High on Fire & Monolord November 8, 2019 @ The Gas Monkey Live, Dallas

Portions of two tours converged at the Gas Monkey Live Dallas joining forces with the High on Fire Liquid Death tour for a night of varying metal. The current High on Fire tour features the Oakland trio, Power Trip, Devil Master and Creeping Death.

The date was the second night of the tour but Dallas based Power Trip was not included in the billing for the night.

Monolord, Integrity and Zig Zags were the other bands that joined in for the Dallas stop of the Liquid Death tour. This brought the band count to six which started promptly 6:20 with Zig Zags. The Los Angeles trio brought their blend of stoner and punk rock combined with the trailer trash culture to an audience that was still arriving.

Creeping Death, a Denton based band 30-minutes north of Dallas delivered their brutal death set to an approving audience. The Liquid Death tour is allowing the band to support their full-length debut album titled Wretched Illusions. The early arrival show attendees who may not have been aware or familiar with the band were fully engaged throughout the death metal newbies half-hour set.

Creeping Death’s Trey Pemberton delivers deathly chords for the hometown crowd while on a national tour.
Photo by: Brian McLean

Devil Master who were bathed in a constant blue light for the entirety of their set delivered their combination of black metal with punk themes laced with hints of horror and vampires. Vocalist Disembody remained stationary rocking back and forth at the microphone stand that anchored theatrical webbing attached to the stage. Guitarists Darkest Price and Hades Apparition were the members sporting the vampire capes adding to the band’s uniqueness.

Taking a break from the Liquid Death tour roster, Monolord took to the stage to a patient Dallas crowd that was ready to absorb the thick doom laden sounds of the Swedish trio.

Left to Right: Thomas V. Jager, Esben Willems and Mika Hakki
Photo by: Brian McLean

The band who was touring in support of their album titled No Comfort treated the stoner rock sound devouring crowd to cuts such as “Bastard Son,” “Fly Leaf” and “Larvae”, all from the recent release.

Even though Monolord played Albuquerque the previous night, the band delivered a solid wall of sound. Monolord’s set may have only been 40-miuntes but the band recruited plenty of new fans. Those new fans quickly made their way to purchase the band’s merchandise once the set was complete.

At the opposing end where Monolord left the crowd craving music, Philadelphia’s Integrity step foot on the stage. Once the band’s set was underway, the screaming vocals and loud guitars were nonstop and everything seemed unintelligible. Unfortunately, the band’s music reached a point where ears were needing a break. Having the band on this one-night stop was more of a head scratching moment as to why.

After technical delays, High on Fire led by Matt Pike stormed the stage full of adrenaline only to be met by more technical issue with Pike’s pedal board. After a few moments, the concerns were addressed and the High on Fire set was underway at 11:00.

At this time, High on Fire was able to take to the stage from prior cancellations due to medical reasons of Matt Pike.

The fabric shaking low ends at the stage was for real and High on Fire meant business, loud business once the sound energy began to take over. The sound was enormous but not to the point of an annoyance.

Every song thrown down by High on Fire was shattering. From the opener “Blood of Zion” and others such as “Spewn from the Earth,” “Rumors of War,” “Speedwolf,” “Fury Whip,” “Snakes for the Devine and Electric Messiah” to name from the set, the results were the same. Pure power from Pike, bassist Jeff Matz and touring member Chris Maggio.

High on Fire’s set may just have been one of the loudest to rumble the walls of the Gas Monkey Live in 2019. Ear plugs were a much needed luxury to soften the blow.

For a show with six bands, there will be winners, losers and honorable mentions. High on Fire and Monolord share the top spot on the podium. As headliners, it’s expected for High on Fire to do so. Monolord’s amazing performance may not have been expected to the extent the band produced but they did and conquered.

In doing so, the Swedes only solidified their standing in the doom circles as well as extending their reach beyond. The tour schedule has the band traveling east as with High on Fire and the Liquid Death tour, just different markets as the band proceeds with their headlining tour.