Tuesday 16 April 2024

High On Fire - Cometh The Storm (Album Review)

Release Date: April 19th 2024. Record Label: MNRK Heavy. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Cometh The Storm - Tracklisting


2.Burning Down 


4.Cometh the Storm 

5.Karanlık Yol (instrumental)

6.Sol’s Golden Curse

7.The Beating

8.Tough Guy

9.Lighting Beard

10.Hunting Shadows

11.Darker Fleece



Matt Pike - Vocals/Guitar

Jeff Matz - Bass

Coady Willis - Drums


Sludge/Stoner Metal Titans High On Fire return after a lengthy six year absence with their ninth album Cometh The Storm. Teaming up once again with famed musician/producer Kurt Ballou, the band also have Coady Willis (Big Business) drumming for them since Des Kensel left back in 2019. Their 2018 album Electric Messiah saw the band reach greater creative heights which resulted in High On Fire winning the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance with their song "Electric Messiah".

Cometh The Storm sees High On Fire explore new musical highs with this record having a Middle Eastern flavour to the album especially within the more subdued and instrumental parts of the album. However, this is High On Fire we’re talking about here and they play their classic style of Thrash based Sludge/Stoner Metal grooves that made them such a well known destructive force within the global Heavy Metal scene.

Drawing upon sounds used on classic albums such as: Blessed Black Wings, Death Is This Communion, Snakes For The Divine and their last record Electric Messiah. There seems to be a more sense of primal urgency to the band’s music with Jeff Matz and Coady Willis forming a brilliantly thrilling relationship for Matt Pike to deliver his epic grooves from.

The band blast their way through an outstanding collection of opening tracks with Lambsbread, Burning Down and Trismegistus having that muscular THRASH METAL drive and Matt’s gravelled vocals being sung at a 100 miles per hour just like the music itself. The whole tone within these tracks is one of pure chaos and destruction with some epic guitar shredding that is built for METALHEADS and played by METALHEADS. The sound has a classic Speed Metal approach but one that allows the more modern sounding aesthetics breathe naturally especially within the more Progressive jams.

The lyrics feel more personal here which fully come into focus on the excellent title track Cometh The Storm with a seedy Sludgy groove that moves into dominant Stoner Metal territory the band have made their names with over their legendary twenty five year career. 

HIgh On Fire start to show their new found Psychedelic and Middle Eastern approach on the superb instrumental track Karanlık Yol (instrumental) which is a sound we haven’t heard before. I would expect to hear this style of music perhaps on a record by OM and not High On Fire. Though, it’s great to see the band trying new things and expanding their musical horizons which they used quite effectively on the later stages of the album. There’s a brooding and mysterious element to High On Fire when they add this style of music to the mix.

Cometh The Storm becomes even heavier within tracks such as Sol’s Golden Curse, The Beating, Tough Guy and Lightning Beard with a Motorhead based energy appearing at various times. This is where High On Fire perhaps play the most heaviest and loudest grooves on the whole album. Echoes of Thrash, Doom, Sludge and Stoner melodies are direct and very straight to the point which builds upto an endless cycle of violent head-banging moments.

The final two tracks of Hunting Shadows and Darker Fleece reminds me of Electric Messiah in many ways with stadium sized riffs being quite effective within the “less is more” style being used within the production side of the album. Darker Fleece is a long drawn out track with High On Fire using different levels of Psychedelic Distortion and Ambient Sounds for a slightly DOOMED out offering with various levels of different sounding vocals.

Cometh The Storm is another masterclass of Thrash/Sludge/Stoner Metal from High On Fire that will appeal to everyone within the global Heavy Metal community and cement their reputation once and for all as true legends of the scene. This will no doubt end becoming one of the definitive Sludge/Stoner Metal albums to own this year. 

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Hold Tight PR for the promo.

Cometh The Storm will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via MNRK Heavy from April 19th 2024.

High On Fire online: