High on Fire’s De Vermis Mysteriis Due April 3; Tour Dates Announced

I shit you not, this is a lot of news. But it’s High on Fire, and if they’re anything at all at this point, it’s familiar with the epic. Below you’ll find album release info for the Kurt Ballou-produced De Vermis Mysteriis and tour dates for the Rockstar Energy Mayhem festival, which seems bent mostly on hitting amphitheaters no less corporately-monikered. I feel like I’m giving away an awful lot of free advertising by even posting some of these names.


World-renowned hard rock band High on Fire will release its new studio album De Vermis Mysteriis on April 3 via eOne Music. Recorded in Salem, Massachusetts’ GodCity Studios with producer and Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou, the 10 song effort — touted as “direct, eye-opening and powerfully supernatural” — is the band’s sixth studio recording and the follow up to 2010’s Snakes for the Divine.

De Vermis Mysteriis (or “Mysteries of the Worm”) takes its title from a fictional grimoire created by Psycho author Robert Bloch and incorporated by H. P. Lovecraft into the lore of the Cthulhu Mythos (Lovecraft mentioned De Vermis Mysteriis as one of the books that “repeat the most hellish secrets learnt by early man”). The album carries a deeply mystical undercurrent, incorporating fantastical themes and lyrics detailing, among other things, time travel, a serum called liao that is made out of a black lotus and “a Jesus twin who can see the past through his ancestors’ eyes.” And that’s just scratching the surface!

Musically, De Vermis Mysteriis is absolutely explosive, showcasing the California power trio’s thundering roar and expanded harmonic and rhythmic palettes while the songs move confidently through multiple riffs and movements. High on Fire construct tough, burly stoner metal that is at once devastatingly epic and mercilessly metallic as superstar guitarist Matt Pike‘s sizzling ax and avenging-angel riffs fuse with Des Kensel‘s double-kick-drum onslaught and Jeff Matz‘s concrete crushing, Burton-esque bass guitar. Over the course of forty-five minutes, High on Fire have created an amalgamation of fantastical lyrical ideas and brute force musicianship anchored in an endlessly captivating, punkishly frantic sound. Simply put, the band generates awesome on demand and has a virtual chokehold on monolithic-sounding, masterfully crafted epic music. High on Fire is a savage bull in the china shop of modern metal.

When asked for comment on De Vermis Mysteriis, Pike somewhat cryptically replied, “Prepare for your dark journey.”

The track listing for High on Fire‘s De Vermis Mysteriis is as follows:
1. Serums of Liao
2. Bloody Knuckles
3. Fertile Green
4. Madness of an Architect
5. Interlude
6. Spiritual Rites
7. King of Days
8. De Vermis Mysteriis
9. Romulus and Remus
10. Warhorn

On June 30, High on Fire will join Slayer, Slipknot, Anthrax and more as part of the 2012 Rockstar Energy Mayhem Tour. The 26-city jaunt will kick off in San Bernardino, CA and run through August 5 in Hartford, CT. The itinerary for the monster trek is as follows:

06/30 San Bernardino, CA San Manuel Amphitheater
07/01 Mountain View, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre
07/03 Auburn, WA White River Amphitheatre
07/04 Nampa, ID Idaho Center Amphitheatre
07/06 Phoenix, AZ Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion
07/07 Albuquerque, NM Hard Rock Casino
07/08 Greenwood Village, CO Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
07/10 Dallas, TX Gexa Energy Pavilion
07/11 The Woodlands, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
07/13 Tampa, FL 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre
07/14 Atlanta, GA Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood
07/15 Noblesville, IN Klipsch Music Center
07/18 Oklahoma City, OK Zoo Amphitheatre
07/20 Maryland Heights, MO Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
07/21 Tinley Park, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
07/22 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
07/24 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
07/25 Cuyahoga Falls, OH Blossom Music Center
07/27 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
07/28 Burgettstown, PA First Niagara Pavilion
07/29 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live
07/31 Saratoga Springs, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center
08/01 Corfu, NY Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
08/03 Mansfield, MA Comcast Center
08/04 Scranton, PA Toyota Pavilion
08/05 Hartford, CT Comcast Theatre

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8 Responses to “High on Fire’s De Vermis Mysteriis Due April 3; Tour Dates Announced”

  1. Jeff Marzullo says:

    Apparently I’ll be in a record store that Tuesday. What a lovely coincidence… ;)

  2. Reefer says:

    Cover artwork is pretty shitty. High on Fire haven’t let me down yet, though, so hopefully the music won’t be.

  3. goAt says:

    Could somebody convince me to listen to “Snakes of the Divine” again? The production job was so shitty in comparison to Endino/Albini/Anderson I could hardly stand it. Fucking Fidelman BLOWS, looking forward to hearing what Ballou brings to the table…

    …and Reefer, maybe Arik was busy doin’ somethin’ else??? I think the cover is pretty rad…but far from their best.

  4. Aris says:

    C’mon, Snakes isn’t a bad album, but you’re right, the Fidelman production doesn’t give justice to the fantastically trashly songs on that album…

    This cover is a strange beast, but the song is a savage beast.

    Ballou gave to Black cobra the best sound ever, i’m sure he did the same with HOF!!!

  5. Dean Brown says:

    Thanks for stealing some of my review for Snakes for the Divine review that can be found on Sputnikmusic – “Over the course of forty-five minutes, High on Fire have created an amalgamation of fantastical lyrical ideas and brute force musicianship”. Reason I knew it was stolen is because you forgot to change the album length to suit the new album. If you are going to plagiarise parts at least cover your tracks. I wonder what else have been stolen here…

    • Hi Dean,
      Normally I wouldn’t respond to a comment like this, but I feel that with the accusatory nature of your response, it warrants reply. You should know off the bat that I work in the print industry and as a matter of personal principle, an accusation of plagiarism is not something I take lightly.

      First I’ll say that I’ve never heard of Sputnikmusic. It wasn’t until I saw this comment that I had ever seen the name to my recollection, and only then that I Googled it to take a look. It seems like a cool site, and I wish you the best of luck with it.

      More substantially, your accusation is off base to the point that I have to wonder if you’re joking. If you weren’t so specific in citing the name of another site, I might have assumed you were a spambot and just deleted the comment, but it’s too direct for that to be the case. And anyway, most spambots offer generic flattery as I’m sure you know — “Love your site thanks for information,” etc. — and not blame for a crime perceived to have been committed.

      It’s worth pointing out that this isn’t a review. It’s a news post and filed as such in the category of “Whathaveyou.” Reviews, not shockingly, are under “reviews.” If you’d like to read my review of De Vermis Mysteriis, it’s here: http://theobelisk.net/obelisk/2012/03/12/highonfirereview-2/

      You’ll notice the text in the part of the post you claim is yours is blue, where on the top it is grey. That is how I signify something written by someone other than me. If you look at the various columns on the site by outside writers, in-studio features, and even the review my wife did this past week, it all appears in blue. This is specifically something I’ve done since starting the site to avoid any perception of plagiarism.

      All press releases posted are posted in that color as well, and the part you’ve highlighted as having been copied from what I assume is a review you wrote comes directly from a press release. I’ve adjusted it for formatting, bolded the band names and place names, but other than that, the copy is exactly as I received it from Action PR’s email list. Most press releases are attributed directly to “the PR wire,” and I see in reading my intro to this one that it is not, but with the copy in the different color and my introduction to it above, I guess I assumed my readers would understand that it wasn’t coming from me as something I’d expressly written. Seems to me if you have an issue, it might be one with the writer of the press release, who did not attribute your quote.

      Again, my instinct here is to tell you to fuck off, or at least to do even the slightest modicum of research before you blatantly accuse someone of such a reprehensible thing — since I know for a fact I’m not the only one who reposted this press release — but I thought that given the weight of the accusation, I’d respond to you publicly here rather than in an email, which might have been a better way for you to have gotten in touch in the first place. I’ll expect no apology, but I will directly email this response to you as well, to give the added chance of you seeing it.

      I feel comfortable challenging you to find any instance of completely non-attributed quotation on my site, because I know there aren’t any, from you or anyone else. But if you’re interested and so passionate to ensure the sanctity of your work, have at it, and thanks in advance for reading.

      All the best from NJ,
      JJ Koczan

  6. Dean Brown says:


    Thank you for the courtesy of a reply and an in depth one at that. Thank you for clarifying your position and normally I would find it flattering that someone would use something that I wrote but it seemed flagrantly used, without a change made to the album’s run time and no credit given-
    which made me quiet infuriated. Thus the abrupt and possibly undeserved post on the site. In this world of music journalism, being inspired from other writers comes with the territory. I have had a read of your actual review and it is well written and detailed. Really good effort!

  7. Cain says:

    “Possibly undeserved”? Try completely undeserved and unprofessional, at best. Then you have the balls to thank him for the “courtesy of a reply” after you just publicly accused the dude of plagiarism, and still you don’t even offer an apology.

    I’ll be avoiding your blog.

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