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Review: High On Fire - Snakes for the Divine
High On Fire
Snakes for the Divine

Label: E1 Music
Year released: 2010
Duration: 45:56
Tracks: 8
Genre: Thrash Metal


Review online: May 28, 2010
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.92/5 (78.46%) (26 Votes)

This is the newest record from San Francisco's High on Fire. I had previously heard nothing from them except for a few songs from Blessed Black Wings. I remember liking them (especially "Devilution") but for some reason I lost interest. Now I can review their fourth album with no bias at all. First off, I was expecting a metalcore album, for the sole reason of the band's name, but when I started listening to it, I actually discovered that this was a very cool thrash album.

The reason for that is the killer sound that Snakes for the Divine has. This three-member band have managed to capture what thrash can be when it is done right. And while they aren't the fastest or most aggressive band out there, they compensate that with the level of skull-crushing heaviness that the songs have. The clearest example of this is the one-two opening punch in the title track and "Frost Hammer", both of them are extremely cool and a great preview for the rest of the album. High on Fire always keep up variety, whether it is the cleaning singing parts, the songs build up or the pace at which the songs are played.

The musicianship level is very good, they are not the best players in the world but when you can make songs like "Bastard Samurai", I'm not complaining. High on Fire has all the elements that I like about thrash: great guitar work (especially its leads), solid drumming, audible bass, dirty production and the evil and viciousness that the songs have. The only complain I have is that "How Dark We Pray" is slower and has a longer build up compared to the rest of the songs, slightly breaking the momentum of the album.

I don't know if this is the best in their catalogue but the more I listen to this record, the more I like it. Most people seem to think that this is some sort of doom/death metal album, I strongly disagree with that. There is nothing doom about this and while the vocals are rough, but it hardly is at the same level of a Glenn Benton for example. In the end it doesn't matter what people choose to categorize this, all I know is that the album kicks some major ass and because of it, I am going to get the rest of their works.

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