*This is part of the Epicenter Festival Spotlight segment where we help you get to know some of the non-headlining bands performing at the festival. This week we introduce you to High On Fire!*
If you are familiar with High On Fire you will be in agreement that it’s hard to believe they are billed earlier in the day on the inaugural Epicenter Festival lineup. The mastermind behind the band is of course Matt Pike known famously as one of the best doom guitarists ever from his work with his other band Sleep. He formed High On Fire in 1998. Pike is a talented musician that has a huge discography between his bands. With Sleep he has released 5 albums and one EP, and with High On Fire he has released 8 studio albums and 1 live album. He was also a part of the bands Asbestosdeath (which was was an early incarnation of Sleep) and Kalas who combined have released 2 EPs and 2 albums. The one area where High On Fire differs is that Matt Pike in addition to playing guitar also is the vocalist as well. His vocal style is gritty, raw, aggressive and it’s impossible to not thoroughly enjoy. The bands most recent album is ‘Electric Messiah’ which released in October via Eone Music and the album has been on nearly everyone’s best albums of the year list. In addition to that successful album High On Fire has also been nominated for a Grammy for Best Metal Performance. With the nomination they are joining some legendary past nominees like Metallica, Motörhead, Faith No More and TOOL, this is the first time the band has been nominated in their twenty-year career. In regards to their nomination the band had this to say: “We are so honored to be appreciated by our peers,” says vocalist and guitarist Matt Pike. “We love and live our art.” “It doesn’t matter whether we win or not,” says drummer Des Kensel. “It’s just an honor to be recognized for our hard work and sacrifice after devoting our whole lives to music.” Finally, bassist Jeff Matz adds, “This is pretty mind-blowing. We’re beyond thrilled about the nomination. We all put a lot of sweat and sleepless nights into writing and recording this album. It’s amazing that our efforts are being recognized in this way.” On February 10th High On Fire won that Best Metal Performance Grammy for their album ‘Electric Messiah’ beating out other metal powerhouses Between The Buried And Me, Trivium, Deafheaven and Underoath. With that much talent in one category it certainly shows you the talent that High On Fire will bring to the Epicenter stage. Continue reading →
Just as every year seems to do 2018 was filled with tons of tremendous albums by music veterans and also new up and coming bands. It seems to get harder and harder every year to narrow it down to 10 albums that really impressed you when you have heard an innumerable amount albums. Some of the albums that almost made my list varies from some old school legacy acts to some up and coming acts that are more on the underground side. Greta Van Fleet’s album ‘Anthem of the Peaceful Army’ was great but just didn’t make the cut with so many other great albums released this year. Sleep put out an amazing album but I’m much more of a High On Fire fan. Another band that has made my top 10 in previous years is Shit The Cow, their new album ‘When In Caracas’ was still amazing but a slight step away from what I thought was near perfection on their previous records. Of course there was also some heavy hitters that released albums that I loved like Behemoth, Judas Priest, At The Gates, Parkway Drive and Architects. I think sometimes the unknown or new bands have an advantage because you go into the listening experience with no expectations and they blow you away, versus these legendary acts who have to one up their previous masterpieces. My personal taste in music is very varied, what on my list do you agree with or what do you think is missing?
The newly named EPICENTER FESTIVAL replaces Carolina Rebellion as the Carolina’s premiere rock and metal festival. The festival will still take place in early May on May 10th thru 12th. However, the location has changed and will now be held in Rockingham, North Carolina at the Rockingham Festival Grounds where Carolina Rebellion was originally held in its early years. The location change also brings with it some additional advantages for the festival. DWP has stated “With the move to our new site, we’re developing 140 acres into festival grounds, which will allow us to provide enhanced camping amenities, nighttime entertainment with no curfew, and expanded food and beverage offerings, all highlighted by a massive music lineup covering the spectrum of rock and alternative music.” Today the full lineup was released for the festival. We had several teasers which hinted at some acts like Tool, Korn and Judas Priest, so those headliners we certainly expected to be listed on the lineup. Continue reading →
Oakland, California, metal veterans High on Fire have just announced dates for the Electric Messiah Tour 2019 in support of their newest LP. Last month, the band’s eighth studio album ‘Electric Messiah’ (which you can grab here) was released to much critical acclaim, including being named as one of 2018’s top albums by both Loudwire and Revolver. Continue reading →
High On Fire are back with their 8th full-length release, Electric Messiah. This follows up their 2015 release Luminiferous via Entertainment One Music. With Sleep’s triumphant return on the stoner holy day of 4/20 and this new album, it has been quite a year for vocalist/guitarist Matt Pike. As far as this record Pike explains, “This is by far the best record I’ve ever made with the High on Fire stamp. It just keeps getting better and better. We just try to outdo ourselves. I’m not saying the old work is progressively worse, it’s just that we get better every time instead of burning out, which is a common finality for a lot of bands. This album is fucking excellent, I just love everything on it, I’m not bummed about anything. It’s great when you think that about your record.” This is their third release done with producer Kurt Ballou (Converge, Torche, Kvelertak), creating a strong bond with the three-piece. Now with more than a decade as unit with Jeff Matz on bass and Des Kensel on drums, this is some of High On Fire’s best work. Continue reading →
Southern stoner metal heroes Weedeater are hitting the road again for another U.S tour (dates below). The tour begins June 24 at Maryland Doomfest and ends in their home state of North Carolina. Bringing along Zeke, Unsane (on select dates,) and Sierra this tour is sure to be a trip!
Since their debut album …And Justice For Y’all Weedeater has brought stoned goodness to the metal masses. With such critically acclaimed records as Sixteen Tons, God Luck And Good Speed, and Jason… The Dragon Weedeater are force to be reckoned with on stage and in the studio. Travelling the world with such acts as High On Fire, The Melvins, and Saint Vitus they have made a name for themselves in the doom-filled corners of metal. To keep up to date on Weedeater, follow them on their website or Facebook. Continue reading →
The UK’s premier independent festival Desertfest London returns over the May bank holiday (May 4th-6th) with what can only be described, as unquestionably it’s most biggest and broadest line-up yet!
Now in its 7th year, the festivities will take place across multiple venues in London’s Camden Town including the famous Underworld and breathtaking Roundhouse. With over 70 acts announced across the whole metal spectrum, together with the biggest names in sludge, doom and psych!
Not only that, as par tradition Desertfest will be holding their annual pre-festival party at The Black Heart on May 3rd featuring a full headline set by North Carolina’s A.S.G and London’s own Flash House as support! (Pre-festival tickets here)
Read below for full headliners and bands that are not to be missed! (Full weekend line-up follows article. Weekend and day tickets available here). Continue reading →
It appears that the rumors from early this morning are true. Ozzfest Meets Knotfest is absolutely stacked this year! The festival went extremely heavy this year booking acts such as Possessed, The Black Dahlia Murder, Goatwhore, Decrepit Birth, Code Orange, and many more incredible acts. This will be the festival’s second year taking place at Glen Helen Amphitheater in San Bernardino, California. 2016 was a very successful year with over 75,000 in attendance for Black Sabbath, Slipknot, Megadeth, Slayer, and more. This year the festival falls in early November on the 4th and 5th, tickets can be purchased here when they go on sale this Friday on July 14th. Here’s what Ozzy and Sharon have to say about this year:
OZZY OSBOURNE: “Last year’s show with Black Sabbath was just incredible and I’m thrilled to be coming back this year with Zakk, Tommy, Blasko and Adam to headline the 21st anniversary of Ozzfest.”
SHARON OSBOURNE: “Ozzfest Meets Knotfest is coming back for another round. Last year we had over 75,000 people attend and we have another great lineup this year with Ozzy’s first solo show in L.A. in more than six years. This is not just another show…it’s Ozzfest Meets Knotfest! And this year’s event means the world to me as we’ll be amongst friends like Prophets of Rage, Rob Zombie, Deftones, Marilyn Manson and Stone Sour…it’s going to be another amazing weekend.”
It has been very hard to narrow down all the albums released this year into 25 selections and even harder to put them in order. Some of these albums came as a surprise to me and some I just can’t seem to put down, I love each and every one of these albums for some particular reason. If you haven’t heard one or several of these albums I highly suggest you give them a shot. Continue reading →