High on Fire

Last updated
High on Fire
High on Fire.jpg
High on Fire live in 2008
Background information
Origin Oakland, California, U.S.
Genres
Years active1998–present
Labels Relapse, Man's Ruin, Koch
Associated acts Sleep, Thrones, Melvins, Zeke, Asbestosdeath, Kalas, Below the Sound
Website www.highonfire.net
Members Matt Pike
Jeff Matz
Past members Des Kensel
George Rice
Joe Preston

High on Fire is an American heavy metal band from Oakland, California, [1] that was formed in 1998. Matt Pike, the band's frontman and founder, also plays guitar for the influential stoner metal band Sleep.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the US and United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Oakland, California City in California, United States

Oakland is the largest city and the county seat of Alameda County, California, United States. A major West Coast port city, Oakland is the largest city in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, the third largest city overall in the San Francisco Bay Area, the eighth most populated city in California, and the 45th largest city in the United States. With a population of 432,897 as of 2019, it serves as a trade center for the San Francisco Bay Area; its Port of Oakland is the busiest port in the San Francisco Bay, the entirety of Northern California, and the fifth busiest in the United States of America. An act to incorporate the city was passed on May 4, 1852, and incorporation was later approved on March 25, 1854, which officially made Oakland a city. Oakland is a charter city.

Matt Pike American musician

Matt Pike is a Grammy Award winning American metal musician best known as the guitarist of the doom metal band Sleep and the frontman of High on Fire. He is well known in the metal scene for never wearing a shirt during live performances.

Contents

History

High on Fire was founded in 1998 by Sleep guitarist Matt Pike, drummer Des Kensel, and bassist George Rice (from Dear Deceased, who originally auditioned to be the band's vocalist). The band's first full-length album The Art of Self Defense was released on 12th Records, and released later on Man's Ruin Records. (The album would later be re-released by Tee Pee Records, with two bonus tracks, as Man's Ruin Records had become defunct.)

Sleep (band) stoner doom metal band

Sleep is an American doom metal power trio from San Jose, California. The band earned critical and record label attention early in its career. Critic Eduardo Rivadavia describes them as "perhaps the ultimate stoner rock band" and notes they exerted a strong influence on heavy metal in the 1990s. However, conflict with its record company contributed to Sleep's breakup by the end of the decade. The band reformed in 2009 and has played sporadic live dates internationally since. In 2018, Sleep released their comeback album, The Sciences, on Third Man Records, to critical acclaim.

Des Kensel American musician

Des Kensel is the Grammy Award winning drummer of the stoner metal band High on Fire.

<i>The Art of Self Defense</i> (album) 2000 studio album by High on Fire

The Art of Self Defense is the debut studio album for High on Fire. It was released originally by Man's Ruin Records in 2000.

In 2001, High on Fire signed a record deal with Relapse Records [2] and recorded the album Surrounded by Thieves . The album was released on May 28, 2002. After the tours promoting Surrounded by Thieves, bassist George Rice left the band and was replaced by ex-Melvins/Thrones bassist Joe Preston.

Relapse Records record label in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, United States

Relapse Records is an American independent record label based in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. It was founded by Matthew F. Jacobson in 1990. The label features a large number of grindcore, death metal, and sludge metal artists.

<i>Surrounded by Thieves</i> 2002 studio album by High on Fire

Surrounded by Thieves is the second studio album by Oakland stoner metal band High on Fire. It was their first album for Relapse Records and was produced by Billy Anderson and the band itself. "Hung, Drawn and Quartered" was utilized as the album's promotional track. It was featured on a 7" split with Mastodon's "March of the Fire Ants" and had a music video which aired on Uranium and Headbangers Ball.

Thrones is the solo project of bassist Joe Preston.

The band's next album, 2005's Blessed Black Wings , was largely written by Pike and Kensel before the recording of the album took place. The album was produced by Steve Albini, and was released on February 1, 2005. A music video was produced for the song "Devilution." [3] While touring with Goatwhore and Watch Them Die to promote Blessed Black Wings, Joe Preston left the band for undisclosed reasons, and was temporarily replaced by Zeke bassist Jeff Matz. [4] Matz finished the tour with High on Fire and became a full-time member during the recording of Death Is This Communion . Death Is This Communion was released on September 18, 2007 (September 10, in Europe).

<i>Blessed Black Wings</i> 2005 studio album by High on Fire

Blessed Black Wings is the third studio album by heavy metal band High on Fire. The vinyl version was released as a double LP and contains a bonus track, "Rapid Fire," originally by Judas Priest.

Steve Albini American record engineer and rock musician

Steven Albini is an American musician, record producer, audio engineer and music journalist. He was a member of Big Black, Rapeman and Flour, and is a member of Shellac. He is the founder, owner and principal engineer of Electrical Audio, a recording studio complex in Chicago. In 2018, Albini estimated that he had worked on several thousand albums during his career.

Goatwhore band

Goatwhore is an American blackened death metal band formed in 1997 in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.

After Death is This Communion was released, High on Fire played a small string of Northwest shows to promote it. The band did a headline tour of North America in September and October 2007, with support from the Japanese post-rock band Mono, along with Panthers and Coliseum. [5] High on Fire also played on 2008's Gigantour, [6] which was followed by a North American tour with the bands Opeth, Baroness, and Nachtmystium. [7]

Post-rock is a form of experimental rock characterized by a focus on exploring textures and timbre over traditional rock song structures, chords, or riffs. Post-rock artists are often instrumental, typically combining rock guitars and drums with electronic instruments. The genre emerged within the indie and underground music scene of the 1980s and early 1990s. However, due to its abandonment of rock conventions, it often bears little resemblance musically to contemporary indie rock, borrowing instead from diverse sources including ambient music, electronica, jazz, dub, and minimalist classical.

Mono (Japanese band) Japanese instrumental rock band

Mono is a Japanese instrumental band, formed in 1999 in Tokyo. The band consists of Takaakira "Taka" Goto, Hideki "Yoda" Suematsu, Dahm Majuri Cipolla (drums), and Tamaki Kunishi.

Panthers is an American punk rock band from Brooklyn, New York. The Village Voice described them as "groundbreaking dissonant HC (hardcore) with Rolling Stones swagger." Three members were previously in the hardcore band Orchid. Panthers have released four records. The most recent two, The Trick and Things Are Strange were released on Vice Records. Prior to that they released via Dim Mak Records and Troubleman Unlimited.

Matt live with High On Fire 2016 Matt Pike 2016.jpg
Matt live with High On Fire 2016

On December 17, 2008, High on Fire signed a recording deal with Koch Records. On August 1, 2009, it was announced that a new album would be recorded with producer Greg Fidelman. [8] Later that month, following the news of the new album, High on Fire announced a tour with Mastodon, Dethklok, and Converge. The tour spanned from October 2 to November 21. [9]

Greg Fidelman is an American record mixer, engineer and record producer. He has worked with many bands in various genres, many in the heavier rock or thrash metal genres, including Metallica, Slayer, High on Fire, Black Sabbath, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bush, Audioslave, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, and System of a Down, but has also worked on albums by U2, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond and others.

Mastodon (band) American heavy metal band

Mastodon is an American heavy metal band from Atlanta, Georgia, formed in 2000. The group is composed of Troy Sanders (bass/vocals), Brent Hinds (guitar/vocals), Bill Kelliher (guitar), and Brann Dailor (drums/vocals). Mastodon has released seven studio albums, as well as a number of other releases. The band's 2002 debut album, Remission, garnered significant critical acclaim for its unique sound. Mastodon's second full-length release, Leviathan, is a concept album based on the novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. Three magazines awarded the record Album of the Year in 2004: Revolver, Kerrang! and Terrorizer.

Dethklok animated American metal band

Dethklok is a virtual melodic death metal band featured in the Adult Swim animated television series Metalocalypse.

In August 2009, the band went into post-production of the follow-up to Death Is This Communion at The Pass Studios in Los Angeles. The album artwork for the new album was released on January 7, 2010. [10] On January 15, following the release of the album artwork, the song Frost Hammer was posted on the band's Myspace page, [11] and a video for the song was released on March 16, 2010. [12] High on Fire's fifth album Snakes for the Divine was formally released on February 23, 2010.

In March 2010, the band announced a headlining U.S. tour to promote the album; supporting bands for the tour include Priestess, Black Cobra, and Bison B.C.. [13] On April 6, 2010, the band announced they would be opening for Metallica for eight European shows. [14]

In 2010, the band was confirmed as being part of the soundtrack for Namco Bandai Games' 2010 remake of Splatterhouse. On April 3, 2012, High on Fire released their sixth studio album, De Vermis Mysteriis . Metalsucks.net reviews editor Sammy O'Hagar argued that the band has "rebounded in epic fashion" since their last album, and that "Even for a band as esteemed as High on Fire, [De Vermis Mysteriis] is a career high point." [15]

High on Fire was scheduled to play the 2012 Mayhem Festival but dropped off the tour due to Matt Pike's health. [16] Matt Pike returned to the band and they once again began touring in November 2012.

High on Fire's album Luminiferous became available in full for free streaming as a preview with NPR music on June 7, 2015, with the official release of the album nine days later on June 16. [17] Luminiferous is the second High on Fire album in a row produced by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou. NPR reviewer Adrien Begrand credits Kurt Ballou with "helping rejuvenate the band's sound" on their previous album, and praises the album as evidence of High on Fire's consistency, fueled by the "right combination of adherence to formula and subtle experimentation." [17] Dan Epstein, writing for Rolling Stone, concurs that "one could definitely make the case that [Luminiferous] is High on Fire's finest album yet." [18]

At the 61st Grammy Awards held on February 10, 2019, High On Fire won their first Grammy for "Best Metal Performance" for their song "Electric Messiah". [19] [20]

Drummer and co-founder Des Kensel announced his departure from the band on July 26, 2019. [21]

Personnel

Discography

Studio albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
US
Hard Rock Albums
[22]
Independent Albums
[22]
Tastemaker Albums
[22]
Heatseekers Albums
[22]
Top Rock Albums
[22]
Billboard 200
[22]
Top Album Sales
[22]
2000 The Art of Self Defense
  • Released: March 7, 2000
  • Label: Man's Ruin
  • Format: CD, LP, 2×LP, DL
2002 Surrounded by Thieves
  • Released: May 28, 2002
  • Label: Relapse
  • Format: CD, LP, 2×LP, DL
2005 Blessed Black Wings
  • Released: February 1, 2005
  • Label: Relapse
  • Format: CD, LP, 2×LP, DL
40
2007 Death Is This Communion
  • Released: September 10, 2007
  • Label: Relapse
  • Format: CD, LP, 2×LP, DL
2218102142
2010 Snakes for the Divine
  • Released: February 23, 2010
  • Label: E1 Music
  • Format: CD, LP, 2×LP, DL
564146363
2012 De Vermis Mysteriis
  • Released: April 3, 2012
  • Label: E1 Music
  • Format: CD, LP, 2×LP, DL
5710216363
2015 Luminiferous
  • Released: June 23, 2015
  • Label: E1 Music
  • Format: CD, LP, 2×LP, DL
2551511052
2018 Electric Messiah
  • Released: October 9, 2018
  • Label: E1 Music
  • Format: CD, LP, 2×LP, DL
5542312724

Live albums

YearAlbum detailsNotes
2005 Live from the Relapse Contamination Festival Recorded on location at the Trocadero Theatre, Philadelphia, PA, Sunday, January 19, 2003 for the Relapse Contamination Festival.
2013Spitting Fire Live, Vol.1
  • Released: June 18, 2013
  • Label: E1 Music
  • Format: CD/LP
Recorded live at the Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY on November 30, 2012 and at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY on December 01, 2012. [23]
2013Spitting Fire Live, Vol.2
  • Released: June 18, 2013
  • Label: E1 Music
  • Format: CD/LP
Recorded live at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY on December 01, 2012. [23]

Singles, EPs and splits

YearAlbumLabelNote
1999"High on Fire"12th RecordsEP
2003"Hung, Drawn & Quartered / March of the Fire Ants" Relapse Records Split with Mastodon
2005"Brother in the Wind / Gwodhunqa" Skin Graft Records Split with Ruins
2007"Relapse Single Series" Relapse Records Split with Coliseum & Baroness
2012"Speak in Tongues/Beast with a Billion Eyes" Volcom Entertainment Split with Valient Thorr
2019"Bat Salad" E1 Music Record Store Day Exclusive

Singles

YearSongAlbumLabel
2010"Frost Hammer" Snakes for the Divine E1 Music
2010"Speak in Tongues" De Vermis Mysteriis E1 Music
2012"Fertile Green" De Vermis Mysteriis E1 Music
2013"Slave the Hive" Luminiferous Scion Audio/Visual

Music videos

YearSongDirectorAlbum
2002"Hung, Drawn and Quartered"Jenny McGee Surrounded by Thieves
2005"Devilution"Gary Smithson Blessed Black Wings
2007"Rumors of War"Soren Death Is This Communion
2010"Frost Hammer"Kevin Custer Snakes for the Divine
2012"Fertile Green"Phil Mucci De Vermis Mysteriis
2013"Slave the Hive"NA Luminiferous
2016"The Black Plot"NA Luminiferous
2018"Electric Messiah" (Lyric Video)NA Electric Messiah

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References

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  2. "High On Fire - Official Relapse Records Band Page". Relapse.com. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  3. "High On Fire Complete Video For "Devilution" - in Metal News". Metal Underground.com. 2010-09-04. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  4. "High On Fire Recruit Zeke Bassist For Tour - in Metal News". Metal Underground.com. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  5. "High On Fire Announce Winter Tour Dates - in Metal News". Metal Underground.com. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  6. "Gigantour 2008 Lineup Revealed - in Metal News". Metal Underground.com. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  7. "Opeth Announces More Headlining US Tour Dates - in Metal News". Metal Underground.com. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  8. "High On Fire To Enter The Studio - in Metal News". Metal Underground.com. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  9. "Dethklok and Mastodon Announce Massive US Tour - in Metal News". Metal Underground.com. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  10. "High On Fire Reveals New Album Artwork - in Metal News". Metal Underground.com. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  11. "High On Fire Streaming New Song Online - in Metal News". Metal Underground.com. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  12. "High On Fire Posts New Music Video Online - in Metal News". Metal Underground.com. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  13. "High on Fire - new album (MP3) & 2010 tour dates w/ Priestess, Black Cobra & Bison B.C". Brooklynvegan.com. 2010-02-09. Archived from the original on 2013-11-04. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
  14. "High On Fire: announces spring tour dates with METALLICA". Centurymedia.com. 2010-04-06. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
  15. O'Hagar, Sammy. "High On Fire's De Vermis Mysteriis: The Best Metal Album With "Mysteriis" In The Title Not Made By Mayhem". Metalsucks.net. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  16. Pelly, Jenn (2012-06-08). "High On Fire Cancel Tour, Matt Pike Entering Rehab".
  17. 1 2 Begrand, Adrien. "First Listen: High On Fire, 'Luminiferous'". NPR.org. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  18. Epstein, Dan. "High on Fire Talk Aliens, Acid Trips and Why New Album 'Doesn't Suck'". Rollingstone.com. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  19. "High On Fire Win Best Metal Performance". Grammy.com. 1 February 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  20. "High on Fire Win Best Metal Performance at 2019 Grammys". Loudwire. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  21. https://pitchfork.com/news/high-on-fire-founding-drummer-des-kensel-announces-departure-after-21-years/
  22. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "High On Fire Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  23. 1 2 "High On Fire - Spitting Fire live Vol. 1 & Vol. 2". Discogs.com. Discogs.com. Retrieved 8 September 2015.