High On Fire Surrounded By Thieves on 2LP
High on Fire’s classic records, Surrounded By Thieves (2002), Blessed Black Wings (2005) and Death Is This Communion (2007) are each receiving a deluxe vinyl reissue in 2013 via Relapse Records. Out-of-print for some time, each album is being released as a gorgeous 2LP-set complete with gatefold tip-on jacket.
With a heavy-handed approach and a sound that crashes like thunder, High On Fire has put the power back in 'power-trio'. Less a band than a supersonic exercise in conquest by volume and sheer heaviness, the band has burned the metal rulebook and forged a new archetype. High On Fire was formed by guitarist Matt Pike in the late summer 1998. Formed out of the need to simply play guitar again, Pike jammed with and settled on a line-up of powerhouse drummer Des Kensel and longtime guitarist friend George Rice, who made the switch to bass to round out the trio.
High On Fire got straight to the point, bashing away with a Neanderthal sense of purpose and creating hypnotic, droning waves of powerful riffs and low-end thunder of the likes not heard before. Before the band had even made it's first live appearance, labels flocked to get a piece of the trio. In the end the band chose to record with the Mans Ruin label. Their 2000 debut full-length, The Art of Self Defense, was welcome respite from commercialized rap-metal and warmed-over stoner-rock cliches of the time. The Art of Self Defense served up a rock hard, unorthodox form of modern metal cloaked in strange religious theology and the trio's style was unique, distinct, and absolutely crushing. Accolades poured in the world over.
Almost overnight, High On Fire were the unassuming heroes of the riff and the most celebrated metal band on the planet. Summer 2001 saw Man's Ruin close up shop, leaving the band with no label and no distribution. Relapse offered, the trio accepted, and found themselves a new home and new full-length effort titled Surrounded By Thieves with gargantuan songs such as "Hung, Drawn and Quartered," "Nemesis" and "Razorhoof." Burning down the pillars of time with quadrupled intensity,High on Fire inject tonal infectiousness as the mammoth, plaster-cracking guitar and throaty war cries of founding member Matt Pike interlock with elephantine bass grooves and cannon-like percussion, rarely has metal been as powerful and pure in its ability to translate primal fury and aggression.
In the summer of 2004, High On Fire entered Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago, IL with engineer Steve Albini (Neurosis, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Nirvana) to record their third full-length Blessed Black Wings. Equal parts molten metal and earthquake panic, the band's Motorhead-meets-Slayer roar is outrageously loud and absolutely punishing. Pike unleashes a devastating combination of bombastic guitar and howling vocals, weaving fantastical tales of supernatural beasts, forgotten battles and rivers of blood over an unstoppable bass and drum assault. Blessed Black Wings was named one of 2005's best releases by Kerrang!, Revolver, Pitchfork, Rock Sound, Decibel and dozens of other publications around the world. Additionally, Pike was named one of the 20 best guitarists by Rolling Stone Magazine.
In June of 2006, after a long, intense writing process, High On Fire entered Seattle's Avast 2 and Soundhouse studios with legendary producer Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden) to record their long-awaited fourth full-length, Death Is This Communion. Death Is This Communion is High On Fire's ultimate sonic masterpiece. Matt Pike's unmistakable guitar work and throaty vocals once again lead the charge, while Des Kensel's massive drumming takes on a new life and pushes the beast onward more urgently than ever. From the rampaging "Rumors of War" and "Fury Whip," through the hypnotic riffs of "Ethereal" and the album's title track, Death Is This Communion is High On Fire's masterwork.
High On Fire Surrounded By Thieves Track Listing:
1. Eyes and Teeth
2. Hung, Drawn and Quartered
4. The Yeti
1. Thraft of Caanan
2. Surrounded by Thieves
3. Razor Hoof
4. Steel Shoe