Monday, March 1, 2010

High on Fire - Snakes for the Divine

NOTE: I ripped this from my Mishka review as well but I was actually writing it for NGNV as well.

Click the pic for file.

If there was a First Amalgamated Tabernacle Church of the Word and Deed of Saint Matthew Pike I'd like to think I'd be the high priest. I mean, for fucks sake, the guy is absolutely one of the greatest living riff-forgers, possibly one of the greatest of all time. Shit have you ever listened to the first 30 seconds of Dragonaut? The first 30minutes of Dopesmoker? Anything off the Art of Self Defense? The motherfucker pisses headbangers and shits bong rips.

But... When it comes to High on Fire, I've never been at the edge of my seat waiting for their next albums. To be honest I was kinda stuck on Sleep for a while and never really bothered to give HoF the listen they deserved. I mean, I always dug it when it was on, and I had a few of their albums, but when it came time to pick an album to listen to, I basically lived on Dopesmoker and Amerijuanican for many moons.

After seeing HoF live at Scion and then seeing Sleep at ATP, I was fairly fucking stoked for the new album. Apparently, it'd been a long ass time since they put out their last album and this was pretty anticipated. When Prolly sent me the link to Snakes for the Divine, I was pretty fucking stoked to get down to listening.

It's now 5 full listens later and I still have no idea how I feel about this fucking album. Damnit.

The Pros:
- Pretty much every song stands by itself as a fucking solid jam.
- It's still High on Fire, it sounds like High on Fire.
- The riffs, oh my, the riffs
- Nothing new, they don't fuck with what works

The cons:
- Doesn't really come across as an epic fucking album even though the songs are all good.
- Lacking some of the visceral, ball-punching, gut-wrenchingness of the the other albums. Not really sure why, maybe it's a different guitar tone, maybe it's the vox being too far forward in the mix, maybe it's that his voice has changed over the years but for some reason it's no Blessed Black Wings.
- They don't fuck with their old formula but yet, don't copy all the aspects that made it work so well. Mostly in the production.

This fucker definitely gets out of the gate strong and holds on for the entire album, but there's just something lacking man. Prolly claims it's Matt's newly found "shitty Lemmy impersonation" vocals. I think it's that the guitar tone feels a little less rich in the mix. Who knows. Either way, I'd say this album will fall slightly below their others in my rotation but would probably blow your mind live. If you can come up with a definite opinion on this in less than 5 listens, you're not listening hard enough.

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