Posts Tagged ‘High Command’

High Command shares a second track from their forthcoming full length album Eclipse of the Dual Moons, arriving 25th November via Southern Lord and produced with Seth Manchester. The new track, ‘Imposing Hammers of Cold Sorcery’, is a hefty and atmospheric track which tells the story of a perilous quest. In the band’s words…

“’Imposing Hammers Of Cold Sorcery’ is a sonic conquest of ancient lore. A testimony of fortitude peering into the eyes of obliteration. Following an attack from a celestial horde, the Four Realms are cloaked in apprehension. On a fabled whim of the long forgotten Guild Of Sage, Dikeptor & the Infernal March must endure the frozen winds and scale the perilous cliffs of the Serrated Peaks. What lies beneath the clouds is a formidable mystifying power."

Swords and metal go hand in hand. That’s what crossover thrash band High Command say, having turned heads with their debut album Beyond The Wall of Desolation (2019).

“Our love for the bay area in the 80’s is certainly no secret. Besides some of the more obvious influences we have I think we were much more comfortable exploring some of the less obvious stuff we hinted at with the first record. Particularly traditional heavy metal (Dio, Mercyful Fate) the south’s interpretation of the bay area (Exhorder, Obituary, Nasty Savage, Devastation, Rigor Mortis) first wave black metal (Bathory, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost). Of course all of this executed with the discharge, Cro mags, Sacrilege DNA that runs through our veins”.

But it’s not solely metal music which influences the band, who cite the lustful violence of Robert E. Howard, Michel Moorcock, Jack Vance and many other legendary pulp writers of the 20th century as an impetus for their expansive storytelling.

“People would also be surprised to hear we drew quite a bit of inspiration from the music of Ennio Morricone, especially in regards to writing some more of the epic, grandiose passages and chord progressions.” says the band.

Now, with their second album, Eclipse of the Dual Moons, the band take their love of storytelling a step further, deepening and widening the world of Secartha, the realm of High Command’s songs. The band place themselves as omniscient narrators of the world they have created, and say that they are inseparable from Secartha and its people.

“It’s one thing to make a good metal record, but it’s another to put on top of it a sort of overarching story that makes sense to listeners. The whole High Command project is enriched by lyrics articulating characters, a world, and trials faced within it. We want our records to be immersive and leave listeners with a feeling they’ve experienced something bigger than the music.”

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Southern Lord – 4th December 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

High Command’s new release on Southern Lord drags me back to a point of debate I’ve covered variously over the twelve years I’ve been doing this reviewing thing: what distinguishes a single from an EP, an EP from an album? And aren’t EPs and mini-album’s the same thing? It may be so much hair-splitting and semantics, and about as important as genre boundaries in the scheme of things, but… well, High Command, being a crossover of thrash metal, punk, and hardcore, are a cause of consternation on that front too.

The two tracks on this digital single, which prefaces the 7” EP release due early next year via Triple B records, are fast, furious, gnarly, and there’s no question over their thrashiness.

‘Everlasting Torment’ may not be literal in its title, being a short, sharp four-minute attack of overdrive, but it does pack all the melodic fretwork, thunderous drums and mega-fast plectrum flashing of something purgatorially thrashy, while counterpart – or B-side, if you will – ‘Sword of Wisdom’ penetrated with a raft of sudden tempo changes and pierces with the lunge into a monster guitar solo.

It’s a whole lot less sludgy and perhaps less Ministry and a lot less industrial than its predecessor, although the key trappings are all in place.

However you position it, this release brings a full-range display of some pretty frenzied fretwork which is driven – hard, and fast – by a strong, dynamic rhythm section that packs all the power, and if any of it threatens to slide toward cliché, the execution and sheer brute force are more than enough.

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