High On Fire to Release New Album 'De Vermis Mysteriis' April 3

February 23, 2012
imgWorld renowned hard rock band High On Fire will release its new studio album De Vermis Mysteriis on April 3 via eOne Music. Recorded in Salem, Massachusetts' GodCity Studios with producer and Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou, the 10 song effort -- touted as "direct, eye-opening and powerfully supernatural" -- is the band's sixth studio recording and the follow up to 2010's Snakes for the Divine which debuted at #62 on the Billboard Top 200 and has been called "wonderful" by the New York Times and "an exhilarating rush" by the Chicago Tribune.
De Vermis Mysteriis (or "Mysteries of the Worm") takes its title from a fictional grimoire created by Psycho author Robert Bloch and incorporated by H. P. Lovecraft into the lore of the Cthulhu Mythos (Lovecraft mentioned De Vermis Mysteriis as one of the books that "repeat the most hellish secrets learnt by early man"). The album carries a deeply mystical undercurrent, incorporating fantastical themes and lyrics detailing, among other things, time travel, a serum called liao that is made out of a black lotus and "a Jesus twin who can see the past through his ancestors' eyes." And that's just scratching the surface!

Musically, De Vermis Mysteriis is absolutely explosive, showcasing the California power trio's thundering roar and expanded harmonic and rhythmic palettes while the songs move confidently through multiple riffs and movements. High On Fire construct tough, burly stoner metal that is at once devastatingly epic and mercilessly metallic as superstar guitarist Matt Pike's sizzling ax and avenging-angel riffs fuse with Des Kensel's double-kick-drum onslaught and Jeff Matz's concrete crushing, Burton-esque bass guitar. Over the course of forty-five minutes, High On Fire have created an amalgamation of fantastical lyrical ideas and brute force musicianship anchored in an endlessly captivating, punkishly frantic sound. Simply put, the band generates awesome on demand and has a virtual chokehold on monolithic-sounding, masterfully crafted epic music. High On Fire is a savage bull in the china shop of modern metal.
When asked for comment on De Vermis Mysteriis, Pike somewhat cryptically replied, "Prepare for your dark journey." 
The track listing for High On Fire's De Vermis Mysteriis is as follows:

     1.) Serums of Liao
     2.) Bloody Knuckles
     3.) Fertile Green
     4.) Madness of an Architect
     5.) Interlude
     6.) Spiritual Rites
     7.) King of Days
     8.) De Vermis Mysteriis
     9.) Romulus and Remus
    10.) Warhorn

In advance of the new album's release, High On Fire will perform a number of live dates as part of the 2012 SXSW Music and Media Festival in Austin, TX. The band is expected to preview new material at the SX shows. The just-announced dates are as follows:

     March 13    Austin, TX      Emo's East (Non-SXSW headline show)
     March 14    Austin, TX      SXSW (MetalSucks day party)
     March 15    Houston, TX   Fitzgerald's
     March 16    Austin, TX      SXSW (Brooklyn Vegan day party)
     March 17    Austin, TX      SXSW TBA
     March 18    Austin, TX      SXSW (High Times day party)

Finally, on June 30, High On Fire will join Slayer, Slipknot, Anthrax and more as part of the 2012 Rockstar Energy Mayhem Tour.  The 26 city jaunt will kick off in San Bernardino, CA and run through August 5 in Hartford, CT.  The itinerary for the monster trek is as follows:

     June 30      San Bernardino, CA                 San Manuel Amphitheater       
     July 1          Mountain View, CA                   Shoreline Amphitheatre
     July 3          Auburn, WA                                White River Amphitheatre
     July 4          Nampa, ID                                   Idaho Center Amphitheatre
     July 6          Phoenix, AZ                               Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion
     July 7          Albuquerque, NM                      Hard Rock Casino
     July 8          Greenwood Village, CO            Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
     July 10        Dallas, TX                                   Gexa Energy Pavilion
     July 11        The Woodlands, TX                  Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
     July 13        Tampa, FL                                   1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre
     July 14        Atlanta, GA                                  Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood
     July 15        Noblesville, IN                             Klipsch Music Center
     July 18        Oklahoma City, OK                    Zoo Amphitheatre
     July 20        Maryland Heights, MO              Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
     July 21        Tinley Park, IL                             First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
     July 22        Clarkston, MI                               DTE Energy Music Theatre
     July 24        Cincinnati, OH                             Riverbend Music Center
     July 25        Cuyahoga Falls, OH                   Blossom Music Center
     July 27        Camden, NJ                                Susquehanna Bank Center
     July 28        Burgettstown, PA                      First Niagara Pavilion
     July 29        Bristow, Virginia                        Jiffy Lube Live
     July 31        Saratoga Springs, NY               Saratoga Performing Arts Center
     August 1     Corfu, NY                                     Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
     August 3     Mansfield, MA                            Comcast Center
     August 4     Scranton, PA                              Toyota Pavilion
     August 5     Hartford, CT                                Comcast Theatre

High On Fire's work on De Vermis Mysteriis follows more than a year and a half of world touring in support of Snakes for the Divine which included multiple North American headlining jaunts and international festival appearances as well as tours alongside friends and peers in Metallica, Slayer, Mastodon, and the Melvins, the latter of which saw the trio caught in both the February 22, 2011 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand and the powerful earthquake and resulting tsunami in Tokyo, Japan on March 11, 2011. The popular U.S. group was unharmed, but shaken after surviving its second natural disaster in sixteen days and was able to return to its native Oakland a few days later. NBC Bay Area spoke with Matt Pike following the Christchurch earthquake; that interview can be seen here.


photo by Tom Couture
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