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Exceptionally heavy, Metalcore edged Stoner. Frontman and HIGH ON FIRE founder Matt Pike was previously a founder member of premier underground Doom merchants SLEEP. As SLEEP dissolved during 1997, after London Records put the brakes on releasing the 52 minute track 'Jerusalem' now regarded a Stoner classic, Pike set about formulating a fresh act, emerging with HIGH ON FIRE in 1999. The proto band reportedly went through a few members before setting on the trio of Pike, bassist George Rice and drummer Des Kensel.

HIGH ON FIRE's debut release would be an eponymous three track EP, the first product to be issued by the newly established 12th Records. Promoting the 2000 Billy Anderson produced album 'The Art Of Self Defense' HIGH ON FIRE toured Europe alongside ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY before touring North America packaged with CLEARLIGHT. A further round of gigs would see the band heading out as headliners.

With the demise of Man's Ruin Records the Tee Pee label would re-issue 'The Art Of Self Defence' in 2002 complete with two extra tracks 'Steel Shoe' and 'The Usurper'. Fresh product, in the form of the May 2002 'Surrounded By Thieves' record for new label Relapse, would once again see production duties delegated to Billy Anderson. Subsequent road dates had HIGH ON FIRE sharing stages in the USA with GODFLESH. September gigs had the band out with JUCIFER before hooking up with SUPERJOINT RITUAL for dates commencing October 7th in Orlando Florida. Immediately these shows were wrapped up, HIGH ON FIRE jumped onboard a further month long run of gigs allied with MUSHROOMHEAD, SHADOWS FALL and AVENGED SEVENFOLD beginning October 24th in Providence, Rhode Island. Next on the agenda would be Japanese dates in November sharing a billing with DARKANE and MASTODON. US shows along the West Coast in April of 2003 found the band opening for MOTȪRHEAD.

HIGH ON FIRE would head up the Relapse Records 'Contamination' 2004 US tour, commencing 12th of March in Salt Lake City, Utah, partnering with ZEKE and instrumental trio DYSRHYTHMIA. The band would be joined by the THRONES, EARTH, THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES and MELVINS bassist Joe Preston in July, this revised line-up debuting in San Diego on 4th August to commence a run of dates supported by the likes of TOTIMOSHI, BONGZILLA and HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE. The band would then enter Electrical Audio Studios with engineer Steve Albini to craft a new album with a working title of 'Blessed Black Wings'.

January 2005 saw the issue of a split single 'Brother In The Wind' shared with RUINS released through Skin Graft Records. 'Brother In The Wind', produced by Steve Albini, featured Joe Preston of the MELVINS and ex-SLEEP man Matt Pike. This 7" came complete with a free comic. The band toured the USA throughout February sharing a billing with KYLESA and Denver's PLANES MISTAKEN FOR STARS. European shows, commencing in late March, saw WINNEBAGO DEAL as support with CALLISTO added for UK dates.

Returning to Japan, the band performed as part of the 'Extreme The Dojo Vol. 14' tour in union with DEW-SCENTED and MISERY SIGNALS in June. To promote the album, HIGH ON FIRE lensed a promotional video for the track 'Devilution', filmed on location in the hills of San Francisco, CA with director Gary Smithson.

The Summer of 2005 found the group participating in the US 'Sounds of the Underground' touring extravaganza, a collaboration between independent labels Ferret Music, Prosthetic Records, Trustkill Records and Metal Blade Records. The mammoth billing for these shows saw the band sharing stages with CLUTCH, OPETH, POISON THE WELL, FROM AUTUMN TO ASHES, CHIMAIRA, NORMA JEAN, EVERY TIME I DIE, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, THROWDOWN, UNEARTH, DEVILDRIVER, ALL THAT REMAINS, A LIFE ONCE LOST and GWAR. Regional additions included MADBALL and TERROR, splitting the East and West portions of the tour respectively, THE RED CHORD on the East Coast, FEAR BEFORE THE MARCH OF FLAMES in the Midwest and Southeast and HIMSA for Western gigs. Maintaining the road ethic, the band allied with EVERY TIME I DIE, THE CHARIOT and THE RED CHORD for a month long, 27 city trek launching on 7th September in Poughkeepsie, New York.

The band would partner in the studio with KEELHAUL to contribute their rendition of 'Oven' to a MELVINS tribute album, 'We Reach: The Music Of The Melvins', through Fractured Transmitter Records. UK concerts in December saw shows with MASTODON and Atlanta's WITHERED. The band opened 2005 with a bout of US touring in January alongside THE BRONX, BIG BUSINESS and label mates BURIED INSIDE.

Matt Pike also initiated a side venture dubbed SCUM ANGEL, subsequently switching this project's title to KALAS and signing to Tee Pee Records for a debut album. Pulling in the ZEKE and HOLY TERROR credited bass player Jeff Matz, 2006 HIGH ON FIRE US gigs in January and February would be bolstered by THE BRONX, BIG BUSINESS and BURIED INSIDE whilst April and May witnessed shows alongside GOATWHORE and WATCH THEM DIE.

MASTODON teamed up with DETHKLOK, plus CONVERGE and HIGH ON FIRE, for a co-headlining tour in October and November. The 34 date trek kicked off 2nd October at the Roseland Theater in Portland. Producer Greg Fidelman worked with HIGH ON FIRE on new album recordings in October.

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