By Bob Nalbandian

Surrounded by Thieves

Ever gotten the crap kicked out of you? Listening to High on Fire is kind of like that. Everything about this band is so familiar, from the pounding, relentless Dale Crover-ish drumming by Des Kensel to Matt Pike's sludgy, crushing guitar sound. Their sound is deep, fat and sonically overwhelming - just the way we fickle metalheads like it.

Their latest, Surrounded By Thieves, is unquestionably worth listening to. These are the guys you knew in high school and college who were always stoned but were always somehow still sharp. You'll hear pieces reminiscent of Black Sabbath, Motorhead, The Melvins - and vocally, a little bit of Prong. From "Eyes and Teeth" to "Razor Proof," the whole album sounds like one song - but man, does that song rule. Don't miss out on these guys - once you hear Surrounded By Thieves, rest assured you'll be telling all your friends about them. (Erik Fong)

Irony is a Dead Scene

Holy shit. After getting our asses kicked by the complicity of Calculating Infinity, it's hard to imagine Dillinger Escape Plan stepping up another notch, but they've pulled it off with their EP, Irony is a Dead Scene. The musicianship is better than ever, the songwriting has developed even further with more dynamics and revolving textures - plus, having Mike Patton do the vocals on your EP helps too.

There are only four songs, but the musical roller coaster that the DEP takes you on feels like a full album. The shining star on the album (in my opinion, which is really all that f**king matters) is "When Good Dogs Do Bad Things" which showcases the best of everything that both DEP and Patton are capable of. Time signatures you'll never decipher, razor-sharp musical precision complimented by Patton's trademarks yelps, screeches, screams - and of course, that eerie-sounding, radio soap opera-esque synthesizer that's on just about every album he performs on. If the DEP is capable of getting any better than this EP, the world will probably explode. (Erik Fong)

Shockwaves CD REVIEWS ISSUE 6 Page 7