While Matt Pike performed with his other monumental metal group Sleep at the Roadburn Festival over the weekend, his mainstay project High on Fire celebrated Record Store Day 2019 by releasing the EP Bat Salad featuring one original offering (the title track) alongside covers of songs by Bad Brains and Celtic Frost.
The title cut, a thunderous instrumental that stretches the trio's riff-making wings into uncharted heavy but experimental territory, stretches over five and a half minutes of meandering, feculent territory before an extended war cry leads directly into the unmitigated fury of Celtic Frost's "Into the Crypts of Rays."
Roaring in his best Tom G. Warrior bellow, Pike conjures perhaps his throatiest demonic performance yet for the whiplash-inducing rendition of the song. Faithful enough while incorporating the hesher's unmistakable tone and attack on the axe, the song explodes in a fiery hellscape before coming down seamlessly into punk-as-fuck Bad Brains tune "Don't Bother Me."
Sounding stately and gruff, the group dirty up the original their signature wall of fuzzy, distorted doom. Even through the murky haze of their stoned-in-unison choruses, High on Fire never cease to pile on their singular sound thick, taking the cover songs and creating something wholly new and exciting.
Bat Salad is available now via eOne Records. Copies were limited as a Record Store Day exclusive, but Rough Trade will be selling their leftover units on April 20th at this location. Hear it above in full.