Friday 5 July 2019

High Fighter - Champain (Album Review)

Release date: 26th July 2019. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Champain – Tracklisting

1. Before I Disappear
2. Shine Equal Dark
3. Dead Gift
4. Another Cure
5. Kozel
6. I Will Not
7. When We Suffer (feat. Anton Lisovoj of Downfall of Gaia)
8. A Shrine
9. Champain


Mona Miluski – vocals
Christian "Shi" Pappas – guitar
Ingwer Boysen – guitar
Constantin Wüst – bass
Thomas Wildelau - drums & backing vocals


It seems life on the road has impacted High Fighter in a huge way. As their new album CHAMPAIN has a heavier and fast-paced sound compared to their acclaimed debut album. The best way to describe High Fighter in 2019 is PISSED OFF. This is a different band that announced their arrival in 2014 with their debut EP – The Goat Ritual.

The first thing I have to mention that has changed is Mona’s vocals. I’ve never heard Mona sing Death Metal growls but here she is singing in a style that I wouldn’t expect to hear in a million years. As Mona has always sung soulful and melodic vocals with every record that she’s been involved with. I like this more aggressive style of vocals from Mona. She has a real talent for it. Though Mona doesn’t forget her Doom/Stoner Metal roots as Mona still sings plenty of clean vocals on CHAMPAIN.

Lets move onto High Fighter’s music. The guys now play a mix of Hardcore, Thrash, Doom and Stoner Metal but with a more progressive and aggressive tone. CHAMPAIN isn’t for the faint hearted and the band may actually disappoint some of their established fanbase at first. with this album. However to survive in this business you need to evolve and High Fighter have most definitely evolved.

Opening songs – Before I Disappear, Shine Equal Dark and Dead Gift – create an eerie and gloomy atmosphere where the mood can be pitch-black in places. The soaring and brutal riffs allow Mona to show her impressive vocal range on this album.

CHAMPAIN is an album that I didn’t expect from High Fighter and truth be told I expected Scars & Crosses Part 2. So it’s to High Fighter’s credit they have released something so dramatically different to their debut album.

High Fighter are highly respected and well thought of within the Doom/Stoner Metal world and the band have called in a few favours for this album. As you have Anton Lisovoj of Downfall Of Gaia fame providing vocals on the excellent song – When We Suffer. CHAMPAIN has been recorded, mixed & mastered by Jan Oberg of EARTHSHIP and GRIN fame.

HIGH FIGHTER have released a daring, bold, brutal and highly creative album with CHAMPAIN. Now it’s time for the world to be re-introduced to the heavy sounds of HIGH FIGHTER.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Mona at All Noir PR for the promo. Champain will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Argonauta Records from July 26th 2019.