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Blessed Black Wings [CD]

High On Fire Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 11.45 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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With a heavy-handed approach and a sound that crashes like thunder, HIGH ON FIRE has put the power back in 'power-trio'. Less a band than a supersonic exercise in conquest by volume and sheer heaviness, the band has burned the metal rulebook and forged a new archetype.

HIGH ON FIRE was formed by guitarist Matt Pike in late summer 1998. Formed out of the need to simply play guitar ... Read more in Amazon's High On Fire Store

Visit Amazon's High On Fire Store
for 15 albums, 7 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Blessed Black Wings + Surrounded By Thieves + Death Is This Communion
Price For All Three: 31.77

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Feb 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • ASIN: B00073K8AW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,723 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Devilution 4:460.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. The Face Of Oblivion 6:360.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Brother In The Wind 5:400.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Cometh Down Hessian 5:140.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Blessed Black Wings 7:430.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Annointing Of Seer 5:390.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. To Cross The Bridge 7:200.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Silver Back 3:140.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Sons Of Thunder 7:120.89  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High On Fire - 'Blessed Black Wings' (2005) 17 April 2006
Format:Audio CD
Extreme metal and decent songwriting do not go hand in hand. In a genre so obsessed with the power of the riff it's easy to overlook the power of the 'complete song' - the indefinable factor that dictates whether or not a piece of music will stay in your head after you've heard it. There are hordes of metal bands out there who think that all you need to do to write a good metal song is to write 5 great riffs and string them together. Not so. Ever wondered why 'Master Of Puppets' is so much better than '...Justice...'? It's not the riffs, it's the songwriting (and, of course, the production, but that's another review entirely...)

High On Fire have noticed this. And that's why 'Blessed Black Wings' is absolutely stunning. These mammoth, churning, brutal riffs are all interconnected and structured very carefully to keep the songs moving, and so when the band thrash their way through verses, choruses, bridges and solos, they do so with real purpose. They also do it with a ferocity that many of today's slickly-produced thrashers could only dream of. I attribute this mainly to Steve Albini's viciously loud production, although the brute force of the musicians' performances easily keep up with his sonic vision.

High On Fire are usually said to be a cross between Slayer and Motorhead, and that's pretty much on the mark. Except they're burning about five times the fuel of those two bands put together - and they're no fucking slouches themselves. High On Fire are brutal at any pace. Witness the astounding 'To Cross The Bridge' for proof - it's a song that never fails to make me want to rip off my steering wheel and assault the nearest pedestrian.

Basically, if you've ever had nagging doubts about heavy metal in the 21st century, buy this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High On Fire Reach Boiling Point 5 Jun 2006
Format:Audio CD
Matt Pike is quite simply a metal mastermind, and with 'Blessed Black Wings' he unleashes all his powers. For what this album tries to be, a gritty stoner/doom epic with a bit of classic metal and thrash thrown in, it pretty much passes with flying colours. This is my favourite release of 2005 without doubt in my mind.

Pike first became noticed for his powerful work with the stoner/doom legends 'Sleep' in which he crafted some mind-blowing riffs and improv passages. The 63-minute epic 'Dopesmoker' shows just how much talent this man has. The band was toiled with problems, line-up changes and band divisions constantly plagued them, heightened by an ongoing record battle with the current 'Dopesmoker' track that was released originally under the title 'Jerusalem' which the band hated due to poor editing, it simply drifted into obscurity until re-released. Now the band is something of a legend, and highly influential for modern day stoner/doom bands.

Pike reared his ugly head with the thundering HoF debut 'The Art of Self Defence' with the psychotic Des Kensel on drums and George Rice providing ominous low-end riffs. Pike, spearheading the band, found critical acclaim with what proved to be a nice re-emergence into the metal world. 'Surrounded By Thieves' became a huge success, Pike's writing had matured slightly, and effectively 'cut the fat' off the extended passages found on their debut. Which leads to 'Blessed Black Wings' where Pike has delivered a simply gorgeous album.

The opener 'Devilution' gives a strong idea of the new approach of the album. Kensel's drumming is more 'tribal' in feel, shown instantly with the raging drum pattern that starts things off.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rock-crushing power and Might 1 Aug 2006
Format:Audio CD
This is an unbelievable album. If you like heavy, aggressive, raw-sounding brutality that makes you want to start smashing things up then buy this. It is very energising music. I'd describe this as unapologetically 'dinosaur metal' in its lyrical obsessions - refreshingly unhindered by the irony and smirkiness of lots of modern music. I guess it's just reflective of a wider movement that is going on in music right now: people are fed up with standing on the sidelines and looking on, detached and superior. People want to enjoy themselves again and FEEL RAW POWER. High on Fire deliver thunderclouds of power and doom. I listened to this on a mate's amazing new stereo recently and it almost killed me it was so goddamn raw. Steve Albini has done a great job of the production -everything is in the right place and it's all heavier than Hell. Unbelievable. I bought this after I saw these guys touring with Mastodon last year in London - they play something I love: heavy, simple (ie not overcomplicated), powerful music. YEAH!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  54 reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The sound and the fury 20 Feb 2005
By Wheelchair Assassin - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Coming off the back-to-back triumphs of The Art of Self-Defense and Surrounded by Thieves, High on Fire have returned with a landmark of heavy music, one that may end up going down as their definitive work. On Blessed Black Wings, High On Fire remain as ruthlessly heavy and unapologetically gloomy as ever, but their sound has somehow managed to become even bigger and better than before. This power trio (emphasis on the word "power") plays rampaging, roiling metal at its most primal and visceral, drawing influence from all the right places: Black Sabbath, Motorhead, and of course frontman Matt Pike's old band Sleep. For this, their third album, High On Fire have teamed with indie uber-producer Steve Albini, and the move has paid off and then some, resulting in a sound that's finally full enough to do justice to the band's epic, apocalyptic vision.

Behind the hell-hound vocals of Matt Pike, the band once again delivers a full-scale aural assault that's as vast as it is ferocious. Pike's strangulated guitar solos are pure freakin' insanity, Des Kensel's drum fills very neatly replicate the feeling of being hit upside the head, and Joe Preston's bass riffs are downright atomic. More importantly though, Blessed Black Wings sees a further refinement of High On Fire's already formidable songwriting abilities. While Pike & Co. most certainly haven't abandoned the pummeling sonic stomp that characterized their previous two albums, Blessed Black Wings is probably their least monolithic, most fully-developed effort to date. Rampaging tracks like the opening Devilution and Cometh Down Messiah see the band veering closer to thrash-metal territory than ever before, with Pike cranking out distorted speed riffs and sounding eerily similar to Lemmy Kilmister on vocals. The title track segues from an ominous, martial-sounding intro into a few moments of relative quiet, then launches into a groove heavy enough to level a mid-sized city. Similarly, To Cross the Bridge starts with a tense, acoustic-tinged passage before descending into a hellish vortex of tortured shouts and twisted guitar work. Its title notwithstanding, the closing instrumental Sons of Thunder is almost ambient (for these guys anyway), driven mainly by the hypnotic, repetitive thump of the rhythm section.

With this CD you also get a DVD feauring live renditions of five songs: Devilution, Speedwolf, Cometh Down Hessian, Brother in the Wind, and Nemesis. While the sound quality isn't that great, it is nice to see these guys replicating the intense fury of their studio sound in a live setting. If (like me) you can't see them live for whatever reason, this DVD treatment is probably the next best thing. In any case, Blessed Black Wings is the finest thing High On Fire have released so far, and all their albums are classics. And if you like these guys, be sure to pick up Sleep's Dopesmoker as well.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blessedly heavy 11 July 2005
By Bacteria13 - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Album number three from this excellent stoner/doom/thrash outfit, building on their previous powerhouse outings of 2000's 'The Art of Self Defense' and 2002's 'Surrounded by Thieves' respectively. For the uninitiated, HOF play a noisy mix of Black Sabbath and Clutch, full of incredible riffs and thunderous drumming. Never one to refine their recordings, HOF has an almost punk-like quality to their approach to music if not the sound alone.

Formed by ex-Sleep guitarist Matt Pike, HOF is one of those rare bands that nearly everyone of most metal genre can appreciate - no mean feat either. Yet, it's easy to see why; 'Blessed Black Wings' literally destroys, folks. Plain and simply, it's as heavy as a pregnant elephant wearing steel-toe construction boots.

Opting for famed producer Steve Albini this time round (the band used Billy Anderson for both long-plays) the sound of BBW is just massive - opener 'Devilution' builds from a tribal call-to-arms thumping courtesy of drummer Des Kensel, with cymbals and snares being literally whacked out of it - does anyone hit the drums harder than this guy? The title track sounds as if it belongs on something from the 70's, whilst album highlight 'Anointing of Seer' is the best track of its like it's been my pleasure to hear. Guitar solos are riotous, distorted affairs, the bass playing of Joe Preston chugging in the background, giving you the impression that this album was recorded live and in one take.
Already selling by the bucket-load (and rightly so too) you are going to hear a lot from High on Fire. Highly recommended.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Metal the way it was always meant to be played. 2 Feb 2005
By Rat Dawg - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Take Motorhead, "Reign in Blood" era Slayer, early Black Sabbath, and Sleep. Imagine all of them having sex, and try to conceive of what their offspring would sound like. High on Fire's "Blessed Black Wings" is what you should come up with as an answer.

This is Metal the way it was always meant to be played. Loud, heavy, and pissed off. You will find no modern clichés, stereotypes, or even influences... because these guys know that most of the stuff passing as "Metal" these days is simply false. High on Fire function as a reminder to all who have lost the faith that Metal can still be as good as it was back in its glory days.

Since their previous album "Surrounded by Thieves", High on Fire have progressed slightly and they've taken a more metal-less stoner approach. They're heavier, they're louder, and I'd say they're just simply better than ever before. They've certainly outdone themselves again, but I don't think they've reached their peak quite yet.

Some noteable tracks are Cometh Down Hessian, Blessed Black Wings, To Cross the Bridge, and Devilution.

Pick this one up immediately.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars indie goes the metal 17 Feb 2006
By Zachary A. Hanson - Published on
Format:Audio CD
People compare High on Fire to Mastodon, Slayer, and Motorhead, all apt comparisons. None of these bands have much of anything on the metal fury that High on Fire releases. Yet High on Fire have more indie production values along with other values from those in that realm, certainly making their albums less slick than Mastodon's _Leviathan_ and anything by Slayer after _Reign in Blood_. I would also compare High on Fire to more "underground" bands like Big Black, Bad Brains, and, obviously, the Melvins. Like Big Black--whose leader, Steve Albini, produces and masters this album--excessive studio volume contributes heavily to the vibe of the recording. This is true to such an extent that the amp repair guy gets listed right under the names of the band members and Albini with the same size font; I'm sure he got a lot of work in on this unbelievably loud recording session.

Like Bad Brains's Dr. Know, Matt Pike uses all sorts of chromatic riffs and soloes, eschewing conventional modes to a great extent. Unlike lesser guitarists who use all the notes on the fretboard because they don't know the right ones to hit, Matt Pike strategically adds the appropriately tortured tone by going outside of conventional scales. Also like Dr. Know, his soloes are very dynamic, largely staying away from metal cliches.

Of course, the big indie band to compare High on Fire to is the Melvins, not least because the Melvins's Joe Preston holds down the bottom end for High on Fire. Every song on this album is slathered thick with a grimy layer of sludge, giving the listener the effect of being lost in a sea of it early on in the album. "Devilution" starts you off in the lyrical realm of many other Satan-obsessed metal singers of the past, but with the added dimension that this band is playing well past the volume level that any band ever should and also that it sounds live in the studio, giving an even more frantic feel and rough edge to this already dark music.

Each song tends to stay in the same satanic lyrical pocket, tho' Matt Pike's disconnected poetry is a little more evocative than your typical doom metal dude. What varies is the music. Each song is a bona fide extreme metal slab of sound in its own right. The only part of the formula that stays the same is the loudness, rawness, and sludginess. Otherwise, each song has a different structure, moving from tempo to tempo, time signature to time signature, and chord configuration to chord configuration. As far as music that makes you want to commit antisocial acts goes, it doesn't get much better than this outside of the influences I mention above.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars proper thrash guitar technique is the equivalent of shopping at hot topic 1 Dec 2006
By benamuckee - Published on
Format:Audio CD
To J.J. Kilroy, who wrote:

"I think this album would rival "Master of Puppets" if Matt would just be disciplined enough to learn proper thrash guitar technique (read "All downstrokes at speeds less than 200 bpm). Because of their lacadazical, stoner approach to metal, they will never rival Slayer or Entombed, early Metallica etc."

Why would you want to RIVAL Slayer, Entombed, or early Metallica, when you could TOTALLY DESTROY THEM?

High on Fire doesn't play ridiculous thrash metal; they don't need retarded displays of empty technique; they play with FEELING. And I don't mean flowers and butterflies and pretty green fields, I mean HATRED and RAGE and HOPE and DESPAIR... things Slayer and Entombed and early Metallica only pretended at. Don't get me wrong, I listen to Ride the Lightning every chance I get, but High on Fire is in no way a lesser beast. IN NO WAY. This is THE REAL THING, my friend... it doesn't come along often.
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