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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gods of Hell Fire
More is definetly better seems to be the motto with this new HOF release. Matt Pike & Co have managed the unexpected by producing an album, which in my opinion is better then the previous 'Blessed Black Wings'. The first thing I noticed was the quality of the production. While I appreciated the live sound Steve Albini engineered on the last one, 'Death...' is just that...
Published on 13 Sep 2007 by Uncle Salty

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars gratifying!
Death is this communion is an album i did not like much at first,the reason was that i didnt like the vocal style of matt pike,he sounded too much like lemmy from motorhead and i dont like that gravel sound much,however after a few spins i got past that and started to appreciate what is essentially a fine metal album,although not the masterpiece that many proclaim it to...
Published on 12 Nov 2007 by sean paul mccann


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gods of Hell Fire, 13 Sep 2007
This review is from: Death Is This Communion (Audio CD)
More is definetly better seems to be the motto with this new HOF release. Matt Pike & Co have managed the unexpected by producing an album, which in my opinion is better then the previous 'Blessed Black Wings'. The first thing I noticed was the quality of the production. While I appreciated the live sound Steve Albini engineered on the last one, 'Death...' is just that much cleaner sounding. This was produced by Jack Endino, who's credits include bleach & incesticide for Nirvana along with Mudhoney, the Atomic Bitchwax & soundgarden to name afew. Every component is handled clearly & allowed to breath. Certain tracks focus more on Pike's blistering guitar work while others thrive on the excellent drumming or bass. Another initial dissapointment was that Joe Preston (Melvins/Thrones) is no longer on bass duty although this soon dissolved on listening to the title track, a clear favourite. Jeff Matz bassline providing an ominous brooding template for Pike's quality vocal/guitar delivery. The track, an eight minute beast, has a dark druggy feel to it, almost tribal in nature, produced in part by Des Kensel's quality drumming. Kensel has such a monumental thundering style bringing to mind the clear intentions of war conveyed in the lyrics & art work. There are several tempo shifts & drum pattern variations on display, utilising double bass blasts & constant rolls & fills.

The album as a whole is generally longer than previous offerings & is split up by three really good instrumentals, most noteable of which are 'DII' which has a medieval style Mellotron & the pure angry drums of 'Headhunter'. Also, Pike has taken to the nine string guitar to provide some suitably dark intro's & breakdown sections as evidenced on 'Waste of Tiamat'. The old Motorhead references are also still in place such as on Opener 'Fury Whip' with Pike's screams of 'The fool's religion unprophet's truth, Live self destruction, bad luck's your noose' & the short & brutal call to arms of 'Rumors of War'. 'Turk' is also a brillantly catchy number.

I haven't stopped listening to this since I bought it on it's day of release & while it may still be a bit too early to tell, this is shaping up to be my album of the year. Considering the high praise given to the previous album, some may not be completely sold on first listen, but given repeated plays the true honest to god hell fire quality comes screaming to the fore. Where the band goes from here is anyone's guest but with music this strong & focused, does it really matter? All in all, this is another modern day classic.
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3.0 out of 5 stars gratifying!, 12 Nov 2007
By 
sean paul mccann "mccanns23" (ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Death Is This Communion (Audio CD)
Death is this communion is an album i did not like much at first,the reason was that i didnt like the vocal style of matt pike,he sounded too much like lemmy from motorhead and i dont like that gravel sound much,however after a few spins i got past that and started to appreciate what is essentially a fine metal album,although not the masterpiece that many proclaim it to be.
This is a heavy metal album,modern day riffs collide with the past to give it an uncanny sound,part mastodon,part sabbath i would say with the solos of maiden maybe,mixed indeed but all of the parts combine to make a beast of an album.
The album has instrumentals which break up the fire in the sound slightly,more mellow,and even eastern sounding,some songs may well last just that minute or two more than they should but thats the nature of this music ,some indulge and some leave the building at the right time,it comes with the territory,i like this album enough to hand a nice 3.5 out of 5 its way,good stuff.
***********
the bonus dvd is very good indeed and it is limited edition so maybe some cant get it anymore,i dont know!but well worth it and a fine example of a bonus dvd that adds something to the product.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possible album of the year, 3 April 2008
This review is from: Death Is This Communion (Audio CD)
There is no doubt about it; "Death is This Communion" is absolutely High on Fire's best effort to date. The group around former Sleep guitarist (extraordinaire) Matt Pike have indeed made what the sticker on the front claims as "their ultimate sonic masterpiece".

I bought this the day it came out, and have been listening to it more than any other CD this year - even the two previously considered to be my albums of the year - Devin's "Ziltoid the Omniscient" and Akercocke's "Antichrist". Let me tell you, this dwarfs them both! It is really easy to listen to - this must be the stoner aspect coming through strong - the production is the best they've ever had. It really flows; all of the instruments really work well together. There are loads of quality drum fills (reminds me a bit of Mastodon - no bad thing), grooving bass and of course Matt's crushing guitar. The vocals are the best I have ever heard from the man himself, again, easily comparable to Mastodon but I much prefer these.

Most of the tracks focus heavily on unstoppable grooves and quite a few thrashier sections. The layout of the songs is really well done - three mammoth tracks, followed by five short to mid-length rockers and finishing off with three more mammoth tracks. There are well placed fillers such as "Khanrad's Wall" and "Headhunter" which serve well at building up to the following tracks. "DII" is a very good instrumental track, with many epic melodies that separates the middle and concluding sections very well. Special mention goes to the aforementioned "mammoth tracks" - not one has a single boring moment, from the great intro of "Fury Whip" to the final sounds of "Return to Nod" and everything in between.

In short, this is an extraordinary album, and (along with anything I have rated over 90%) it is recommended to everyone.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Continuing Excellence, 18 Oct 2007
By 
Tom Chase (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Death Is This Communion (Audio CD)
"Death Is This Communion" is nothing new from High on Fire. It does not forge a new direction, it does not reinvent the wheel, it does not outdo past albums...but it doesn't need to. I am pleased to say it is Blessed Black Wings Pt. 2 - equally powerful, equalling thundering and gripping. It slays. Simple.

For those unaware of the HoF sound- they fuse the powerful dirges of Sleep and Sabbath, the rampaging onslaughts of Slayer and stunning guitar heroics from Matt Pike, truly one of the best leads in metal today. For "Death Is This Communion" the band brought in some new flavours to the mix, such as bursts of 12 string guitars and some middle-eastern instruments to give a more international feel. This works very well, especially when juxtaposed with crushing metal, such as with one of the album's highlights "Waste of Tiamat" and the short excerpt "Khanrad's Wall".

This is not to say HoF have branched out and beyond their sound. Having such a unique sound in the first place, it would have been difficult, and potentially ruining to attempt a dramatic shift. The classic HoF tones are there in full glory. Opener "Fury Whip" immediately recalls the raging "Devilution", and the title track's monolithic doom harkens to the bands origins. "Turk" is the standout track for me as it combines everything great about the band, and sees Pike experimenting with a little bit more melody with his vocals.

For fans of past releases this should not disappoint. Every box is checked for the HoF fan. For those new to the band I would suggest starting with "Blessed Black Wings", as it is the band's most accessible, and often most inspired work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars High On Fire - Death Is This Communion, 26 Sep 2011
By 
Gentlegiantprog "Kingcrimsonprog" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Death Is This Communion (Audio CD)
Death Is This Communion by High On Fire was released on Relapse Records in 2007 and was the band's fourth full length studio album.

Musically, the album revolves around either long mid tempo tracks with big stoner metal riffs and lots of repetition or faster, rumbling low end centric rockers with an almost Motorhead feel, with many of the tracks blending into each other at the mastering stage and most of which featuring absolutely excellent lead guitar work and frantic double-kicks.

The album is not devoid of variety however, one only has to listen to the keys/strings featuring, guitar solo filled `DII' or the amazing eastern influenced instrumental `Khandrad's Wall' to see that High On Fire have many strings to their bow and really know what they are doing musically.

Album highlights include the aforementioned two tracks as well as the groovy `Turk,' the album closer `Return To Nod' and the excellent Title Track which has one of the best riffs on the entire album as well as possibly the band's best guitar solo to date.

If you are unfamiliar with the band it may take a few listens to get into, and doesn't give an amazing first impression unless you sit down and give it your full attention, especially since the first track is arguably the weakest. Once you overcome this initial barrier however, you will discover a masterfully crafted and wholly enjoyable listening experience.

Singer and primary guitarist Matt Pike's voice has really developed since his days with pioneering seminal stoner band Sleep. His vocal range has expanded greatly and on Death Is This Communion it is incredibly strong, as well as now featuring a lot more light and shade and even occasional melody.

Overall, High On Fire no longer have to live in Sleep's cult shadow and are an important and respected band in their own right. Death Is This Communion is a strong and enjoyable album that fans of the band should pick up and fans of the genre should definitely give a try.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Dark Journey, 6 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Death Is This Communion [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Having only recently discovering high on fire i feel a bit late to a party which has been going on for what seems a hell of a long while. Purchasing the whole discography, i deem this record to be the best of the bunch. Like a lot of stoner/doom bands of modern days the songs throughout this album take on a surreal narrative.

The songs and musicianship on this album shine, the combination of the low, fast, crunching guitars and the almost of harsh sounding lyrics amalgamate to create a genre defining masterpiece. Tracks like: "Wastes of Tiamat", "Turk" and "Death is this communion" stand out and take the listener in. Though the best track on this album is "Fury Whip", after listening to this you will not able to stop humming the riff, for months to come, I haven't!
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5.0 out of 5 stars the best album released so far, 6 Sep 2008
By 
Mr. David J. Bloxham "DAVID BLOXHAM" (B,HAM ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Death Is This Communion (Audio CD)
high on fire are not really given the praise they should be given,ITS A AWESOME CD BY A SUPERB BAND.DAEMONHELLHAMMER.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavy!, 27 Oct 2007
By 
This review is from: Death Is This Communion (Audio CD)
Quite simply.....Metal genius!! Now with 'Diamond' Jeff Matz on bass duties from Zeke and it's fallen perfectly into place an they've landed smack on their feet still running!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 Aug 2014
This review is from: Death Is This Communion (Audio CD)
more ove the same from high on fire
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Death Is This Communion [VINYL]
Death Is This Communion [VINYL] by High On Fire (Vinyl - 2010)
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