Master of the sludge...
Genre: stoner / sludge
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.
(review originally posted at seaoftranquility.org)