HIGH ON FIRE and EN­SLAVED go for hea­then glory.

THE DOME, LON­DON An­themic hea­thens join forces to take you to a higher state

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Contents - REMFRY DEDMAN

ThE DomE hAs be­come one of Lon­don’s finest venues in re­cent years, and it’s packed to the rafters by the time Nor­way’s black­ened prog me­tal vet­er­ans En­sLAVED take to the stage and blast straight into Roots Of The Moun­tain from their mag­nif­i­cent 2012 opus, Ri­itiir. Three songs are taken from their lat­est al­bum, E, with Sa­cred Horse in par­tic­u­lar stand­ing out, its Mid­dle East­ern in­flu­ences and grand am­bi­tion mak­ing it sound as ma­jes­tic as the ti­tle would sug­gest. A huge cheer erupts when vo­cal­ist Grutle Kjell­son an­nounces

Isöders Dron­ing – a song never played in Lon­don be­fore, and judg­ing by the sub­lime per­for­mance, it’s dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand why it’s taken 24 years for this cut to be played in the cap­i­tal. The chanted cho­ral vo­cals of Haven­less and Grutle’s ex­per­i­men­tal ma­nip­u­la­tion of warp­ing elec­tronic sounds show­case per­fectly why En­slaved are con­sid­ered a cut above many of their peers. They end on a fre­netic All­foǫ , ðr Oðinn, a song first heard on their 1992 Yg­gdrasill demo tape. It brings their set to a sat­is­fy­ing con­clu­sion by re­mind­ing us of their roots and the pro­gres­sions they’ve made over 26-years.

An omi­nous low mur­mur an­nounces the ar­rival of tour co-head­lin­ers high on fiRE, and they ca­reen straight into an elec­tri­fy­ing ren­di­tion of clas­sic Blessed Black Wings cut Sons Of Thun­der.

Front­man Matt Pike has had a very busy 2018, what with the re­vival of stoner doom leg­ends Sleep also tak­ing up his time, but he shows no signs of fa­tigue at all, bring­ing the party through his thun­der­ous vo­cals and foun­da­tion-shak­ing riffs. High On Fire’s fu­ri­ous stoner jams are the per­fect sound­track to guz­zle beer to and, with their wall of am­pli­fiers threat­en­ing to touch

The Dome’s roof, there’s a no-non­sense vibe to their setup. Matt’s cry of “Smokin’ weed!” un­sur­pris­ingly gets a rap­tur­ous re­sponse be­fore the band steam­roller straight into a break­neck ver­sion of Car­cosa. At first, HOF ap­pear to be play­ing it safe by ig­nor­ing cuts from their re­cently re­leased eighth al­bum, Elec­tric Mes­siah, but when they do bring out Steps Of The Zig­gu­rat, it sounds colos­sal. The high­light of the set by far, though, is a mon­u­men­tal run-through of the ti­tle track from their 2010 mas­ter­piece, Snakes Of The Di­vine.

If ear-shat­ter­ing vol­ume and sludgy, tar-thick riffs sound like heaven to you, then there is no doubt that High On Fire are our elec­tric mes­si­ahs.

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