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Haiku on Fire: Celebrating the return of the Vinyl Club and High on Fire’s Cometh the Storm

You’ve probably heard already, but we’ll shout it all-caps style so everyone knows: THE GIMME METAL VINYL CLUB IS BACK! Yes, our mighty monthly tradition of sending our Vinyl Club members exclusive limited vinyl variants of certified heavy hitters for just $29.99 a month (plus shipping) is returning. And we’re kicking it off with the extra-heavy slab that is Cometh the Storm, High on Fire’s first new LP in nearly six years.

Guitarist and vocalist Matt Pike formed High on Fire way back in 1998 after the dissolution of his previous band, stoner doom titans Sleep. While High on Fire’s first two albums followed a path to the smoke-filled land similar to Sleep’s, focusing on hypnotic repetition of monolithic doom riffs, third LP Blessed Black Wings saw the band injecting a heavy dose of Motorhead and the proto-extreme metal of Celtic Frost and Venom into their musical bloodstream. Cometh the Storm is High on Fire’s ninth album in a career with a handful of line-up changes and shifts in sound. We thought its release and status as the inaugural entry in the revitalized Vinyl Club was a good occasion to recap their career to date, but nine albums is a lot. So, for the sake of brevity, we turn to the Japanese art of haiku.

I’ll be real with you here: I am not a poet at all, but I’ve always appreciated the haiku form, and I’ve been comparing grindcore and powerviolence lyrics to haiku for their economy and precision of language for years. That’s probably why supermodels regularly invite me to exclusive parties. ANYWAY, once I thought up “Haiku on Fire,” I decided I had to commit to this dumb idea, so let’s celebrate the return of the Gimme Metal Vinyl Club by exploring the High on Fire catalog, seventeen syllables at a time.

The Art of Self-Defense (2000) - Get it here!

Awaken from Sleep
Grasp weathered hammer and blade
Build a new fortress

Surrounded by Thieves (2002)

“Eyes and Teeth,” “Speed Wolf”
“The Yeti” and “Razor Hoof”
Nature is metal


Blessed Black Wings (2005)

As battles rage on
The time comes when one must ask:
What would Lemmy do?


Death Is This Communion (2007)

Hi, time traveler
Matt Pike from Sleep? Dopesmoker?
He plays speed metal

Snakes for the Divine (2010)

Let’s just all pretend:
This was the last time Matt Pike
Talked about reptiles

De Vermis Mysteriis (2012)

All of these albums
Genuflect to Black Sabbath
But this one, the most

Luminiferous (2015) - Get it here!

From “The Sunless Years”:
“He’s been taking the acid”
Lyric, and review

Electric Messiah (2018)

Slow, hypnotic doom
Feels like eons ago now
Stomping on the gas

Cometh the Storm (2024)

One more shameless plug:
Gimme Metal Vinyl Club
Subscribe now or pose



—Anthony Bartkewicz