HIGH FIGHTER

SCARS & CROSSES

RELEASED 10TH JUNE 2016 (SVART RECORDS)


TRACK LISTING:
1) A Silver Heart
2) Darkest Days
3) The Gatekeeper
4) Blinders
5) Portrait Minds
6) Gods
7) Down To The Sky
8) Scars & Crosses

 

OUR RATING
7.5
OUT OF 10

WORDS BY
PAUL CLARKE 

 


This sludgey heavy stoner bluescore doom five piece hailing from Hamburg in Germany are really quite a pleasant surprise.  Their inception came around in 2014 when members of A Million Miles, Pyogenesis and Buffalo Hump decided to form a project of their own. High Fighter is the result, and a pretty good one at that.

"Scars and Crosses" is the follow up to their 2014 debut EP "The Goat Ritual" that received critical acclaim from more than a few critics in the UK and European rock press.  Despite the niche market into which it was released and critiqued, I can see why they received the high praise.  As some readers will know of me, I am not a big sludge or doom fan, but this is a fresh, if a bit raw take on the genre.  What I found drawing me in is Mona Miluski's vocal, that is dripping with character and very original tone, and then there's the gut wrenching growls that appear every so often... well done Mona!  Everything seems to fit together seamlessly, and High Fighter are a fairly tight band with an ability to create an atmosphere without ever showing off once.  I think it's this ability to make what they're playing sound so effortless that is the main selling point for High Fighter and in no small part to RAMA Studios in Mannheim, especially the mixing and mastering by Toshi Kasai (The Melvins), who gives the rawness clarity with good sound levels, enabling a listener to pick out any particular track.

Overall, "Scars And Crosses" was a very pleasant and eye opening experience, in the respect that the further I delve into the sludge and doom genres the more surprisingly good acts I find.  High Fighter are most certainly one of these and appear to have come at an opportune time in which to showcase their craft.