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A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

Topic: “De Vermis Mysteriis”

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December 10, 2013 at 4:08 PM

High on Fire bring Neanderthal energy to El Corazón | Concert review

(Promotional photo courtesy of the artists)

(Promotional photo courtesy of the artists)

By Todd Hamm
Special to The Seattle Times

Oakland stoner metal trio High on Fire’s psychedelic distortion fest rattled ear drums and bones Sunday at El Corazón, as hundreds of metal-loving masochists packed the venue shoulder-to-shoulder and created a fervent mosh pit in the center of the room.

Stoner metal could be called the California cousin of grunge, and it evolved around the same time (late ’80s/early ’90s). A lyric-light, riff-heavy sub-strain of hard rock, it is often marked by tangential progressions and technical rhythmic breakdowns. The style enjoys the same intense energy and aggression that made grunge so appealing, but swaps out the trebly anthems woven into grunge’s DNA for the dark notions of Black Sabbath. High on Fire, along with Atlanta’s Mastodon, have become the sub genre’s torch-bearing practitioners.

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