High On Fire and Power Trip Double Down On Sonic Catharsis

Lukas Holt

Rickshaw Theatre
December 2, 2019

A smoky redness filled the stage, from which emerged a deafening throb that also seemed quite meditative. 

The sonic equivalent of a giant fist punching downward from the sky, High On Fire let raw aggression take the wheel. With former TrapThem stickman Brad Fickeisen beating the skins of his drums like his life depended on it while the fully tattooed torso of guitarist/vocalist Matt Pike shone in the spotlight, the band parted the seas of normal reality. 

With esoteric symbols glistening and tales of the unknown bellowing out the speakers, an extraterrestrial blues jam emerged from the Sabbathian riffage as sounds of alien ecstasy were coaxed from Pike’s sweat drenched Les Paul guitar. This band of metal masterminds could certainly bring the doom as well, finally laying waste to the remnants of crowd surfers with the pulsating heft of “Snakes for the Divine,” which epically closed this tight set of sonic catharsis.

Playing a brand of metal that would fit just right in a car factory that builds Cybertrucks, the muscular Texan five-piece, Power Trip, warmed up the stage earlier in the evening, sending the audience into fits of swirling madness. 

Sudden jolts of twisted rhythm changes turned the stacks of amplifiers into pure instigators of endless mosh-pits as the singer stalked the stage with his classic no fucks given attitude, punching and kicking at imaginary enemies, heaving the mic-stand around until the microphone crashed to the floor, letting the suffocating thrash metal grooves do the explaining.