High on Fire 

With Mastodon, Keelhaul, and Stepsister. Saturday, July 6, at the Grog Shop.

High on Fire, at its best, is better than Sleep. In stoner metal, that's sacrilege, but it's the truth. Former Sleep guitarist Matt Pike, freed up to do his own thing, has discovered new subterranean realms in this ferocious power trio. On HOF's two CDs, 2000's The Art of Self Defense (Man's Ruin) and the brand-new Surrounded by Thieves (Relapse), his riffs carve through the air like concrete slabs dropped from 30 stories. The drums rumble and crash, and the vocals are pure hell, roared and grumbled in tones that sound like Tom Waits imitating Lemmy. This is crude, savage stuff, capable of inducing the kind of atavistic pleasure only the best bands inspire.

High on Fire's live rep is sterling, too. Songs like "Eyes & Teeth" -- which, on wax, is a guitar overdose that'll rattle the listener's teeth loose -- are tailor-made for mosh-pit self-destruction. When combined with High on Fire's already-legendary volume, the result is one of the greatest live shows in current metal. If High on Fire's members keep up this pace and quality, they'll be gods five years from now.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

More by Phil Freeman


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Cleveland Comedy Festival @ Playhouse Square

    • Wed., Nov. 29
  • Brandon T. Jackson @ Improv Comedy Club & Restaurant

    • Thu., Nov. 30
  • Tom Papa @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Nov. 30

© 2017 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation