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December 6, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Veteran heavyweights High On Fire at El Corazon | Concert preview

High On Fire

High On Fire, with Matt Pike, at center. Photo by Taija Lynn.

For years, Matt Pike’s reputation as guitarist and vocalist for the influential Sleep — Northern California metalheads regarded by many as Black Sabbath’s heirs apparent — preceded him.

Yet by now, High On Fire, his follow-up project, boasts an equally impressive catalog nearly twice the size.

The Oakland trio — Pike, bassist Jeff Matz and drummer Des Kensel — plays Seattle’s El Corazon club Sunday.

Whereas unhurried stoner sludge was Sleep’s game — 2003’s magnum opus “Dopesmoker,” a single song spanning one hour and two LPs, is the stuff of legend — H.O.F.’s style is faster, and more physical.

The band’s recordings — from its first, 2000’s “The Art of Self-Defense,” to its sixth and most recent, 2012’s “De Vermis Mysteriis” — certainly deliver the goods in terms of mega-ton guitars, heart-pounding rhythms and bone-rattling low-end, but don’t rely solely on sheer force to make a point.

Tricky time signatures and confident classic-rock grooves keep H.O.F.’s dense sonic stew simmering, while occasional acoustic meditations amid the paint-peeling riffage allow tastes of Pike’s versatility as a player.

Sunday’s show is all-ages; Oslo, Norway’s Kvelertak and Richmond, Virginia’s Windhand open.

High On Fire, Kvelertak, Windhand
7:30 p.m. Sunday at El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., Seattle; $18 (206-262-0482 or elcorazonseattle.com)

Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: hard rock, heavy metal, Oakland

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