De Vermis Mysteriis
De Vermis Mysteriis.jpg
Studio album by High on Fire
Released April 3 2012
Recorded December 2011 at Godcity Recording Studio in Salem, Massachusetts, USA
Genre Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal
Length 52:19
Label E1 Music
Producer Kurt Ballou
High on Fire chronology
Speak In Tongues
De Vermis Mysteriis
Spitting Fire

De Vermis Mysteriis (Tran. Mysteries of the Worm) is the sixth studio album by the American heavy metal band High on Fire. Derived from a fictional grimoire created by Robert Bloch and incorporated by H. P. Lovecraft into the lore of the Cthulhu Mythos, along with being a concept album about Balteazeen, the Christ Twin, who sacrificed himself to give Jesus life,[1] De Vermis Mysteriis is the first High on Fire album produced by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou. The artwork would be composed by tattoo artist Tim Lehii.[2]

Background[edit | edit source]

Work would begin on High on Fire's sixth studio album in late 2011, working with Kurt Ballou of Converge at Godcity Studio in Salem, Massachusetts. Jeff Matz would speak of the production, stating: "We are really stoked about recording this album. The new songs are turning out absolutely punishing; there are some seriously sledgehammer riffs on this one! Working with Kurt has been awesome as well. He's super easy to work with and is full of good ideas. The sounds that the guy gets are ridiculous and raw as f*ck but also clear and HUGE. I think this album will capture the essence of the band really well. It's still early in the process, but so far it's sounding amazing.".[3]

Matt Pike would speak at length in an interview about the concept of the record, stating the following: "The album’s title (translation: “The Mysteries of the Worm,”) is a nod to a fictional grimoire conceived by the late, great Psycho author Robert Bloch in 1935 and later incorporated into horror master H.P. Lovecraft’s renowned Cthulu Mythos. “It’s a concept record, a little bit,” Pike offers. “I got this idea about Jesus Christ and the Immaculate Conception: What if Jesus had a twin who died at birth to give Jesus his life? And then what if the twin became a time traveler right then? He lives his life only going forward until he finds this scroll from an ancient Chinese alchemist who derived a serum out of the black lotus—which is actually in Robert E. Howard’s ‘Conan’ stories—and then he starts traveling back in time. He can see the past through his ancestors’ eyes, but his enemies can kill him if they kill the ancestor that he’s seeing through at the time. Basically, he keeps waking up in other people’s bodies at bad times. It’s kinda like that old TV show Quantum Leap. Kurt actually pointed that out to me after I told him the idea. But whatever—time travel is a killer concept.".

Details on the album would surface in February 2012,[4] with the first single "Fertile Green" on 29 February 2012,[5] with a video coming later that year.[6] De Vermis Mysteriis would officially see release on 3 April 2012, peaking at #63 on the Billboard 200 with roughly 7,400 copies sold in it's first week, [7] while also placing well on other charts (#21 on Top Rock Albums, #7 on Independent Albums, #5 on Hard Rock Albums).

De Vermis Mysteriis would receive critical acclaim. Brandon Stosuy, writing for Pitchfork and awarding an 8.2/10, would praise Ballou's production and the musicianship and sharp songwriting.[8] Jason Heller, writing for AV Club and awarding a B+, notes the H.P. Lovecraft influence by stating "It isn’t the first time Pike has translated Lovecraft into song, but on De Vermis, he’s less of an interpreter and more of a floodgate.".[9] De Vermis Mysteriis would rank #19 on Decibel's Top 40 of 2012,[10] #5 on The Obelisk's Top 20 of 2012[11] and #2 on The Obelisk's readers choice of 2012, only behind Advaitic Songs by Om.[12]

Tracklist[edit | edit source]

All songs written by High on Fire.

  • 1. Serums of Liao (6:01)
  • 2. Bloody Knuckles (4:16)
  • 3. Fertile Green (4:45)
  • 4. Madness of an Architect (6:57)
  • 5. Samsara (3:42)
  • 6. Spiritual Rites (5:08)
  • 7. King of Days (7:09)
  • 8. De Vermis Mysteriis (3:50)
  • 9. Romulus and Remus (5:04)
  • 10. Warhorn (5:27)

Personnel[edit | edit source]

  • Matt Pike - Guitar, Vocals
  • Des Kensel - Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
  • Jeff Matz - Bass, Backing Vocals
  • Ashley Redshaw - Additional Vocals (6)
  • Kurt Ballou - Engineer, Mixing, Producer; Additional Guitar (5, 10)
  • Alan Douches - Mastering
  • Tim Lehi - Album Cover Design
  • Paul Grosso - Art Direction, Design
  • Tom Couture - Photography

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

V·T·E High on Fire
Current Members Matt PikeJeff MatzChristopher Maggio
Past Members George RiceJoe PrestonDes KenselNick Parks
Studio Albums The Art of Self DefenseSurrounded By ThievesBlessed Black WingsDeath Is This CommunionSnakes For The DivineDe Vermis MysteriisLuminiferousElectric Messiah
Extended Plays High on FireSpeak In TonguesBat Salad
Live Albums Live From The Relapse Contamination FestivalSpitting Fire Live Vol. 1Spitting Fire Live Vol. 2
Associated Bands, Artists, Etc. SleepKalasDear DeceasedEarthMelvinsHarvey Milk • Zeke
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