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Possible album of the year - 94%

Wizardjoe, October 21st, 2007

There is no doubt about it; "Death is This Communion" is absolutely High on Fire's best effort to date. The group around former Sleep guitarist (extraordinaire) Matt Pike have indeed made what the sticker on the front claims as "their ultimate sonic masterpiece".

I bought this the day it came out, and have been listening to it more than any other CD this year - even the two previously considered to be my albums of the year - Devin's "Ziltoid the Omniscient" and Akercocke's "Antichrist". Let me tell you, this dwarfs them both! It is really easy to listen to - this must be the stoner aspect coming through strong - the production is the best they've ever had. It really flows; all of the instruments really work well together. There are loads of quality drum fills (reminds me a bit of Mastodon - no bad thing), grooving bass and of course Matt's crushing guitar. The vocals are the best I have ever heard from the man himself, again, easily comparable to Mastodon but I much prefer these.

Most of the tracks focus heavily on unstoppable grooves and quite a few thrashier sections. The layout of the songs is really well done - three mammoth tracks, followed by five short to mid-length rockers and finishing off with three more mammoth tracks. There are well placed fillers such as "Khanrad's Wall" and "Headhunter" which serve well at building up to the following tracks. "DII" is a very good instrumental track, with many epic melodies that separates the middle and concluding sections very well. Special mention goes to the aforementioned "mammoth tracks" - not one has a single boring moment, from the great intro of "Fury Whip" to the final sounds of "Return to Nod" and everything in between.

In short, this is an extraordinary album, and (along with anything I have rated over 90%) it is recommended to everyone.