2012 has been an eventful year for Matt Pike. Dopesmoker, the one-track, hourlong 1996 masterwork by his defunct band Sleep finally saw a proper release, and his current group High On Fire dropped De Vermis Mysteriis. On Dopesmoker, Pike and his crew summoned hell fire from bong water, but Mysteriis furthers High On Fire's reputation as a band too diverse to be labeled simply as stoner metal. Lightspeed thrash riffs and noisy Slayer-esque solos coexist with Sabbath dirges. When it lets loose into full-on doom on "Madness of an Architect," we're reminded that the band has the word "high" in its name.
Animals as Openers: New Orleans' Goatwhore and local the Lion's Daughter are a fitting pair of warm-up acts, as both play death-metal with black-metal tendencies and are named after mammals.