High On Fires new album, De Vermis Mysteriis. Produced by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou at God City Studios in Salem, MA, the record marks the next devastating chapter in High On Fires gloriously unhinged metal saga. I think its kind of a cross between the experimentation of Death Is This Communion and the driving darkness of Blessed Black Wings. There is plenty of thrashy stuff, but there is also a lot of Sabbathy doom-type stuff. Matt Pike enthuses.
We didn t try to plan it all out this time, he adds. We kind of waited til we were on the spot and had to do something. We had the basic skeletons of the songs we were prepared but there was a lot of improvisation. There s a lot of soul on this one, and it s got a rollercoaster kind of feel.
The album s title (translation: The Mysteries of the Worm, ) is a nod to a fictional grimoire conceived by the late, great Psycho author Robert Bloch in 1935 and later incorporated into horror master H.P. Lovecraft s renowned Cthulu Mythos. Its a concept record, a little bit, Pike offers. I got this idea about Jesus Christ and the Immaculate Conception: What if Jesus had a twin who died at birth to give Jesus his life? And then what if the twin became a time traveler right then? He lives his life only going forward until he finds this scroll from an ancient Chinese alchemist who derived a serum out of the black lotus which is actually in Robert E. Howards Conan stories and then he starts traveling back in time. He can see the past through his ancestors eyes, but his enemies can kill him if they kill the ancestor that he is seeing through at the time. Basically, he keeps waking up in other peoples bodies at bad times. It s kinda like that old TV show Quantum Leap. Kurt actually pointed that out to me after I told him the idea. But whatever time travel is a killer concept.