Heavy Song of the Week: High on Fire Unleash Thunderous Frequencies on “Cometh the Storm”

Heavy Song of the Week is a feature on Heavy Consequence breaking down the top metal and hard rock tracks you need to hear every Friday. This week, the top song goes to High on Fire’s “Cometh the Storm.”

It was just Bass Week here at Consequence, so maybe I’m just hyper aware. But of the many heavy songs I’ve covered so far this year, none have awakened my subwoofer like High on Fire’s latest single “Cometh the Storm.”

It’s already a bass-centric track, composed around a phrase that bassist Jeff Matz stumbled on serendipitously while noodling in the practice room. But the crushing chorus is something else, with Matz and Matt Pike both dragging their fingers up the fretboard in unison. Anyone who’s played bass (or a downtuned guitar) knows how this technique can deliver — in Matz’s own words — a sonic “sledgehammer,” and it’s something that Pike makes use of often as a member of Sleep. It works just as well in the context of High on Fire, as proven here.

Honorable Mentions:

Anvil – “Feed Your Fantasy”

Anvil are one of the most inspiring stories in heavy metal: the underground thrash band that could. A track like “Feed Your Fantasy” would be clichéd in the hands of others; however, it reads like a self-aware anthem when delivered by Steve “Lips” Kudlow. “Make it all come true / Is what you do / Loving it too / Through and through.” Those lyrics are sung from personal experience and ring true, as the cult Canadian band prepare to drop their 20th studio album, forging ever onward despite major commercial success or widespread fame.

Darkthrone – “Black Dawn Affiliation”

“Black Dawn Affiliation” is a linear riff fest — perhaps an odd choice for a single, as Fenriz explained upon its release, but par for Darkthrone’s current compositional style. Overall, this leans more thrash-prog than atmo black metal — following the same trend as recent Darkthrone albums — and Nocturno Culto’s next riff is always just as good as his last, a necessity if you don’t intend on repeating or circling back to many of them. At this point, the Norwegian masters can just breathe this stuff out, and it remains the benchmark for black metal of an old-school vein.

Thou – “I Feel Nothing When You Cry”

NOLA sludge purveyors Thou speed things up here, foregoing trudging doom tempos for a breakneck steady groove that would be more at home in the context of post-hardcore. Yet, even at their most accessible, the band gnarls and smothers the track with layers of harshness. The skeletal elements of the song are barely legible, creating an effect of challenge where the ears and mind seek to peer through noisy haze. Far more captivating than if they’d simply left the groove out in the open.