sleep to help sell records. But lets face it, much of this groups current target audience still had virgin lungs when those albums were released. Now, with groups like Mastodon leading the charge, it's not hard to think of High On Fire being touted as the aforementioned Georgian natives being fronted by Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister.
However, such a description is limiting in describing the scope and skill of what High On Fire unleash on this latest effort. While still expansive and utterly resin caked, the weapons this band go to war with are dull and battled hardened. In turn, effective tactics and brute force are favored over showmanship and surgical strikes and this is perhaps the strongest quality of "Death Is This Communion".
Its surprisingly intricate and epic nature is shrouded by its constant riff-driven momentum and while there is substantial atmospheric build-up and some blistering solos, the effort remains devoid of pomp and bravado. Even when the band hit a lumbering dirge the predatory intensity remains ever lurking, poking at the listeners back like a prisoner being led to the firing squad. If ever there was a band capable of boring a gaping hole right through the base of Blood Mountain, it is High On Fire; for the music on "Death Is This Communion" is to weed what milk is to cereal.
(4 / 5)