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Review Sat Apr 03 2010

Review: High On Fire @ Lincoln Hall, 4/2

High on Fire's penchant for pummeling rhythms, rapidfire riffs and gruff vocals in a style that could soundtrack a pillaging has won them numerous accolades since the band formed out of the uncertainty of Sleep. But where High on Fire have typically distanced themselves from colleagues has been on the stage where they are an aural tour de force. The Oakland trio led by Matt Pike, who apparently never wears shirts on a stage, carries a tremendous presence with them when in front of an audience.

Aside from some classic heavy metal stage moves (headbanging while playing guitar vertically, grand posing on stage monitors, etc.), they don't really do a whole lot, but still command undivided attention, as long as you're one of those people not fearing for your safety at the edges of the pit. (Although, I do have to commend Lincoln Hall's security for a great job watching out for bystanders and dealing with the bullies who haunt pits.) Pike was a titan with his growling and musicianship in top form. Ex-Holy Terror/Zeke bassist Jeff Matz has clearly made a smooth transition to HoF and drummer Des Kensel simply took care of business. Half of the set consisted of songs from 2010's Snakes For the Divine with the title track and single "Frost Hammer" at the forefront. Other highlights included "Hung, Drawn and Quartered" and early track "Fireface." By the time they closed their 90 minutes with "Holy Flames of the Fire Spitter", the band seemed to have found a second wind, but left the stage leaving the crowd wanting more. And, as we all know, it's better to go out on top than overstay your welcome.

Montreal's Priestess turned in a great set of sludge/prog/psych/metal jams. (Their Rasputin-resembling guitarist was the most metal dude I saw all night.) Doom and sludge duo Black Cobra impressed with a loud tight set and lots of screaming. Unfortunately, I didn't make it for Bison B.C., but everyone was talking about them all night. Through it all, five guys front and center were having the time of their lives fist-pumping, throwing themselves into each other, headbanging like their lives depended on it and generally being rowdy in ecstasy. You can't ask for much more than that.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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