HIGH ON FIRE ‘Electric Messiah’ Album Review.

Words Sally Townsend.

Let’s start off by saying, Matt Pike: 2018’s Man Of The Year. In addition to the surprise Sleep record that dropped in April, it’s been quite a year!

Where the Sleep album The Sciences is a heavy, hypnotic journey back to stoner doom’s roots, High On Fire’s Electric Messiah is the opposite end of the spectrum. High On Fire is like the impossible to ignore, in your face, obsessed with death and destruction relative. Full of fury, the relentless riffs, punchy bass from Jeff Matz and punishing drumming from the underrated Des Kensel, Electric Messiah is non stop from start to finish. Continue reading

HYPERGIANT ‘Father Sky’ Album Review.

Words El Jefe.

Sydney based stoner metal four-piece Hypergiant have been kicking around the scene for several years now. I first caught ‘em a few years back during their infancy, and already with a set of fairly decent heavy rock songs and some covers by the likes of Mastodon and The Sword thrown in, which left no doubt as to the bands’ parentage. They released an EP, Planet Cracker 2-3 years back, and it was a cool collection of tunes. But flash-forward to Father Sky, and there is a very different beast stalking the scene. The songs are brutal, and the production is mature, well-thought out and effective and should also see these dudes garner some well-deserved attention. They’ve interspersed their powerful metal bludgeon with an aural soundscape suited to an alien horror film, which certainly adds colour to their stylistic attack. Continue reading

2016 TOP 10 RELEASES! Desert Highways staff + special guests from Orange Goblin, Monolord, Pagan / Little Lamb & The Rosemary’s!!

Words Anthony Moore.

There were some amazing releases that come out in 2016, and as with every year, I start out with the best of intentions keeping a list of my favourites as they hit, only to let it fall by the wayside by about March. Yeah I know, it doesn’t last long! So undoubtedly I will forgot lots of great releases from 2016. There’s been the talked about releases like Metallica’s Hardwired… To Self Destruct (which for me has been quite a disappointment, some moments of clarity and power but as whole, it wasn’t the driving force I was hoping for), then there’s been some that have come out of left field that have really thrown me for six and impressed me quite a lot, like Electric Magus Olympus Noms, which is Raul Sanchez (Magic Dirt, River Of Snakes, Midnight Woolf) latest offering through Wild Animals Records. Like with John Frusciante’s solo albums, some sound quite unique and very different to his work with Red Hot Chili Peppers (which is an awesome thing these days!) yet his style and soul still comes through in various ways. Electric Magus is like this for Sanchez compared to his ‘usual’ guitar driven work. It’s totally different yet still somehow connects with me for the same reasons.

I still listen to loads of releases from all around the world, but more and more as time goes on I find myself mainly listening to local bands. Possibly for a few reasons, I like to support local muso’s and friends, it’s possible to see them more live which in turn gets us more stoked on listening back to a band later, and maybe most importantly, there are just so many fuckin incredible bands in Melbourne and throughout Australia that there’s not enough time to sometimes reach out further. Continue reading

HIGH ON FIRE, Batpiss, YLVA, Big Bread. Max Watt’s, Melbourne. 20-02-2016

Words Callum Doig.
Photos Sally Townsend Photography.

© 2016 Sally Townsend Photography.High On Fire have always been one of those incredible bands that everyone’s heard of, yet hardly anyone realises the strength that lies in their music. For nearly two decades, they’ve thrived on belting out the heaviest and sludgiest tunes metal could ever birth with one of the most dedicated fan bases in the scene. With the release of their highly acclaimed seventh LP Luminiferous, the trio returned to Australia for an all new headline tour in support of the new record. Joining them on their Melbourne show at Max Watts were locals Big Bread, YLVA and Batpiss.

The thirty to forty-five minute wait that you have to sit through for gigs are a pain when you set foot into the venue. Only ten minutes though after doors, Big Bread took the spotlight as the opener. There weren’t many patrons at the time they came on and performed, but there were a handful of those that were appreciative of what Big Bread gave to the audience. Generally, there wasn’t much they had to offer in their presence, but they made up for that with a great sound and show onstage.

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HIGH ON FIRE, I Exist, Lo! Manning Bar, Sydney. 20-02-2016.

Words El Jefe.
Photos Rod Hunt.

© Rod Hunt 2016.“Pike is the only man alive who actually looks less seedy when he grows a porn-star moustache” – Luke Glover, local punter.

It was a humid Saturday night in Sydney, and I was feeling sticky as fuck due to the fact that a mere 15 minutes before I arrived, I’d finished playing an early show with my own band, and the sweat hadn’t even had time to dry. I walked in and was immediately accosted (well, hugged) by a mate who proclaimed with a grin “I’m off my face”! But I already knew that! Continue reading

DES KENSEL (HIGH ON FIRE) Interview + Australian Tour Dates

Interview El Jefe.

High On Fire – that unstoppable doom metal behemoth, with its massive riffs and spectacular volume levels are preparing their latest assault on Australian heavy music fans on the back of their latest LP, Luminiferous. The high-octane guitar fireworks and trademark bludgeoning rhythm section will hit our stages in February. I recently had the good fortune to catch up with drummer (read wrecking machine!) Des Kensel for a quick Q&A.

El Jefe: Hey Des, how’s it going and thanks for your time today. I’m a long time fan of HOF, but am always amazed by the endless supply of the brutal riffs that make up the tunes. What would you attribute this to? Continue reading

High On Fire, High Tension, Horsehunter. The Hi-Fi, Melbourne. 19-07-2014.

Words Alexandra Ferrier
Photos Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia

Since their last tour with Soundwave in 2012, High on Fire once again set ablaze their path across the nation with a string of recent shows. It’s something of a privilege to witness this band in an intimate setting. The Hi-Fi; a lovely, dark petrie dish of warm, moist air, cold beer and acoustics, fit for a night of doom, sludge and punk.

First on the bill were Horsehunter and their ferocity was undeniable. The Melbourne doom band continue to gain momentum and have established themselves as a ‘band you must see live’, and favourites in the local metal scene. This was clearly conveyed with the early turn out of punters and music admirers; a heart-warming scenario to witness.

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Words Gram Pola

When you first realize that you’re into stoner rock, doom or just metal in general, you’re only a couple of steps away from being informed that you aren’t cool, unless you know of the existence of Matt Pike.

I guarantee there will be some old hand of the scene just waiting to let you know what is really cool and where your head should be at. That place is HIGH ON FIRE.

Don’t feel bad about it, you can’t avoid it. This shit happened to me. A guy a few years older than me told me there was this amazing band with this mystical guitarist that wielded his ax like a lycanthropic Paganini. That this guy was a professor in theosophical sciences who could wax lyrical on the subtler points of the Gospel according to James. That’s James the brother of Jesus. See you didn’t know Jesus had a brother… your mind is already being tuned to the HIGH ON FIRE frequency. Really even now to this day, I don’t even know if this shit I am telling you about Matt Pike is true? I guess I could Google it and find out but who wants to know the truth? I prefer the legend. So sit back, relax and open your mind cause now it’s your turn to learn from me, what is good in life.

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