Since the Oakland power trio’s inception in 1998 they’ve released six earth-splitting albums, each seemingly more unstoppable than the last. Forever haunting the halls of the Iommic Temple—the band’s own philosophical monument to Black Sabbath riff master Tony Iommi—High On Fire have become legends in their own time. As bong-huffing genre music rises and falls around them like so much windborne detritus, guitarist/vocalist Matt Pike, drummer Des Kensel and bassist Jeff Matz comprise the all-seeing eye of a perpetual riff-storm, always looking toward a future in which The End is always near.
After unleashing one of the most momentous debuts in the history of heavy music with 2000’s The Art Of Self-Defense, High On Fire doubled down in 2002 with the absolutely punishing and instant classic Surrounded By Thieves.
“Surrounded By Thieves pushes drones to its limits, with a crushing wall of bass tones guaranteed to alter heart rhythms and weaken building infrastructures,” they gushed, before adding the obvious disclaimer: “If you’ve never experienced street drugs, it’s a safe bet you probably won’t enjoy this album.”
And the hits just kept on coming: High On Fire’s 2005 album, Blessed Black Wings, was named one of the top 50 albums of the 21st century by prominent UK music weekly Kerrang! In 2007, the band’s Death Is This Communion ranked # 3 on Revolver magazine’s year-end list, while landing the #4 spot in Total Guitar. That same year, Matt Pike was named one of rock’s “New Guitar Gods” by Rolling Stone.
2010 saw the release of Snakes For The Divine.
“The title ‘Snakes for the Divine’ is based on the premise that Adam and Eve weren’t the first people on Earth, and Adam actually having a wife that was a Reptilian named Lilith. They were the first two people to actually take the reptilian DNA, and make shape shifting human beings that go between the fourth-dimensional, the Anunnaki, and human beings. Eventually, from ancient Mesopotamia, this spawned a thing called the Illuminati – the enlightened ones – coming up through the centuries, and choosing the kings, controlling your media, controlling your banking, blah blah blah. It’s just theory at most points. I thought it’d make a great metal song, so I just went ahead and started writing about that. That’s how the record came about, as far as the theme..”
Fast forward to 2012 and High On Fire’s new album, De Vermis Mysteriis. Produced by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou at God City Studios in Salem, MA, the record marks the next devastating chapter in High On Fire’s gloriously unhinged metal saga. “It’s a fuckin’ awesome album,” Pike enthuses. “I think it’s kind of a cross between the experimentation of Death Is This Communion and the driving darkness of Blessed Black Wings. There’s plenty of thrashy stuff, but there’s also a lot of Sabbathy doom-type stuff.”
“We didn’t try to plan it all out this time,” he adds. “We kind of waited ’til we were on the spot and had to do something. We had the basic skeletons of the songs—we were prepared—but there was a lot of improvisation. There’s a lot of soul on this one, and it’s got a rollercoaster kind of feel.”
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.
„Des, Jeff and I are really getting creative and writing a hell of a new record. It’s a crazy project and I can’t really explain what it’s all about just yet, but we’ve been writing a lot of crazy intense material that will up the ante, and bring things to another level.“
„Everyone is asking what the new High on Fire music sounds like“, adds Kensel. „Chew on some mescaline and listen to side B of Sabbath’s ,Master of Reality‘ backwards at 78 RPM and it might give you an idea.“
guests to be announced
Arena Vienna / big hall / adv 19 € / doors 24 € / 20.00h