Rolling Stone - p.723.5 stars out of 5
- "California's High on Fire dish out low-frequency terror that turns your innards to black tar."
Spin - p.108
"[R]elentless, both sonically and technically, and Matt Pike's sinister howl is bested only by his guitar brutality..." - Grade: B+
Alternative Press - p.1205 out of 5
- "BLESSED BLACK WINGS doesn't find High On Fire reinventing their sound as much as refining it, moving slightly to the left of the Black Sabbath comparisons that always follow them to a pulverizing, white-hot audio assault..."
The Wire - p.59
"BBW is an album of epic proportions and experimentation that magically welds together in a compacted Metal ball of potent energy that refuses to stop once it gets rolling."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1044 stars out of 5
- "HIGH ON FIRE deliver metal the old way, not fixed, just souped-up and supercharged."
High on Fire: Joe Preston (bass instrument); Des Kensel, Matt Pike.
Personnel: Matt Pike (vocals, guitar); Des Kensel (drums).
Recording information: Electrical Audio, Chicago, IL.
Since his early days as the creative engine behind the legendary band Sleep, guitarist-howler Matt Pike has--probably more than any other single artist--brought doom metal out of the shadows. With BLESSED BLACK WINGS, the sophomore release by his jacked-up Sleep sequel High On Fire, Pike--without sacrificing his metal cred one iota--continued to burrow into the ranks of indie kids who wanted to raise devil horns, too. Almost explicitly bridging metal and indie worlds, the Oakland trio featured former Melvin Joe Preston on bass and tapped alt-producer to the stars, Steve Albini, to man the board. Albini crystallizes High On Fire's wall of riffage on BLESSED BLACK WINGS sharpening their bong-friendly fuzz with brutal clarity. Every track is a monster. The lead-off "Devilution," the H.P. Lovecraft-inspired "Cometh Down Hessian," and the epic title cut each manifest the Sabbath-on-PCP speed, volume, and intensity that placed the trio among doom's most creative, inspiring acts.