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High Fighter – ‘Live At WDR Rockpalast’

Publisher
Argonauta Records
FFO
Apostle of Solitude, Black Rainbow, Plaguewielder
Release Date
November 26, 2021
Publisher
Argonauta Records
Genre
Stoner/Sludge

After a few excellent releases, Hamburg, Germany’s High Fighter now shares a cross-section of their work thus far. Recorded with no attendees (thanks, Covid) for the iconic Rockpalast, the band turns in a powerhouse performance. The fact they were sans audience doesn’t seem to have affected them. Their delivery is earnest, energetic, and pierces the gut in just the right spots.

The music vacillates from a beautiful crush of oppression to exquisite Stoner Metal complete with interspersed Black Metal vocal stylings. Throw in a bit of cascading Sludge wrapped around a Bluesy undercurrent, and you have something truly special. An odd combo, but damned if it doesn’t work nicely. 

Within this context, the band burns through eight tracks full of heavy riffs adorned in sheets of anguish (“Black Waters”) and groove-laden trudgefests (“A Silver Heart”). Show closer “Shine Equal Dark” brims with a dark urgency. Full of brilliantly overlapping lines and angst, it conjures images of both beauty and terror.

Mona’s passionate vocals alternate between a pleading higher register to a rasping, ungodly howl. Generally, this is best suited for Black Metal, but again, somehow it works.  On ‘Live,’ her voice is pure finesse, fury, and fire.

A very solid set from a most deserving band. I encourage you to check out their previous releases as I have. An extraordinary band I will be following closely.

"A very solid set from a most deserving band"
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