Monday 10 September 2018

High On Fire - Electric Messiah (Album Review)

Release date: October 05th 2018. Label: eOne. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Electric Messiah – Tracklisting

Spewn from the Earth
Steps of the Ziggurat_House of Enlil
Electric Messiah
Sanctioned Annihilation
The Pallid Mask
God of the Godless
The Witch and the Christ
Drowning Dog


Matt Pike - Guitars, Vocals
Des Kensel - Drums
Jeff Matz - Bass


Greetings All,

What a year 2018 has been, killer music has been coming fast and furious from every direction. You know the moon and stars have aligned perfectly when you get a new Sleep record (and single) and a new High on Fire record in the same year. Speaking of fast and furious, you have Electric Messiah, High on Fire’s 8th record. Sleep/HoF are two sides of the Matt Pike coin. It is a big, heavy coin, with the Yin of the more laid back heaviness to the Yang of HoF’s monstrous, breakneck speed.

With Electric Messiah, Pike and company offer a fittingly immense tribute to the mighty Lemmy and Motorhead. There are quite a few moments on the album that you can feel the band channelling the spirit and power of the mighty Motorhead. The record succeeds on many levels with it’s combination of Motorhead feel and High on Fire power. The record opens with the truly Motorhead inspired ferocity of Spewn from the Earth. A killer high tempo track that does a tremendous job of setting the tone for the album. The more traditional High on Fire track(s)

Steps of the Ziggeruat/House of Enlil follows. The pace is slowed a bit with an immense drum sound and chugging riff to start the song then the band shifts the tempo a bit ominous bass heavy and more monstrous drumming. The title track follows, Electric Messiah, picks up the pace again and does a smashing job of combining the Motorhead/HoF sounds. The track is killer with breakneck punk speed and a massive double drum attack.

Sanctioned Annihilation pulls a little bit from the Sleep play-book with a bit of a meditative guitar opening before exploding with a relentless guitar and drum attack that annihilates the listener with some face melting solos. The Pallad Mask is a prototypical slab of High On Fire riffage. A massive intro brings God of the Godless to life. This monstrous track is flourished with high tempo cymbal crashes.

Another killer track comes with Freebooter and it’s breakneck pace. The speed of this song is wickedly intense with some more awe inspiring soloing. The angry and dark The Witch & The Christ comes in with an eerie, driving intensity and a big drum sound. The closer is another amazing track. Drowning Dog has a big guitar intro and an absolutely killer hook in the chorus of “Goddamn you..” The song is a massive, damning monster.

I wasn’t sure if I would hear a better record than Sleep’s massive return earlier this year, but we may have found it with Electric Messiah. High on Fire has had a complete return to form with this beast. The world is truly a better place with an inspired Matt Pike, and 2018 has given that to us. If you dig Sleep, Motorhead, or High on Fire than I cannot recommend Electric Messiah enough. Dig on it, you will not be disappointed!

- Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey

Thanks to Lisa at Hold Tight! PR for the promo. Electric Messiah will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via eOne and all good stockists from October 05th 2018.