While there’s definitely no doubting that stoner legends High On Fire can set alight a recording studio, most people would agree that the trio are at their most incendiary when they’re playing live. At times an unparalleled primal force of nature, the Oakland bruisers are at their best when they’re in your face and the two-volume release Spitting Fire Live captures the band warts and all and at the very peak of their powers.
Recorded in the Bowery Ballroom, New York (Volume 1) and the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Volume 2), both are a must-buy for diehard fans and newcomers alike. Highlights on the former include a hellaciously heavy version of Frost Hammer and a rendition of Fertile Green that betters its recorded counterpart, while the latter boasts the speaker-shaking instrumental Dii and the monstrous live favourite, Snakes For The Divine.
At times unfathomably powerful and at others strikingly pure, Spitting Fire Live perfectly captures the band in all their grizzled glory, without any overdubs or studio trickery. The only thing missing from the experience is a few hundred heaving bodies and a handful of spilt beers.