One of my favorite bands is High on Fire who are a Oakland, CA based three-piece. The band was formed by vocalist/guitarist Matt Pike, drummer Des Kensel, and bassist George Rice who was later replaced by Jeff Matz. Pike was also a founding member of the legendary stoner metal band, Sleep whom he has released five albums with between 1990 and 2003. But luckily for High on Fire fans, Pike’s efforts lately have focused on High on Fire.
The band which has been together since 1998 has released six albums the latest being 2012’s, De Vermis Mysteriis. The band’s first big release was 2001’s, Surrounded by Thieves which was an excellent record released on Relapse Records. This was followed in 2005 by the album, Blessed Black Wings. This album features one of my favorite High on Fire tracks, “The Face of Oblivion” which sounds a lot like Mastodon mixed with thrash giants, Machine Head. 2007’s Death is This Communion, featured some awesome tracks one of my favorites is “Dii” which is an acoustic intro that leads into the great track, “Cyclopian Scape.” Another key track on that album was the epic, “Rumors of War” which is definitely one of the band’s best songs.
In 2010 the band released their album, Snakes For The Devine. Production was up a notch on this record, this was largely due to the talent of legendary producer, Greg Fidelman. The album features great tracks such as “Frost Hammer” and the title track, “Snakes For The Devine.” De Vermis Mysteriis was released this year, and is a great album and an excellent follow-up to 2010’s, Snakes For The Devine. The band’s sounds the same though, remaining endlessly sludgy just like their first release, but with obviously better production quality.