High On Fire, Kvelertak, and Doomriders at The Middle East, Cambridge MA on Saturday, November 16, 2013.
High On Fire - Matt Pike and company continue to define the term "power trio." Driven by Jeff Matz on bass and Des Kensel on drums, the songs barrel forward like a bullet train on overdrive, with the precision and handling of a 911. The post-rehab Pike is playing better than ever, with scalpel-like precision and sledgehammer pummeling equally doled out; the solo on closer "Snakes For The Divine" had many mandibles scraping the beer can-littered and sweat-drenched floor of the sold out room.
Kvelertak - If you are not up on your Norwegian, their name means "chokehold," and that's just what they did for their 45 minutes. Initially coming out with a fully stuffed, glowing-eyed owl on his head (equally parts silly and awesome), singer Erland Hjelvik proceeded to hairwhip everyone in the front into submission while the three guitar attack provided enough oomph to convince people that lutefisk may not be a bad thing to eat after all. Hailing from Stavanger, the third city to have had a church torched in the infamous black metal scene of the early '90s, Kvelertak take cues from latter day Darkthrone's fusion of kick ass metal anthems with blackened tinges.
Doomriders - Local heroes (Nate Newton also pulls duty as bass player in Converge, and also in attendance was guitarist Kurt Ballou, who has produced the latest records from High on Fire and Kvelertak) span the gap between hardcore and NWOBHM, with the shredded vocals that typified all three bands on the bill; Cepacol may have been the ideal corporate tour sponsorship opportunity.
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