High on Fire's last disc, Death is This Communion, was a masterpiece and their best release to date by a wide margin. From the pure pummel of "Fury Whip" to the classic doom of the title track to the Motorhead-done-one-better of "Rumors of War," it showed off the full range of the band's skills. Coming on its heels, Snakes for The Divine can't help but suffer by comparison. The album gets off to a great start with the monster title track, which features a great lead-in and a hooky chorus and feels if anything a bit too short at a little over 8 minutes. After that, though, the rest of the songs are middle of the road for this band, and one gets the impression they took it a little easy on this one. To spotlight one difference, Death is This Communion featured instrumentals which functioned as nice respites from the heaviness but also as effective bridges between songs. This disc includes only one instrumental in the middle of the album and it comes across as exactly that, an instrumental thrown into the middle of the album. All that said, a mediocre High on Fire album is still better than 95% of the metal out there, so hell yeah it's recommended. Diehards should just come in with muted expectations. [E1]
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