The Goat Ritual

High Fighter

German five-piece HIGH FIGHTER, hailing from Hamburg, fall under the sub-genres of Sludge or Stoner […]
By Claire Taylor
March 11, 2015
High Fighter - The Goat Ritual album cover

German five-piece HIGH FIGHTER, hailing from Hamburg, fall under the sub-genres of Sludge or Stoner Metal; genres I am fairly new to yet curious to discover. After listening to their EP "The Goat Ritual", I was not completely convinced that I would continue to explore this genre into more depth. My first impressions were that the vocals were far too overpowering and overly intense and to put it simply, a bit all over the place. Whether this is due to my lack of understanding of this genre or not, I was not overly keen on this EP.

However, I was impressed with the musicianship in "2steps Blueskill" as it maintains crunchy and constant riffs that made it easy for me to appreciate and tap along to. After discovering that they class themselves as Bluescore, I started to understand why. This was a fascinating concept for me as I was unaware that such sub-genres existed! "Black Waters" adopts some BLACK SABBATH style guitars along with variations in vocal approaches. Although I was not impressed with this EP as a whole, I can certainly value the complexity of the music itself, yet my main criticism withstands: I found it hard to comment on the talent involved in the tracks themselves as Mona Miluski's voice was far too prominent. I cannot deny the fact that her voice itself was impressive as she was able to achieve both rough growling and Blues-style vocals with both aggression and passion. Going hand-in-hand with the smokey, thick riffing incorporated with the Blues Rock style, this EP and particularly their final track "In Veins", gives way for something pretty creative and unique.

HIGH FIGHTER certainly provides a confident approach to this unusual music style, yet for me personally, I find it difficult to get to grips with, regarding the vocals in relation to the instruments themselves. I feel that the vocal style does not match the solid musicianship. However, this could be because I am not acquainted with the likes of this specific genre. But as a first impression, I was overwhelmed with the overpowering vocals, masking the talent of the rest of the band and found that the overall tone of this EP was fairly bleak.

5 / 10


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"The Goat Ritual" Track-listing:

1. 2steps Blueskill
2. Breaking Goat Mountains
3. Black Waters
4. Fire in the Sun
5. In Veins

High Fighter Lineup:

Mona Miluski - Vocals
Christian "Shi" Pappas - Rhythm Guitar
Ingwer Boysen - Lead Guitar
Constantin Wüst - Bass
Thomas Wildelau - Drums/Backing Vocals

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