Radiating waves of metal from the third eye fills the club in the Detroit suburb as High On Fire plays to a packed house.

The line at the Loving Touch in Ferndale wraps around the building before doors open for the High On Fire show. High On Fire is touring in support of their new album, Luminiferous, which National Rock Review gave much praise. Anticipation is in the air as the doors finally open and fans pack into the venue.

Crowds swell as Venomous Maximus takes the stage. The band engages the headbanging fans with mean riffs accompanied by stellar grooves. Venomous Maximus is a great way to open the show with fine quality metal reminiscent of Diamondhead and Tygers of Pan Tang.

The quartet from Houston, Texas is on the road supporting their new album, Firewalker.

Coming all the way from Berlin, Germany is Lucifer. Not the actual dark lord itself, but the band which consists of Johanna singer Sadonis (former The Oath), guitarist Gary Jennings (former Cathedral), bassist Dino Gollnick, and drummer Andrew Prestidge (former The Oath and Angel Witch). Their music has a haunting quality of the first Black Sabbath album, mainly due to the clear melodic vocals of Sadonis. Their performance is great, especially their outstanding guitar tone.

There are bands that play doom metal and then there is Pallbearer. Fans had the pleasure of seeing them open earlier this year for At The Gates in Chicago. This band continues to impress fans with music that squeezes the soul with its sheer mass and rides inside the mind like a meditative mantra. Their performance is flawless and capped off a fine precursor to the main event.

Following the great opening line-up, the crowd at this sold-out show are primed for High On Fire. The firestorm ignited with “The Black Plot,” the opening cut from their most recent album, Luminiferous. The audience eruptes with headbanging and a mosh pit complete with a few crowd surfers. Matt Pike (guitar, vocals), Jeff Matz (drum), and Des Kensel perform like a well-oiled machine. The guitar and bass tone is mammoth and spectacular. Des’ drumming is fluid and forceful. While a bulk of the show consists of new songs off of Luminiferous, High On Fire did touch on older material including “Death Is This Communion,” “Cometh Down Hessian,” and “10,000 Years,” each of which is met with enthusiastic cheers and headbanging.

The High On Fire show at the Loving Touch is a celebration of all that is great about heavy music. A shout-out is due to the great staff at the venue, as well as the crew for High On Fire. They allow fans get rowdy and slam without a lot of heavy-handed security interference. The crowd responds in turn with rowdy fervor and sweaty exuberance.

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High On Fire
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Venomous Maximus
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The Loving Touch
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About The Author

Chuck is a native Michigander. He grew up in Detroit, and later Pinckney. He now calls Ann Arbor home. Running is in Chuck’s blood. He has run several marathons and numerous other races. His favorite race is Dances with Dirt in Hell, Michigan. Chuck was first exposed to photography in 7th grade. He has been a photographer ever since, honing his skills shooting landscapes and most recently concerts. In addition to experiencing music from behind the camera, Chuck is a musician in his own right. He has been playing guitar since his teen years. He played in Detroit area metal band, Battalion, recorded two independent releases, and toured. Today when not covering concerts, you can find him online at his blog, Life In Michigan.

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