High on Fire – De Vermis Mysteriis (2012)

Album Review

While one would be hard-pressed to characterize any of the album’s in High on Fire’s devastating oeuvre as particularly “weak,” there was certainly a mild sense of creative stasis hovering around the band’s final efforts for Relapse; and it took a lengthy break and an unqualified return to form via 2010’s Snakes for the Divine (their first release through eOne Entertainment) to really set things to right. Naturally, this achievement only heightened expectations for the San Francisco-based trio to deliver another scorcher with their next album, 2012’s De Vermis Mysteriis, and “scorching” certainly appears to be the main directive for vocalist/guitarist Matt Pike, bassist Jeff Matz, and drummer Des Kensel, at first glance here. Simply put, the sonically overwhelming triple threat of “Serums of Liao,” “Bloody Knuckles,” and “Fertile Green” may just comprise the most violent and intense introduction to any High on Fire LP yet, and that’s saying something, but it also might leave some listeners wondering whether this will be a one-dimensional bloodbath, rife with sheer… Read more on allmusic.com

About the Band

Guitarist/vocalist Matt Pike, bass player George Rice, and drummer Des Kensel formed High on Fire in 1999, following the collapse of Pike’s previous band, doom metal titans Sleep. But while Sleep had built their fame on impossibly slothful tunes and copious weed consumption, High on Fire’s first release, The Art of Self Defense, displayed a far more aggressive though still fantasy-themed style of heavy metal. Released to mildly enthusiastic reviews, the album’s prospects suffered from label Man’s Ruin imminent bankruptcy, and it wasn’t until High on Fire landed on grindcore powerhouse Relapse… Read more on allmusic.com

Tracks

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Serums of Liao
High on Fire
High on Fire
                        6:00
2
Bloody Knuckle
High on Fire
High on Fire
                        4:16
3
Fertile Green
High on Fire
High on Fire
                        4:45
4
Madness of an Architect
High on Fire
High on Fire
                        6:57
5
Samsara
High on Fire
High on Fire
                        3:41
6
Spiritual Rights
High on Fire
High on Fire
                        5:07
7
King of Days
High on Fire
High on Fire
                        7:08
8
De Vermis Mysteriis
High on Fire
High on Fire
                        3:50
9
Romulus and Remus
High on Fire
High on Fire
                        5:04
10
War Horn
High on Fire
High on Fire
                        5:26