Holy Fire


Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
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  1. Feb 11, 2013
    On Holy Fire, the third album from the English band, the post-punk revival is given a newfound sense of depth, creating songs that are rhythmic enough to draw listeners, but hypnotic enough to leave listeners lost in their wide-open spaces.
  2. Feb 14, 2013
    From an American’s perspective, Foals ranks above average in the UK indie universe, with generally better singing than on the Horrors’ releases, but lacking Wild Beasts’ aversion to filler and failing to match Friendly Fires’ ratio of straight-up sing-along moments.
  3. Feb 12, 2013
    Like Total Life Forever, Holy Fire threatens greatness, and whatever disappointment comes from missing the mark is mitigated by its scope: A bomb needs to be operational more than it needs to be accurate.
  4. Uncut
    Feb 6, 2013
    Holy Fire doesn't quite unfurl its devil horns.... But the production heft from Flood and Alan Moulder, as well as the shameless but satisfying amount of delayed guitar, means it all has serious stadium credentials. [Mar 2013, p.72]
  5. Q Magazine
    Feb 8, 2013
    On this voodoo-inspired record of unfettered ambition, Foals have achieved a rare magic. [Mar 2013, p.100]
  6. Mojo
    Feb 6, 2013
    In all, a tad more mannered and staid than you'd expect from these former experimentalists. [Mar 2013, p.94]
  7. Feb 25, 2013
    Holy Fire is a collection of well-manicured tracks zoning out to a dazzling middle distance.
  8. 90
    Holy Fire brings new words to mind. Sharp. Emotive. Massive.
  9. Feb 6, 2013
    Not only is Holy Fire utterly sublime, it’s a record that’s been six years in the making.
  10. Feb 22, 2013
    Holy Fire reveals a band adept at carving out arc and terrain in its music, and demonstrates a big step forward with a newfound coherence (from track to track as well as from instrument to instrument within songs).
  11. Feb 22, 2013
    It is Foals-by-the-numbers, though, and the band's apparent lack of energy renders it cold and forgettable.
  12. Feb 8, 2013
    Holy Fire is the sound of a band utterly on form and completely on top of their game.
  13. Feb 7, 2013
    Like Total Life Forever, Holy Fire rather tails off in its second half.... Those complaints, though, are insignificant when set against the whole: an album by a British guitar band who want to win a huge audience without writing chantalongs for the drinkers' crowd, or lowest-emotional-common-denominator piano ballads.
  14. Feb 12, 2013
    Holy Fire slightly refines the agenda Foals established on Total Life Forever, and that’s certainly not a bad thing.
  15. Feb 13, 2013
    Take their third album, Holy Fire: It shreds.
  16. 70
    They clearly understand their strengths and play to them, but they also generally know when too much is too much.
  17. Alternative Press
    Feb 6, 2013
    The pristine third album from UK rhythm junkies Foals is a study in contrasts. [Mar 2013, p.8]
  18. Feb 12, 2013
    As a whole, Holy Fire is a bold effort from Foals, but like on Total Life Forever, there are few clear standout tracks admist a lot forgettable mood-setting filler.
  19. Feb 11, 2013
    It's a somewhat disappointing change of pace, but one that can nevertheless be appreciated by adjusting expectations; even if the band isn't pushing new boundaries, this new stance sort of fits them, coming across as a culmination of their previous material rather than a misstep.
  20. Mar 7, 2013
    Through their first two releases, Foals were able to showcase their evolving sound, but with Holy Fire, their evolution stops dead in its tracks.
  21. 85
    Holy Fire is Foals’ masterpiece because it ties in the rhythmic nature of their debut, the soul of the second album, producing finally the rhythmic soul of its own.
  22. Feb 6, 2013
    Foals were already a mainstream presence; now, they’ve made an album properly reflecting that status.
  23. Feb 11, 2013
    There’s plenty to commend it, but with such high expectations, it’s perhaps inevitable that this album could never live up to them.
  24. Mar 7, 2013
    Holy Fire isn’t a straight home run for the Oxford-based quintet.
  25. Mar 6, 2013
    The third Foals album doesn’t represent a huge leap forward from Total Life Forever’s formula so much as a refinement.
  26. Feb 25, 2013
    Ultimately, though, the bulk of Holy Fire is another sterling addition to Foals’ repertoire, and the band knows it too.
  27. Feb 19, 2013
    Foals remain the antithesis of a foursquare indie rock band. And yet nothing here is quite holy enough, or quite fiery enough, to live up to the album's billing.
  28. Feb 8, 2013
    From the glissandos and vertigo of 'Milk & Black Spiders' to the jounce and yawn of 'Providence', in every note and noteless space you can feel it: the physical unburdening, the personal reckoning, the fatigue and reprieve of letting go.
  29. 60
    It's a one-sided album: following the soulful “Late Night”, things plummet badly in the second half.
  30. Feb 12, 2013
    Foals haven't lost their math-rock edge; they've infused it with fun.
  31. It lacks a genuine peak like “Spanish Sahara” or “Balloons,” but it achieves greater consistency elementally, if not tonally.
  32. These songs demand attention like they demand volume; they require the space of repeat listens and the privilege of high fidelity audio presentation.
  33. If this isn't Foals' pop classic or their art masterpiece, they're having a huge amount of fun squaring that circle.
  34. Feb 12, 2013
    The rest of Holy Fire is a counter-punch to “Inhaler,” a swerve that then hits all the more powerfully for setting us up with this false start.
  35. 40
    Produced by arena rock specialists Flood and Alan Moulder, Holy Fire sounds pop sound insofar as it’s smoothed off, big and accessible.
  36. Feb 8, 2013
    Philippakis’s words are open and raw. As for their sound, it’s as vital and as fresh as ever.
  37. Feb 6, 2013
    Even when the groove lessens, doubters are liable to be persuaded by their innate knack for epic choruses.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 94 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Feb 12, 2013
    Highlights: "Milk Black Spiders", "Late Night", "Everytime" "Inhaler"
    An incredible album by an incredible band, Antidotes is amazing, it
    Highlights: "Milk Black Spiders", "Late Night", "Everytime" "Inhaler"
    An incredible album by an incredible band, Antidotes is amazing, it has amazing songs and sounds that get stuck in your head for a while and you can listen to most of the songs any time, but it was missing something, Soul. Total life Forever answered that with an incredible amount of soul and epicness (if that exists) in the album. But Holy Fire is a combination of both, an album with songs that get stuck in your head, but also have soul and they all mean something, they all are good, it had been a while since I had heard an album with 11 perfect songs.
    Full Review »
  2. Feb 12, 2013
    I think Foals' best album to date. It just feels... complete. I'll admit I didn't found it as inspired as Antidotes (still my favouriteI think Foals' best album to date. It just feels... complete. I'll admit I didn't found it as inspired as Antidotes (still my favourite album), but they finally managed to gave form and style to their kind of music. The result is a rough, hard sound with echoing melodies, and it's gorgeous.
    Sure someone will hate this. I think it's a matter of tastes, since technically speaking, Total Life Forever is probably better than this "tripping experience", and there are no really incisive hits (Inhaler is the only exception).
    Anyway, I highly recommend to listen to it if you liked their previous albums.
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 28, 2015
    I believe this is one of my favorite albums of all time ,its a real masterpiece and every song will make you think a lot. the lyrics areI believe this is one of my favorite albums of all time ,its a real masterpiece and every song will make you think a lot. the lyrics are beautiful,meaningful and deep,and just the sound of the music makes me shiver because of how amazing and powerful it is,its the kind of music that touches your heart and makes you more relax and at peace about everything,personally i think its one of the best albums out there,so please do yourself a favor and buy it,you will not regret it Full Review »