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High on Fire: The Art of Self Defense (reissue)

Heralded by many as the masters of stoner doom metal, High on Fire released The Art of Self Defense back in 2000. Now, the album sees the light of day again, being reissued in a completely remastered format and packed with goodies in the forms of a handful of bonus tracks in addition to the original six tracks and a fat booklet.

The tracks on the album are characterized by heavy beats, sludgy grooves and a bog fat bass which almost dominates the picture completely. Drawing more on the stoner-oriented aspect of the monster that is doom metal as created by Black Sabbath, the album is more darkly psychedelic than truly doom-laden. But there is no mistaking that those grooves and beats are crushingly compelling. From the stomping rhythm of 'Baghdad' over the heavy beats of '10,000 Years' and 'Master of the Fists' and the aggressive drive of of 'Blood from Zion' and 'Last', this album should definitely rock the world of any sludge-head who hasn't hear it yet.

The bonus tracks consist mainly of demo versions of some of the album's songs, but an interesting treat is the inclusion of a cover version of the Celtic Frost classic, 'The Usurper', which although quite faithful makes the song sound sludgier than ever.

Heavy and groovy, this album should appeal to fans of stoner metal and sludge metal, and if you have not yet heard this album, then you should strike now that it has been reissued and purchase the enhanced version.

Track listing:
1. Baghdad
2. 10,000 Years
3. Blood From Zion
4. Last
5. Fireface
6. Master of Fists
7. Steel Shoe
8. The Usurper
9. Blood from Zion - demo
10. 10,000 Years - demo
11. Master of the Fists - demo

Added: October 11th 2012
Reviewer: Kim Jensen
Related Link: High on Fire official website
Hits: 1941
Language: english

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High on Fire: The Art of Self Defense (reissue)
Posted by Butch Jones, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-10-11 15:14:00
My Score:

The very loud and boisterous Stoner Metal band, High on Fire, have had their 1st recordings re-released, remastered and restored. The Art of Self Defense, the bands first album from 2000 has been repackaged with their self titled demo from 1999 and 2 other bonus tracks from 2001 to total 11 songs on this re-issue, including a handsome Digipak and a 48 page booklet with photos taken from the era in which these recordings were made.

Anyone familiar with the band already know that these guys hit the floor running and are 10 (these amps go to 11!!) from the word go. Pounding drums, sludgy bass, flailing power chords and vocals reminiscent of Tommy Victor of Prong, High on Fire romp through tunes like "Last" or "Blood From Zion" with reckless abandon and provide the type of Doomy mud that a band like Kyuss or more recently Mastodon, have helped to make famous.

The original 6 song album, The Art of Self Defense, starts out this CD followed by the 2 bonus tracks, "Steel Shoe" and the Celtic Frost cover, "The Usurper", originally from their 2001 7" and then next up is their original self titled, 3 song demo. All and all a High on Fire fan is rewarded with a nice re-issue package of the bands first recordings, all cleaned up, nicey, nice. This record isn't for everyone and to be honest, if you are not a Stoner/Doomy Metal fan, you will be lost in midst of the sludge and might find this a tad overdone. Subtlety is not what High on Fire is about and neither is this re-issue. It is in your face, down and dirty and I'm sure this will be a must have for any High on Fire fan.

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