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HI-GH - Till Death and After Award winner

Till Death and After
by Daniel Fox at 01 December 2014, 9:29 PM

I’m going to say it right now: HI-GH is a fucking cool band.

These Italian Thrash/Speed/Punk/Whatever-you-want-to-call-them metallers began their journey in 2012. One EP and debut full-length later, we have “Till Death and After” in 2014. The funny thing about this band, is the excitement at first listen. It’s not often I get to experience metal like this, that carries the same kind of vibe. Mash up DESTRUCTION with CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, up the tempo a couple of notches.

Following a rather strange intro, the title track weens us into the music with a lovely 3-minute taster. If anything, they’re a proper Speed Metal act at heart, and this track is here to show it; frantic, classic Thrash riffs are played at ridiculous tempos, with memorable melody and chord progressions. I was rather surprised by the production quality, too; oftentimes I’ll hear “new old Thrash”, and it sounds like a muddy, hodge-podge mess; but the studio work put into this album is stellar; meat-and-potatoes, no frills, excellent tones all-round. This is especially evident in “Sex Machine”, which features an extensive display of the band’s repertoire as musicians; groovy, Hard Rock one minute; IRON MAIDEN-esque NWOBHM riffs the next, before we’re assaulted with an epic arrangements of melodies and cutting-edge bass lines, and back to a cannon-firing of delectable Thrash. Definitely one of the more melodic and memorable tracks on the album.

“Born Under Evil Defiance” becomes one of the Thrashier pieces on the record; something I would not expect after the bleedingly-obvious NWOBHM influences in the introductory riffs; gallops and harmonized guitar-melodies galore. Further listening pops a blister that oozes with heavy, chuggy, aggressive riffing, not too reminiscent of later MEGADETH (the GOOD later) albums; ENDGAME comes to mind. “Deal of Death”, at times, features some of the album’s fastest playing, but also contains some of the album’s best riffs, treading that thin sweet-spot between heaviness and memorability, the arrangement is truly stellar.

This is one vinyl I will be on the hunt for; it’s refreshing to see new, young Thrash bands paying homages to other genres that undoubtedly shaped the scene, but I can’t help but thinking this band could be revolutionary.

4 Star Rating

1. We Are the End of All
2. Till Death and After
3. The Russian Border
4. Sex Machine
5. Drug Your Destiny
6. Devil's Fire
7. Born Under Evil Defence
8. Your Bloody Face
9. White Car Fever
10. Deal of Death
11. Forged in Hell
12. German Metal Attack
Tommaso "Slowly" - Bass, Vocals
Marco "Psyki" - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Marco "RedEyes" - Guitars, Backing Vocals
El Tito "Oki" - Drums, Backing Vocals, Synthesizers
Record Label: Metal On Metal Records


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