High on Fire
“Snakes For The Divine”
Back in 2002 at the last More Than Music Festival I saw both Mastodon and High On Fire perform on the same stage, way before anyone gave much of shit about either band. Mastodon played early to a nearly empty room, wowing exactly nobody. Later on, High On Fire killed it, converting me almost instantly. Converge played right after them and it was embarrassingly evident how little they rocked in comparison. And yes, I did just say that to piss of Converge fanboys, but it’s also the truth.
I recently saw all three of these bands perform again on the same bill this last Fall when the Dethklok tour came through town. Well, Converge still sucks live. But now High On Fire find themselves the opening act for Mastodon, a band riding high on their successive string of concept albums. Apparently HOF and Mastodon are really good friends going years back now. I mention this because maybe it’s time for Matt Pike to step in and say something about how Mastodon’s been sucking donkey balls for awhile now.
You see, Snakes For The Divine is evidence that Matt Pike gets it. Dude is running on a streak of amazing albums going back to Sleep’s Holy Mountain, almost two decades of solid work. This guy understands that both Metallica and Megadeth did their best work on their first three albums. This guy understands there are very good reasons why nobody outside shrooming nerds gives a shit about King Crimson after their first album. He knows that writing about metaphysical shit is awesome, as long as it hearkens back to the real world (i.e. Blessed Black Wings is a metaphor for drug addiction). So maybe he can tell Mastodon that if I have to read a book or hear a half hour story to understand their album the band has failed. Every time High On Fire comes out with an album, I don’t need to know shit. I just think High On Fire=dark=evil=metal=good times. And that’s what I get every fucking time.
Snakes For The Divine is exactly how to do awesome heavy metal album full of hellfire and demons from alternate dimensions. I get memorable guitar riffs that shred my face off, booming earthquake bass and a drum section that sounds like Satan himself is at the kit. What’s really impressive is that this band is still pushing to new extremes. Jeff Matz’s bass has been brought out on this album and it really shows. While I enjoyed Death Is This Communion, it doesn’t have the punch that Snakes For The Divine has. Des Kensel continually outclasses most other drummers and he shows no signs of slowing down. Matt Pike remains one of the last guitarists that remain able to compose an interesting guitar solo, as opposed to just endless jerking off and going nowhere. Mastodon, I’m looking in your direction.
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