Just because you like playing heavy doesn’t mean that you have to play slowly. Jusk ask MattPike, main man in Oakland’s metal mongering outfit High On Fire who’s been making a hell of a racket for 20 ongoing years.
Pike first fronted the seminal stoner band Sleep who preferred things slow and psychedelic. In High On Fire, he and his two fellow noise-makers spit out Black Sabbath-style riffing at thrash tempos.
High On Fire have proven themselves stalwarts of a sort of classicist heavy metal that can be traced back to genre pioneers like Motörhead (one of Pike’s gods). And High On Fire is indeed one of the most punitive and muscular power trios since late Lemmy’s band. They have helped bring heavy music into the 21st century via their sonic beatdown of doom and stoner metal (sped up).
High On Fire has released eight albums. Their latest, Electric Messiah, came out in 2018. They have been working with Kurt Ballou (Converge guitarist and masterful metal engineer) for the past three albums and he has wrapped them in the right sludgy, powerful sound that their riff-ladden metal needs.
The band won their first Grammy in 2019 for ‘best metal performance’, beating other mainstream darlings. If you ask us, it’s much-deserved because you don’t find many bands out there who give everything they’ve got when playing live like High On Fire does.
There’s a reason why their live albums are called Spitting Fire Live, because it sort of feels like it. Standing amongst a megalithic formation of amplifiers, Matt Pike and bassist Jeff Matz unleash a sonic fury strong enough to rattle the bones of even the most seasoned hesher. The sheer volume alone makes their live shows an experience, and it adds to the band’s titanic aesthetics. High On Fire has found a new drummer in Chris Maggio (Wear Your Wounds) who knows plenty about hammering out massive, monster grooves.
You will be high on bare-bones, fast and furious metal from the experienced hands of High On Fire when they return to Roskilde Festival.