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Good work! - 81%

Snxke, February 18th, 2005

The mastermind behind the rather controversial Sleep returns with yet another slab of doom-fury with "Blessed Black Wings" that brings the band yet another step closer to it's artistic potential. Producer Steve Albini finally gives the band the heavy mix they've needed. The vocals and guitars are finally mixed correctly, the drums circle and pound like a war party and the overall tone is one of untamed aggression. The band is inching ever so close to greatness...and this is almost (key word) as good as it gets.

The key tracks on "Blessed Black Wings" include the pummeling title track, the moody-as-all-hell "The Face of Oblivion" and the drum-heavy opener "Devilution". The rest of the material isn't as openly memorable as the above listed cuts but it all serves a strong apocalyptic vision that rumbles and quakes like the bowles of hell tearing up from the earth. Unlike most doom...this has balls of iron and DOESN'T sound like a hippy love-in.

High on Fire have a choice to become the kings of the business now or to slide into making records that lock them into a set time and place. Thankfully, the band is cooking up a hell's brew that could lead them to the promised land of metal immortality and hopefully they'll take the next step up the ladder.

Until then...listen to this broiling mess of guitars, screams and drums and party like it's the end of the world...

Buy or die!!!