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Highgate : Shrines to the Warhead

It begins with a quote that tells us there are wild men and women spread among the mountain ranges of the United States, collected together in tiny sects worshiping the Lord in weird ways. Dedicated to bizarre passages in the Bible, they take up serpents, drink poison, and speak in tongues. Highgate is back.

The mighty Highgate returns with Shrines to the Warhead and continue to do what they do best--create interesting Doom. What I like about Highgate is that they are interesting. Their last release was an hour-long track about nuclear war—this one, religious cults. Subject matter, songwriting, Highgate entertains.

‘Holy Poisoning’ is a thick field of power chords concluded with a slumbering riff. ‘Of Ruins’ is signaled by a change in guitar tone. What once was a thick, distorted hammer, now sounds like a forest of cicadas on a blistering summer morning. ‘Of Ruins’ ends with a low-key jam-out with a bare-bones piano. Highgate has definitely evolved and improved.

The vocals are evidence of that for one thing. I enjoyed the vocals on the last Highgate record, but at times they did resemble Gollum from Lord of the Rings. The vocals are deeper and less abrasive on Shrines to the Warhead and resemble those of Grief which is good for the band. Change. Evolution.

The Black metal influence seems to have eroded from the crux of Highgate’s sound and is now taking a backseat to the minimalist riffing. That’s cool though. The band values their riffs, playing them to their fullest potential, and at times it has the vibe of Earth.

If you like Doom metal you need to be into Highgate. Their creating great stuff. Tunes that are interesting and moody, and never boring. Kind of like the devoted freaks of religion who let themselves be bitten by snakes.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Burning Venom Fire
2. Holy Poisoning
3. Of Ruins
4. Warhead Rise

Duration : Approx. 42 minutes

Visit the Highgate bandpage.

Reviewed on 09-07-2010 by Mark Breckles
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