High on Fire

The words High on Fire are practically synonymous with the phrase heavy metal at this point. Matt Pike (ex-Sleep) and his band of not-so-merry men have been slinging heavy metal thunder since 1998, and they've continually set the bar higher and higher for not only themselves, but for the metal community at large. When the trio dropped Arik Roper's gorgeous album art for their forthcoming LP, 'Snakes for the Divine,' we could hardly wait to get our first taste of the accompanying audio that was sure to soon follow.

Well, that day has arrived. Yesterday, High on Fire released a track from 'Snakes' to connoisseurs of heavy around the world. And let us be the first to tell you: this is heavy as heavy was meant to be. The track, 'Frost Hammer,' is just as primal and pounding as fans of the band have long been conditioned to expect.

The band sounds tighter than ever before, but at the same time they're exploring new territory with the song's middle section -- a metric modulation into a swirling, psychedelic part more akin to Mastodon than Motörhead. This interlude serves to temper the aggression of the rest of the song, leading to a much more dynamic listening experience than songs such as 'Fury Whip,' the lead track off 2007's hailed 'Death Is This Communion."

'Snakes for the Divine' was recorded at The Pass Studios in Los Angeles with producer Greg Fidelman (Slayer, Metallica) and drops Feb. 23 via E1 Music.