Review: High on Fire – Electric Messiah

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Label: eOne

I’m not sure exactly what happened, but it barely seems that long ago that High on Fire were first unleashing their highly effective brand on sludge-laden, riff-heavy doom metal upon the world. Yet somehow, it’s twenty years since the band first formed. Not that you’d necessarily know it from listening to Electric Messiah. Album number eight from the Matt Pike-led trio is a monster of Godzilla-sized riffs, drums so crushing that could shatter buildings, and vocals as powerful and charismatic as they come; so, all is it should be, then. And yet, there’s an almost progressive edge to some of these songs that, somehow, sits comfortably alongside High on Fire’s riff-fueled fury.

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Review: Allfather – And All Will Be Desolation

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Label: Rotting Throne Records

We all need a band like Allfather in our lives. The UK five-piece exemplify all that is good in metal, with their mission in life seemingly to be to remind us all of just how much fun heavy music can be. With a combination of sludge-tinged riffs, commanding, gruff vocals, and an all-around “fuck you” attitude, Allfather are here to make heads bang. They achieved just that with first album Bless the Earth With Fire, and now follow-up And All Will Be Desolation continues that mission, with tighter song-writing, a greater sense of confidence, and impassioned lyrics that do their “riffs against fascism” merch justice.

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Album of the Day: Tomb Mold – Manor of Infinite Forms

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Label: 20 Buck Spin

I think by this stage, it’s safe to say that we’re living through a golden age of underground death metal. Consideration the quality of bands like Blood Incantation, Spectral Voice, Chthe’ilist, Ritual Necromancy, Of Feather and Bone, Necrot, Undergang, Our Place of Worship is Silence – and so many others! Any such list should surely also include Tomb Mold, as their latest album, Manor of Indefinite Forms, is another highlight for death metal in an era that is stuffed full of them. Dirty, dark, and irresistibly heavy, full of incredible riffs, this is something special.

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Review: Nomad – Feral

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Label: APF Records

When you cut right down to the bone, metal is – generally speaking – a pretty enjoyable genre. Sure, there’s some exceptions, but as in most cases, there’s real joy to be found in the crash of cymbals and drums, and in heavy riffs being played at loud volumes. Manchester’s Nomad exemplify this incredibly well on debut full-length Feral, an album that encapsulates the thrill and fun of heavy music. Much like, say, Orange Goblin, Cathedral, or fellow underground warriors Allfather, this is heavy music at its most enjoyable, packed with riffs that are bound to result in spontaneous headbanging, all done with a grin and fist raised in triumph at just how wonderful metal can be.

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Album of the Day: Allfather – Bless the Earth With Fire

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Label: Self-released

Allfather want you to have fun when you listen to metal. Their debut album, Bless the Earth With Fire is full of the same kind of hard-hitting, powerful riffage as the likes of High on Fire, and it’s every bit as enjoyable. Wedding huge doom/stoner riffs to a hardcore sense of energy, this album is one sure to inspire headbanging and mosh pits in equal measure, making metal feel as exciting, as vital, and as fun as it ever did.

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Album of the Day: High on Fire – Death is this Communion

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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.

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