Rating:
9.0
High On Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis
3 April 2012


01. Serums Of Liao
02. Bloody Knuckles
03. Fertile Green
04. Madness Of An Architect
05. Samsara [feat. Kurt Ballou]
06. Spiritual Rites [feat. Ashley Redshaw]
07. King Of Days
08. De Vermis Mysteriis
09. Romulus And Remus
10. Warhorn [feat. Kurt Ballou]
11. Speak In Tongues [Japanese bonus]


Here's something not many bands can pull off; 6 albums, none of which suck. While there's not too much re-imagining going on here, it definitely seems like High On Fire have found a nice little crossroads of all their best aspects. In fact, De Vermis Mysteriis makes a lot of their previous recordings almost sound like beta testing.

You all remember Snakes For The Divine? Of course you do. It was a pounding, blistering sludge clinic, cram packed with varying tempos exploring both sides of the sludge coin; fast and noisy, or slow and crushing. De Vermis Mysteriis takes the variation found in Snakes..., but uses the more fitting sludgier production from their earlier works (albeit a little clearer), and ties it all together with some slightly more consistent song writing. To boot, Matt Pike's voice isn't nearly as irritatingly strained and shrill this time around, revisiting his smoky, gravelly side we'd all missed.

This basically sounds like a whole lot of nit-picking what is essentially another High On Fire release, not too different from the rest, right? In a sense, it is true...Yet somehow they've managed to create something here that should come to surprise even the long-time fans without abandoning their signature sound. The greatest example of this lies in "King Of Days", possibly the most melodic of their career, so butt-clenchingly epic it seems like it belongs in one of those slow-mo montage trailers for a Zack Snyder movie.

What does this all add up to for all the folks who haven't been keeping tabs on this bands career? Well, for once showing up to the party late might have actually paid off, because this is arguably their best album yet. It's just a fantastic display of gritty, heavy sludge metal that covers both the massively crushing, plodding monolithic speed and some frantic, break-neck paced stuff...and everything in between. There's not really many other ways to describe it. It's just ugly, dirty ass metal.

This is High On Fire balancing all their best features perfectly, while some long-time fans (this reviewer included), may not place it above previous albums due to sentimental reasons, most people tuning in now should find very little reason to not put this at #1.


Band profile: High On Fire
Album: De Vermis Mysteriis


 



Written on 17.04.2012 by
Doc Godin
Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.
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Marcel Hubregtse - 19.04.2012 at 15:46  
Written by UnknownCheese on 19.04.2012 at 14:42

Don't often see people not cock slobber all over this band. Good, cause they're boring; but so is stoner metal.


what has stoner metal to do with High On Fire? Oh wait... nothing at all
UnknownCheese - 19.04.2012 at 16:03  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 19.04.2012 at 15:46

Written by UnknownCheese on 19.04.2012 at 14:42

Don't often see people not cock slobber all over this band. Good, cause they're boring; but so is stoner metal.


what has stoner metal to do with High On Fire? Oh wait... nothing at all


Stoner metal is boring. High On Fire play stoner metal. Hence, High On Fire are boring.
!J.O.O.E.! - 19.04.2012 at 16:04  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 19.04.2012 at 15:46


what has stoner metal to do with High On Fire? Oh wait... nothing at all

Never understood why HOF get labled as stoner by so many. Maybe the relation to Sleep. Other than that it's a mystery.
Marcel Hubregtse - 19.04.2012 at 16:05  
Written by UnknownCheese on 19.04.2012 at 16:03



Stoner metal is boring. High On Fire play stoner metal. Hence, High On Fire are boring.


They don't play stoner metal at all. There is totally no stoner in their music.
Marcel Hubregtse - 19.04.2012 at 16:06  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 19.04.2012 at 16:04

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 19.04.2012 at 15:46


what has stoner metal to do with High On Fire? Oh wait... nothing at all

Never understood why HOF get labled as stoner by so many. Maybe the relation to Sleep. Other than that it's a mystery.


I think it has indeed to do with the Sleep link. But it seems people are labelling all sorts of bands stoner when in fact they have nothing to do with stoner at all
UnknownCheese - 19.04.2012 at 16:14  
Has nothing to do with Sleep. It has to do with High On Fire playing stoner metal. Granted, they're more agressive than most of the poffer bands in the genre.
Marcel Hubregtse - 19.04.2012 at 16:15  
Written by UnknownCheese on 19.04.2012 at 16:14

Has nothing to do with Sleep. It has to do with High On Fire playing stoner metal. Granted, they're more agressive than most of the poffer bands in the genre.


they don't play stoner metal at all. The play sludge which is a different beast.
!J.O.O.E.! - 19.04.2012 at 16:19  
Written by UnknownCheese on 19.04.2012 at 16:14

Has nothing to do with Sleep. It has to do with High On Fire playing stoner metal. Granted, they're more agressive than most of the poffer bands in the genre.

It's no wonder you don't like stoner if you can't even differentiate between that and sludge. You clearly don't listen to much of either. This album isn't even a borderline both type of record. It's straight up sludge.
UnknownCheese - 19.04.2012 at 16:27  
I wouldn't say I didn't like stoner if I hadn't listened to it; and of course I don't listen to much of it, I don't like it.

But yeah, these guys aren't sludge metal. You have a weird definition of sludge, especially if you think this album is straight up sludge.
!J.O.O.E.! - 19.04.2012 at 16:34  
Written by UnknownCheese on 19.04.2012 at 16:27

But yeah, these guys aren't sludge metal. You have a weird definition of sludge, especially if you think this album is straight up sludge.

Go listen to some actual stoner then come back and try again ;]
UnknownCheese - 19.04.2012 at 16:41  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 19.04.2012 at 16:34

Written by UnknownCheese on 19.04.2012 at 16:27

But yeah, these guys aren't sludge metal. You have a weird definition of sludge, especially if you think this album is straight up sludge.

Go listen to some actual stoner then come back and try again ;]


Stoner sucks, as High On fire have demonstrated, so no.
!J.O.O.E.! - 19.04.2012 at 16:41  
Written by UnknownCheese on 19.04.2012 at 16:41


Stoner sucks, as High On fire have demonstrated, so no.

I'm sorry you hate sludge music. Time to move on I guess.
Marcel Hubregtse - 19.04.2012 at 16:42  
Written by UnknownCheese on 19.04.2012 at 16:41



Stoner sucks, as High On fire have demonstrated, so no.


One more time. High On Fire do NOT play stoner (no matter what Metal Archives says) they DO play straight up sludge.
musclassia - 19.04.2012 at 17:01  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 19.04.2012 at 16:42


One more time. High On Fire do NOT play stoner (no matter what Metal Archives says) they DO play straight up sludge.


Tbf don't blame Metal Archives when MS itself says:
"1998- Stoner metal"
On the High On Fire page
Marcel Hubregtse - 19.04.2012 at 17:09  
Written by musclassia on 19.04.2012 at 17:01



Tbf don't blame Metal Archives when MS itself says:
"1998- Stoner metal"
On the High On Fire page


Aaarrrggghhhh
afu - 19.04.2012 at 23:11  
I just looked at Cheese's empty profile and noticed that every post he's made on this site is troll-o-licious. Perhaps, we should stop feeding him.
Merchant of Doom - 20.04.2012 at 11:41  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 19.04.2012 at 17:09

Written by musclassia on 19.04.2012 at 17:01



Tbf don't blame Metal Archives when MS itself says:
"1998- Stoner metal"
On the High On Fire page


Aaarrrggghhhh



That's because HoF's previous releases had a more stonerish vibe to it. "De vermis" is straight sludge, though.
Lit 2.0 - 21.04.2012 at 17:34  
I barely even listen to anything relating to it, and I even I can tell that is not Stoner metal. That is straight up Sludge metal with complementary Lemmy vocals.
Spirit Molecule - 30.04.2012 at 11:22  
I would say that HoF do have some stoner influence, especially in their earlier albums, but I don't think this one had any stoner in it, well at least from what I heard of it. Debating whether a band is genre A or genre B is generally quite stupid, as long as you think it sounds like something you would listen to again, well and good, if not, who cares, move on.
Lustful Maid - 25.10.2013 at 13:57  
Listening to this album made me felt like drinking a full glass of ketch-up while eating french fries.
deadone - 16.07.2014 at 08:25  
Written by BitterCOld on 18.04.2012 at 19:53


as for "lowest common denominator" - not everything needs to push the extremity to 11 to be good.



Too true amigo.

I'm hoping their next album is better than De Vermis Mysteriis which was a real step back for me in terms of song writing compared to previous 3 albums.

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