Album Review: High On Fire | Electric Messiah
If you aren’t in an area where you can immediately thrash, don’t listen to Electric Messiah. The urge to mosh is overpowering, and God forbid that something such as opening track "Spewn from the Earth" comes on and turns book club into a wall of death.
With 20 years of experience under their belts, High on Fire has aged like the finest of whiskeys. They proudly yet humbly point out parallels between themselves and Motorhead, it was a dream about Lemmy that inspired Electric Messiah. Due to release on October 5th, fans can expect the album to be exactly as raucous as they’ve come to expect, and if anything, it is only enhanced by the layers of experience that come with each new album.
Starting at the end, the final track "Drowning Dog" is heavier than, well, your heart after thinking about a dog drowning. It also has a way of entering your brain like a meat hook, forcing you to feel every word and vibration whether you want to or not. Based off of every aspect of the entire album though, you’ll want to.
Meanwhile, the song "Electric Messiah" itself will give you heart palpitations in the best way possible. While the gravelly vocals crash against the other instruments somehow in both perfect harmony and cacophony, this song really belongs to the drums. It’s a sound that one would think is too fast to have been created by any human being with only two arms, and that perhaps the drummer is a spider rather than Des Kensel. This is a fair assumption. Even with so many complex and sophisticated layers, the stringed instruments still firmly hold their own and the guitar is able to carve out its own space for soul-crushing solos and exhilarating riffs.
"Sanctioned Annihilation," on the other hand, is a 10 minute voyage which starts off with a marching, uphill instrumental, before promptly kicking you off a cliff into a chasm of Motorheady-goodness. More themselves than anyone else, though, High on Fire presents more of a homage than a recreation. While no doubt influenced by the greats, the trio remains unmoveably their own, a concreteness that many people strive for, but few can maintain.