- Serums of Liao
- Frost Hammer
- 10,000 Years
- Fertile Green
Release Date: 2013
It’s high time we had a proper live album from Oakland’s finest peddlers of Stoner Doom. High on Fire have grown into a formidable band since their last live release (over a decade ago) and have added more than a few essential tunes to the live show since that release. Just to demonstrate that fact, ‘Spitting Fire’ comes in two volumes, recorded late last year whilst on the road supporting the brilliant ‘De Vermis Mysteriis’ album.
High on Fire are often referred to as a “formidable live act” or something similar. Never has that well coined phrase been as true as with this band. Of course you could just describe them as loud. Very LOUD! Matt Pike’s guitar can literally drown out the rest of the band sometimes and if you see them in a room with dodgy acoustics; then you can end up with a sound akin to standing next to a quarry rock crusher for an hour.
So it’s not surprising that this collection is a little rougher around the edges than your average nicely presented live album. It is however a great snapshot of this ferocious band in the live arena with all the advantages of the mixing process bringing Jeff and Des from the background to compete with that guitar.
It results in a good balance; leaving the original grit of the shows in and making sure the songs resemble something recognisable to the original studio release.
Song-wise, there’s plenty crammed in here to satisfy all eras of the bands output. ’10,000 Years’ and ‘Blood from Zion’ are two old favourites included. A pulsating ‘Fury Whip’ is an obvious stand out track along with more recent crowd pleaser ‘Snakes for the Devine’ that closes the second volume. Most obvious however is how well the new stuff fits into the show. ‘Serums of Liao’, ‘Fertile Green’ and ‘Madness Of An Architect’ all slot in effortlessly and demonstrate just how good High on Fire are at the moment.
Matt Pike has been in rehab and had to balance resurrecting his legendary Sleep outfit with his High on Fire duties, but it doesn’t seem a problem at all. This is a real unpolished documentary of a High on Fire show, but that is exactly what High on Fire are: brash, ugly, loud but undeniably brilliant. - Rob (CackBlabbath.com)