High on Fire, The Art of Self Defense, Southern Lord

The Art of Self Defense

Out of print for a couple years now, the mother of all High on Fire albums finally gets the reissue treatment and it’s about goddamn time. Having gone through two labels already, Southern Lord does the world a favor by putting this back in our grubby, metal loving hands. This album is a stone cold classic, containing what few will argue are some of High on Fire’s greatest songs. “Baghdad”? “10.000 Years”? “Blood From Zion”? Motherfucking “Fireface”? These songs should be required listening. This reissue includes the two bonus cuts from the previous issue, padded with the three song self-titled demo, which is interesting for a couple listens, and a 48 page book of photos (holy shit, Matt Pike was young once!). Really, though, this is all about the album itself and what a brain-stomping album it is. The raw energy of The Art of Self Defense hasn’t abated one bit, sounding just as ferocious as it did upon its release 12 years ago. Is the re-mastering that noticeable? Not really. Is it worth springing for this a second (or third) time? Absolutely. If you’ve never had/heard this, what are you waiting for? (Southern Lord) by Andrew Lampela