ARTIST: High on Fire
TITLE: The Art of Self Defense
YEAR RELEASED: 2000
CHART ACTION: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Fans do.
LINEUP: Matt Pike, Des Kensel, George Rice
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Guitarist from Sleep forms his own band while Sleep is going through record company distress.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The genre ‘stoner’ metal encompassed many sludgy, distorted metal bands that took the Sabbath formula of detuned guitars and heavy production to the next level. High on Fire speeds it up a little bit, but it’s still detuned and still riff heavy.
Because Matt Pike cut his teeth already with Sleep, High on Fire came out of the chute pretty much formed in full. The songs aren’t as long as some of Sleep’s magnum opuses, but the six tracks are all 4:55 or longer. The riffs are heavy and menacing, and the band works well together.
It wouldn’t take long for High on Fire to get an audience amongst the stoner metal and doom metal crowd, with good reason. This is a fine debut that really gives notice that they were a band to reckon with.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Their label went bankrupt the year after this was released, but another company swooped in and re-released it with bonus tracks.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: See above.
GRADE: A-: A fine heavy record, with mega riffs all over the place.