High On Fire + Jumping Jack + Lizzard + Alunah @ O2 Academy 2, Birmingham – Friday 1st February 2013

High On Fire + Jumping Jack + Lizzard + Alunah @ O2 Academy 2, Birmingham – Friday 1st February 2013High On Fire + Jumping Jack + Lizzard + Alunah @ O2 Academy 2, Birmingham – Friday 1st February 2013High On Fire + Jumping Jack + Lizzard + Alunah @ O2 Academy 2, Birmingham – Friday 1st February 2013High On Fire + Jumping Jack + Lizzard + Alunah @ O2 Academy 2, Birmingham – Friday 1st February 2013High On Fire + Jumping Jack + Lizzard + Alunah @ O2 Academy 2, Birmingham – Friday 1st February 2013High On Fire + Jumping Jack + Lizzard + Alunah @ O2 Academy 2, Birmingham – Friday 1st February 2013High On Fire + Jumping Jack + Lizzard + Alunah @ O2 Academy 2, Birmingham – Friday 1st February 2013

HOF03

It was an early show at the O2 Academy 2 and I arrived in time to see the last of the three support bands on the bill; Jumping Jack from Nantes, France. The synchronized hair flicks and their drummer’s flamboyant water spraying antics don’t exactly impress me, especially when the music isn’t up to scratch.

JJ04

Jumping Jack are relatively inoffensive, churning out generic riffs containing blatant nods to classic bands such as Pantera and Iron Maiden; alas, we’ve heard it all before. After a few whoops and cries of, “Let’s rock!” from the frontman, a few enthusiastic gig goers venture closer to the stage and partake in some lacklustre head bobbing for the rest of the set. Jumping Jack seem to receive a rather generous round of applause but maybe this is in anticipation of what’s to follow.

JJ03 JJ01

High On Fire are back in the UK on a headline tour following their 2012 release, De Vermis Mysteriis. It’s not my (or probably anyone in the room’s) favourite High On Fire album and possibly for that reason they choose to play just a couple of songs from it.

The Californian power trio play some of the heaviest stoner/doom metal around and are fronted by the formidable Matt Pike; whose personal battle with alcohol addiction led to the cancellation of a run of live shows last summer. He’s now out of rehab and back on form, and as the now fuller figured Pike takes to the stage the room quickly fills up with excited fans.

HOF01 HOF02

There’s not much talk from the band as they rattle through their powerful set. One song is dedicated to Pike’s hero, Tony Iommi, who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. Later in the set he simply shouts, “Black Sabbath!”, and of course the Birmingham crowd appreciate that.

Pike’s vocals are not audible at all times and the sound in general is quite muddy but I’m not sure it matters, this band are all about the riffs. Pike’s performance is a mixture of Iommi on guitar and Lemmy on vocals, backed up with the awesome power of the High On Fire drums and bass. The sound is so forceful, in fact, at one point my earplugs vibrated right out of my ears! Songs from Surrounded By Thieves and Blessed Black Wings receive the best reactions and there is vigorous head-banging and fist pumping throughout.

Personally I prefer the the slower, THC-laced offerings from Pike’s other outfit, Sleep; who rose from their slumber in 2009 and continue to re-reform every so often for live shows and recently re-issued their seminal record, Dopesmoker. However, I digress… High On Fire are the band for you if you like your metal doomy, aggro and brutal. Their music is possibly a little too inaccessible for the average metal fan and that’s probably why they still remain relatively underground; but the live version of High On Fire is a force to be reckoned with. This week they continue their tour of the UK and you should go to a show… if you’re tough enough!

Review by Eleanor Lawton
Photographs by Ian Dunn

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Links:ray ban femmeray ban femmeray ban pas cherray ban pas cherray ban clubmasterray ban aviatorray ban pas cherray ban pas cheroakley pas cheroakley pas cheroakley pas cheroakley hommeJordan Retro 1 for cheap

Moseley Folk Festival Close To Selling Out

The Moseley Folk Festival will be returning to the beautiful setting of Moseley Park, Birmingham on 29th – 31st August […]

The Crimson Star @ The Roadhouse, Birmingham – 20th August 2014

Birmingham has been getting plenty of attention from certain areas of the music press recently. The B-Town movement has seen […]

Reel Big Fish @ Wolverhampton Slade Rooms – 13th August 2014

So the last time I saw ska-pop-punk band Reel Big Fish (affectionately known as RBF), I was about 17. Unfortunately, […]

’68 + In Archives + Tortuga @ The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes – 8th August 2014

When someone as iconic as Josh Scogin, former frontman of The Chariot and Norma Jean, brings a new project to […]

Pete Fij and Terry Bickers + I Am Ampersand @ The Tin Music and Arts, Coventry 23rd July 2014

Somewhere there should be a study of how the members of successful musical partnerships get together. Some may meet at […]

Tame Impala + D.D Dumbo @ The Institute, Birmingham 14th July 2014

Every so often some pundit or other starts a mild controversy in the blogosphere by commenting that a band gets […]