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June 25, 2024

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High On Fire
Surrounded By Thieves (Relapse Records)

By: Jeb Branin

HIGH ON FIRE is a new (?) project from Matt Pike of SLEEP. If you, like me, often pine for the dirty and gritty sound of 80s extreme Euro-thrash then buying, begging, borrowing or stealing "Surrounded By Thieves" should move to number one on your "to do" list. Everything from the bone-powdering riffs to the gargled vocals to the thick and raw production harkens to the mighty speed metal of days gone by. If you held a gun to my head and forced me to do a "sounds like" comparison I might be tempted to use references like ARTILLERY, SABAT, DEATHROW or ASSASSIN but, truth be told, the band that leaps to mind the most often is early CELTIC FROST especially because HIGH ON FIRE understands, as CELTIC FROST did, that playing fast is not the key to good thrash metal.
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