Live Review: High On Fire, Hydromedusa, Crypt

22 February 2016 | 4:22 pm | Will Oakeshott

"Matt Pike, Des Kensel and Jeff Matz, the players of High On Fire are masters of their weapons... well, instruments."

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Life in Adelaide grows almost overnight during this point in the year. It blossoms like a disguised rose which hides among the beauty of all which surrounds it. But a rose requires lustrous dirt; who could pick a better scenario for this show among the beauty of numerous festivals?

Tell any heavy music enthusiast Australia about Crypt, they would instantly become fascinated. Can this scribe define why? No, but this quintet will exceed expectations. Driven by their drumming force and an inescapable powerful presence, a hint of Black Sabbath, Eyehategod, Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster almost captures what Crypt are about. This whisky-soaked sludge was exceptional and the attendees at Fowlers Live certainly felt better for it. Truth be told, this writer could not pick a better opener for this event.

Life improves in Adelaide through Hydromedusa, discovering a balance between Led Zeppelin, (more) Black Sabbath, BBQ, cold beer and adoration; the population of the venue grew just through their fanbase alone. But this five-piece could have headlined; a stint in the US and a complicated "wish you were here" births an identity that has been missed. Hydromedusa are a stability, a knowledge, an addiction. Vocalist Troy Jezierski was in his element, fluctuating between soulful wails and deathly screams, flailing in his peculiar dancing — the banging heads occupying the audience became a wave of appreciation. Cuts from The Rats Have My Mind were highlights and clear favourites and the ideal that this band is a veteran of the scene was justified. Simply put, KNOW this band.

The capacity had grown surprisingly and discreetly; the reason why came from three Californian rugged gentlemen who decided that the venue required more sweat, neck injuries and an increase in beer intake: all the ingredients for an absolutely glorious time. Matt Pike, Des Kensel and Jeff Matz, the players of High On Fire are masters of their weapons... well, instruments. It is as if their tools are extensions of their bodies, a part of their biology, and it was near impossible to fail their execution. Slave The Hive, Rumors Of War and Death Is This Communion were explosive and effortlessly transcended from doom hypnosis to breakneck thrash. This trio are a powerhouse of grand magnitude to the point that the men seem to be more like wizards than musicians, but who thankfully spend way too much time in the bar. Given the opportunity High On Fire would have played for hours longer but there was a closing time which although disappointing, finished exceptionally.

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