High On Fire is a stoner metal band originally formed from the remnants of the legendary stoner band Sleep. Matt Pike from Sleep sings and plays guitar in High on Fire and founded the band with George Rice (bass) and Des Kensel (drums). The remaining members of Sleep, bassist Al Cisneros and drummer Chris Hakius, went on to form the duo OM, which retains more of the original Sleep vibe of crushingly slow repeated riffing.
High on Fire’s sound is extremely heavy, drawing influences on the aforementioned Sleep, Motörhead, and even hardcore punk.
The Oakland, California band formed in 1998 and released ‘The Art of Self Defense’ on Man’s Ruin Records, in March 2000. After Man’s Ruin Records folded, the album was re-released via Tee-Pee Records on CD and vinyl with new artwork and two bonus tracks: Steel Shoe (an original) and The Ursurper (Venom).
Following, the band signed with Relapse Records and released ‘Surrounded by Thieves’ in 2002, with production help from Billy Anderson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Anderson_%28music%29). Founding member and bass player George Rice, would leave the band shortly before recording the next album.
In 2004, Relapse and Throne Records released the ‘Live from the Contamination Festival’ CD and LP (respectively) which was recorded in Philadelphia, PA. The CD is limited to 2000 copies and the LP only 1000.
‘Blessed Black Wings’, produced by Steve Albini, was released in early 2005, and was their first and only to feature Joe Preston (Earth, Melvins, Thrones) on bass. The vinyl version as well as the Japanese CD version of this album had the Judas Priest song Rapid Fire as a bonus track.
In early 2006, Joe Preston left the band and was replaced by jeff matz of Zeke. High On Fire then went on to release the Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden) produced and recorded album, ‘Death is This Communion,’ in September 2007.