Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

California band captures the Black Sabbath mood.(Music)

Byline: Kenn Rodriguez FOR THE JOURNAL

Plenty of bands are trying to become the spiritual sons of Black Sabbath.

Many get the schlock just right (Powerman 5000), but fail to capture the foreboding that Sabbath created with ease.

Oakland, Calif.'s High on Fire is one of the few that get the whole Sabbath thing right.

"The Art of Self-Defense," the group's first CD for Man's Ruin Records, is a slab of gargantuan guitar riffs coupled with lyrics that seem like they were lifted straight from the astral plane.

Guitarist/vocalist Mike Pike started the band after spending time in the '90s leading the San Jose, Calif., combo Sleep. The band released a few recordings independently then signed to London Records, a move that killed the band because London wanted radio-friendly songs while Pike and his bandmates were busy creating heavy rock epics that went well beyond the three-minute radio limit. …

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