One of the glories of being relatively close to Austin, TX is that when the South by Southwest Festival is in full swing, the endless stream of bands that flock towards it have to pass through Houston, or play a side gig in here.  March 15th was the day that the mighty High on Fire hit Houston along with hometown occult metal heroes Venomous Maximus, who both graced Austin with the same show just days before.


First up for the night were Venomous Maximus who still prove that they get better and better everytime they hit the stage.  No doubt the previous few days energized them, and this was evident in the performance they dished out this night.  Their set was comprised of songs from “The Mission” as well as new tracks from their forthcoming release, which they are a few weeks away from recording.  Chock-full of doomy riffs and stoner grooves, this band never disappoints me and always proves to be a fine addition to any bill.  Furious and thunderous, they are such a sweet sound to my ears.


Finishing off the evening were High on Fire, who are just a few weeks away from having their new album “De Vermis Mysteriis” out on the streets, and gave us Houston fans a great preview of the new album, opening with two new songs before storming into “Eyes and Teeth” from 2002’s “Surrounded by Thieves.”  Fans of their entire catalog were satisfied with bits from “Blessed Black Wings” and “Snakes for the Divine” as well as a dusting off of the track “Blood from Zion” from 2000’s “The Art of Self Defense.”  Anyone who has seen High on Fire more than once can clearly testify that this band never lets down their guard, and always delivers live with high energy and flawless musicianship.  Albeit this was an abbreviated set of roughly 50 minutes, High on Fire poured out every last bit of their energy into this set and made damn sure that everyone in attendance was satisfied.


And this is one happy concert goer.


(Photograph courtesy of Ben Yaker)

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