High On Fire & Municipal Waste
Toxic Holocaust, Haunt
High On Fire
“I had a dream about Lemmy,” says Matt Pike, explaining the inspiration behind the title of High on Fire’s triumphant eighth album Electric Messiah.
If there’s one aspect of High on Fire that warrants comparison to Lemmy’s mighty Motörhead, it’s longevity. 2018 sees the band celebrating 20 years of the most thunderous heavy metal, with brothers-in-arms Pike, bassist Jeff Matz, and drummer Des Kensel having been firmly intact for the last dozen years. Along the way the band has forged a distinct identity of towering riffs, a propulsive rhythm section, shredding solos, and lyrics of Hessian poetry that has drawn accolades from not only the metal community (notably Decibel,
Revolver, Metal Hammer, Terrorizer, Kerrang! magazines) but from mainstream music scribes as well. Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, the Chicago Sun-Times, and The Village Voice are among the dozens of publications outside the metal scene to extol the greatness of High on Fire to curious readers.
Born in the sewers of Richmond, Virginia during 2000, with the aim of spreading the shred, Municipal Waste played their first gig at a Richmond New Year’s Eve Keg party in 2000/2001.
Blamed for inciting a small riot, Brendan Trache, Andy Harris, Tony Foresta and Ryan Waste went down a storm. As a result, the four swiftly started touring in small clubs; their blazing fast, raw Thrash drew from the tradition of DRI, Suicidal Tendencies, ‘Animosity’-era Corrosion Of Conformity, Nuclear Assault and Attitude Adjustment.
Graduating to the road from the dirty bunker type garage behind Ryan’s house (a place where he used to put on punk and metal shows), Municipal Waste toured incessantly throughout 2001/2 in the USA and Mexico. The band also released two split records – one 7″ with Bad Acid Trip, the other being a 12″ with Crucial Unit; they also had tracks on a number of compilations. A line-up change happened in ’02 when Brendan Trache left, being replaced by Brandon Ferrell in time for the ‘Tango And Thrash’ split record, before Municipal Waste released ‘Waste ‘Em All’ on 6 Weeks Records. Fast, furious and funny, each of Municipal Waste’s super-short songs is a memorable anthem to post-apocalyptic mutants, beer, thrash music…or, indeed, all of the above.
The band’s dedication to their art is deadly serious, yet they are not afraid to bring the fun back into hardcore. Bashing out songs with such titles as ‘Thrashing’s My Business And Business Is Good’, ‘Thrash? Don’t Mind If I Do’ and ‘Drunk As Shit’ (as well as a split EP whose songs were all based on Kurt Russell films), Municipal Waste have earned themselves the tag of the ultimate ‘party thrash’ band. Meanwhile, back on the timeline, following ‘Waste ‘Em All, both Andy and Brandon left the Waste, being replaced by drummer Dave Witte (formerly with Melt Banana) and bassist LandPhil on bass. Touring constantly and gaining a riotous reputation, By this time, Municipal Waste had firmly established themselves as the leaders of a fast-growing scene of bands resurrecting the spirit of the mid-’80s cossover scene.
In 2005 Municipal Waste signed to Earache records and recorded the ‘Hazardous Mutation’ album, featuring such two-minute wonders as the mighty ‘Terror Shark’ ,’The Thrashing Of The Christ’, ‘Bangover’ and the undisputed Municipal Waste anthem ‘Unleash The Bastards’. In 2005/2006 Municipal Waste shot a video for ‘Unleash The Bastards’, both in thegory and less goryversions. Municipal Waste had already succeeded in spreading their shred across the ocean, becoming favourites on the BBC Radio 1’s ‘Lock-Up and ‘Rock Show’ programmes, They’re also firm favourites with audiences around the world, thanks to their relentless touring regime and insane live shows.
In 2006, Municipal Waste played with Sick Of It All, around Europe, and also blasted Australia from coast to coast. They also played the UK’s prestigious Reading and Leeds Festivals on the Lock-Up stage, and set off on their biggest US tour yet, with GWAR. June 2007 saw Municipal Waste tour with Destruction in the USA, before heading into the studio with Hatebreed and Shadows Fall producer Zeuss, to record their next new thrash masterpiece ‘The Art Of Partying’. The band followed this up with a headline tour of Europe, a tour with The Haunted and spots at Wacken Festival in Germany and Reading and Leeds Festivals. They also went on the road with Suicidal Tendencies.
The Waste cut a new video for the track ‘Headbanger Face Rip’, which was filmed by cult legends Troma Entertainments. To round off a successful 2007, the band received great acclaim from the music press, with a top five album of the year placing in Sweden’s Close Up magazine and top twenty positions in Big Cheese and Kerrang! They also were on the front cover of Metal Maniacs magazine but also made several appearances in the NME proving that their brand of thrash helped gain the scene wider acceptance. They were dubbed the band that was ‘leading the charge of the new breed of thrash’ and the album’s praises were sung loud. 2008 will see the Waste again bringing their beer-swilling assault to the festivals, playing at Download and Hellfest alongside other European festivals through June, as well as touring the USA with At The Gates and Darkest Hour in July. Municipal Waste is currently recording their new video for ‘Sadistic Magician’.
In 2010, Municipal Waste signed to Nuclear Blast Records, and they will release their album “The Fatal Feast” in 2012. Guest musicians on this album are John Connelly (NUCLEAR ASSAULT), Steve Moore (ZOMBI), and singer Tim Barry (ex-AVAIL)
Equipped with a crushing sound that will implode both your soul and skull, the band barrels back onto the scene with the latest piece of toxic detritus, Slime And Punishment, which will be released on June 2017.
TOXIC HOLOCAUST mutated into existence in 1999, when Joel Grind merged his love for classic punk and metal and the flash of L.A. hard rock into his ideal band. Like his influences, TOXIC HOLOCAUST featured blazing riffs, gravel-throated vocals, and a deadly fixation on the evil in man and a post-apocalyptic world.
Joel Grind and TOXIC HOLOCAUST return with Conjure and Command, the band’s long-awaited new full-length and follow up to An Overdose of Death…. On Conjure and Command, the trio burns through 10 ferocious tracks of the band’s toxic heavy metal. “Bitch”, “Nowhere to Run”, “I Am Disease”, and “Agony of the Damned” are nothing short of instant TOXIC HOLOCAUST classics that explode from the speakers with unbridled intensity and beg to be heard live. Conjure and Command is TOXIC HOLOCAUST at the height of their powers, and an unstoppable barrage of all-out, evil metal.
Hailing from the United States, HAUNT began as the work of modern renaissance man Trevor William Church. Son of Montrose / Sammy Hagar solo bassist Bill “The Electric” Church, the California native came to prominence as the vocalist/guitarist of doom-lords Beastmaker, who’ve released two critically acclaimed albums on Rise Above. However, as HAUNT, Church went solo and created a bewitching brew of classic, turn-of-the-’80s heavy metal, drawing deeply from the momentous NWOBHM movement. He proved just how proficient and powerful his vision is with HAUNT’s 2017 debut EP, Luminous Eyes, which was originally self-released but then picked up for physical release by SHADOW KINGDOM not long after. Fans and critics all agreed, and quickly: HAUNT is heavy metal heaven, and Church’s brilliance has only just begun.
With Luminous Eyes as the all-too-short appetizer, along comes HAUNT’s hotly anticipated debut full-length, Burst Into Flame. In between releases, Church has expanded the lineup to include fellow Beastmaker guitarist John William Tucker and the rhythm section of bassist Matthew Wilhoit and drummer Daniel Wilson. Literally HOT, Burst Into Flame explodes with an electricity and excitement that’s simply impossible to ignore. From the hard-charging opening title track on down to the dramatic, climactic closer “Looking Glass,” HAUNT’s first long-playing attack ably displays all the arsenal at their disposal. And they make great use of it across the nine anthems comprising Burst Into Flame‘s tighter-than-tight 38 minutes; indeed, each of the album’s nine component tracks could be a “hit” in and of itself. Just like on Luminous Eyes, here HAUNT weave luxuriously subtle hooks that take hold and entrance the listener – surely, they “HAUNT” – but the emotional component on Burst Into Flame is even more pronounced, portraying a moodiness that elevates all these tracks beyond mere party fodder, grabbing hold of the listener’s heartstrings and never letting go. And yet, they’re all deceptively invigorating at the same time, forever tethered to the timelessness of classic METAL and hard rock. Or, simply, these are all great SONGS – and Burst Into Flame is simply a great ALBUM.
With HAUNT now a full band and steady gigging across the country already commencing, their trajectory is onward and upward and, most likely, beyond. “No one can take me off my throne,” Church sings on album’s title track, and more prescient words have never been spoken: HAUNT have arrived as kings. Are you ready to Burst Into Flame?