Sorry it's a bit late, but I just picked it up the day before it was due... I'm not really citing my sources, but they're all pretty much from Wikipedia, except for my own personal opinions and interjections...
"I'll never put a f**king bad riff on an album in my life" -Matt Pike
Matt Pike (Guitar, Vocals): Former Guitarist for the influential Doom Metal band Sleep.
Jeff Matz (Bass Guitar): Former member of Thrash Metal band Holy Terror, Stoner Metal band Camerosmith, and Hardcore band Zeke.
Des Kensel (Drummer): Probably from something but Wikipedia doesn't have it.
Sorry to be a Summers breeze but here's an (abridged) cut and paste from their wiki page: "Matt Pike (guitarist, Sleep) founded the band in 1998 with drummer Des Kensel and bassist George Rice. The band then signed a deal with Relapse Records and recorded the album Surrounded by Thieves, released in 2002. After a vigorous touring cycle promoting that album, bassist George Rice left the band. The band's next album, 2005's Blessed Black Wings, was largely written by Pike and Kensel before recording took place. Bassist Jeff Matz joined up to help the band finish touring, later becoming a full-time member and contributing to the recording of their next album with famed producer, Jack Endino (Nirvana/Mudhoney). The new record entitled Death Is This Communion was released in September 2007.
[shadow=red,left,300]Major Discography: [/shadow]
The Art of Self Defense (Man's Ruin Records 2000) Surrounded by Thieves (Relapse Records 2002) Blessed Black Wings (Relapse Records 2004) Death Is This Communion (Relapse Records 2007)
[shadow=red,left,300]Genre:[/shadow] Many refer to them as "Stoner Metal," which doesn't necessarily do it justice. They are also sometimes classified as Sludge, or Doom Metal as well. There are definately elements of all these, but they also include some Progressive elements, a little bit of Thrash and a good dose of the NWOBHM.
[shadow=red,left,300]Similar Artists:[/shadow] Motorhead, St. Vitus, Mastodon, Neurosis, The Sword, The Saviours, Early Man, and to a lesser extent Boris.
[shadow=red,left,300]Similar Bonnaroo Artists:[/shadow] There aren't a whole lot of metal bands at the roo to pull from, but I guess the closest thing would be Shadows Fall, because they sure as hell don't sound anything like Dillinger Escape Plan. I would say Down, but it doesn't look like Down is gonna be there anymore.
[shadow=red,left,300]Suggested Listening:[/shadow] Check their newest album "Death is This Communion." The opener, "Fury Whip" kicks ass like classic raging Sludge, and "Dii" shows off a head nodding progressive feel. If you want to dip back into something older check out 2002's "Surrounded by Theives." Outstanding cuts are "Speedwolf," and the title track.
[shadow=red,left,300]Physical Reaction/Live Show:[/shadow] There will certainly be a lot of head banging, and devil-horn handsigning. Most likely a lot of moshing up front, but if you're not into the whole thrashing around and whatnot, there's always a section in the back dedicated to stoic arms crossed, and head nodding. It will undoubtedly be a very loud show, but expect a lot of extra slow and low "B" or even "A" tuned droning as well, this being the perfect time for corn-eating. Oh, and if you own a brown, hooded cloak I suggest you wear it.
As stated above Matt Pike is the former guitarist for the genre-defining Stoner Metal band Sleep.
From Wikipedia: "Pike noted that David Icke and H.P. Lovecraft were big influences on his lyrics, along with the Bible"
[shadow=red,left,300]Personal Notes:[/shadow] If you're in to metal than you know whether you like High on Fire or not, but if you're looking to expand your musical tastes and are open to the idea, I certainly recommend checking them out. They will be loud and brutal, and a lot of fun. I've seen them twice, they have a lot of good stage presence and always very audience-aware, meaning they like to interact with people and just generally have a good time on stage.
Matt Pike on...
Being called Stoner Metal:
"It's like dude, we're not f**king stoner rock, it's metal, yeah it's kinda stoner, whatever. I just think High On Fire is its own entity. It's just heavy music man."
The Mars Volta:
"The Mars Volta are awesome and the fact that they chose us and Mastodon and we all got to play for like an hour. They were really cool guys to us as well. They played an amazing set. They played for something like three hours or something f**king crazy. I was so impressed by that drummer, I was like 'There's no way that f**king guy's going to make it dude!' and he did and he totally punished the whole time."
The new album:
"It's my favourite one we've done, it's got some magic on it. It's brutally heavy, it's has a little more emotional content and ups and downs on it. It's moodier which was kind of intentional as I wanted to give us a little more freedom while writing it, with everyone getting to compose interludes which was kind of inspired by later Sabbath and Pink Floyd where it doesn't stop moving and there's something always going on."
I am excited to watch High On Fire. I've enjoyed metal since I was in diapers (I have a brother who has written several books about the band KISS and I used to sing/growl in metal bands), but I have never seen High On Fire live. Here is an interesting Bonnaroo connection to High On Fire. The band members of Mastodon all met each other for the first time at a High On Fire concert in Atlanta.