Label: Relapse Records
At what point do you realise that a band aren’t just a good band, but one that, in years to come, will be talked about as a great band; the kind who transcend genre, who practically everyone in to metal agrees that, yes, that band are awesome. For High on Fire, I think that point came with Death is this Communion, even if maybe we didn’t all realise it at the time. This is the point that proved – if there was any doubt – that High on Fire were in it for the long-haul, and deserve to be talked about in terms of the masters of the riff.
Maybe that isn’t such a surprise, considering that Matt Pike already had a reputation for riffs from Sleep, but previous albums from High on Fire felt like they were maybe missing a bit of something. It was obvious what the band were going for, but on Death is this Communion, they achieved it in style. The title track and ‘Waste of Tiamat’, in particular, are absolute stormers, that deserve to be considered metal classics, demonstrating exactly what people mean when they talk about the power of the riff. For my money, High on Fire have never sounded better than they did on this album.