Who’s hotter? 

Harry Potter takes on metal marvels High on Fire

Two events of cosmogonic significance will take place Saturday, July 21. The first is the debut Missoula appearance of Bay Area war-metal marauders High on Fire, on tour to promote their forthcoming album, Death Is This Com-munion. Often compared breathlessly to Mötörhead and vintage Celtic Frost, High on Fire features all the stampeding velocity of the former and the fantasy-laced mythological aspirations of the latter, topped with scouring Sabbath riffage and tom-heavy drumming and guitarist Matt Pike’s more-Lemmy-than-Lemmy vocals. The technically acrobatic Mastodon may be all the rage among enlightened rockists these days, but High on Fire is a return to classic metal in all its savage, scabrous early-’80s glory. Metal maniacs, miss this band at your peril.

The other thing is the long-awaited release of some book about wizards or something. Whatever. I know who’s getting my money. But we decided to pit the two against each other to help you decide who should get yours.

Books full of wizards and wizardry in uneasy co-existence with “normal” society. Titular protagonist secretly belongs to fraternity of the supernaturally gifted.

Books in series start off formulaically with Harry’s
boring holiday among “Muggle” relations.
Author J.K. Rowling based Hermione character  on herself.

Rowling unsuccessfully sued for plagiarism in 2002 by Pennsylvania author who claimed that Rowling had lifted ideas from plaintiff’s 1984 book The Legend of Rah and Muggles, which features a character named Larry Potter. Case dismissed when judge ruled that plaintiff had doctored evidence and committed perjury.

Author asked publisher to use only initials so as not to put off prospective adolescent male readers who might be biased against a female author.

Rowling knighted as Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

Author Rowling actually richer than Queen Elizabeth II.

Rowling writes all her books in longhand.

Author quit smoking by taking up vigorous gum-chewing and obsessive computer “Minesweeper” playing.

Rowling secured an unprecedented $100,000 advance on American publishing for first Harry Potter book.

Harry Potter books sometimes credited with single-handedly reviving literacy among young people. Author Rowling has three children.

Rowling’s favorite writer is Roddy Doyle.

Author has expressed an interest in writing a new series or a new book after the last Harry Potter installment.

Rowling, on finishing the final Harry Potter book: “Even though I’m in mourning, I feel an incredible sense of achievement…I have never felt such a mixture of emotions in my life, never dreamed I could feel so heartbroken and euphoric.”

Books have made author second-richest female entertainer in the world (behind Oprah Winfrey) and first person in history to amass a billion-dollar fortune by writing books.

“There is no good or evil: only power and those too weak to see it.” (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is available at all major book stores starting Saturday, July 21. Most retailers will open at midnight to offer copies.
Albums full of “abominable nomads,” “silver steeds”
and orc-like hordes bent on destroying humanity. Titular protagonist of “The Yeti (Ballad of)”
communicates telepathically with flying saucers.
2004 album Blessed Black Wings starts off with the same kick-ass Des Kensel drum solo that closed out 2002’s Surrounded by Thieves.

Guitarist Matt Pike looks kind of like a yeti.

Electric Light Orchestra doyen Jeff Lynne almost certainly unaware that High on Fire took its name from transposition of ELO song “Fire on High.”
Female-to-male ratio of High on Fire fans
 conservatively estimated at 1:275.

Pike anointed one of “top 20 new guitar gods” in February 2007 issue of Rolling Stone.

Pike boasts one-of-a-kind fingering style influenced by early jazz training and subsequent Black Sabbath/Tony Iommi worship.

In interviews, guitarist has credited the band’s success to his vices: “I smoke a lot. I drink a lot. That’s the secret.”

Matt Pike’s previous band Sleep was dumped from its major label deal after delivering an “album” consisting of a single, hour-plus song called “Dopesmoker.”

High on Fire albums possibly behind unnerving resurgence of cutoff-denim-jacket-and-oversize-white-hightop look. Guitarist Pike has three teeth.

Pike’s favorite Mahavishnu Orchestra album is Birds of Fire.

In various interviews, band members suggested Thai boxing, landscaping and deep-frying clams as possible non-rock careers.

Pike, on forthcoming album Death Is This Communion: “It’s the first album I’ve been truly proud of. It’s the heaviest thing I’ve ever heard.”

High on Fire members selling off personal possessions to pay for tour and over-budget recording of Death Is This Communion.

“Evil has you in its sight.” (High on Fire, “Eyes & Teeth”

High on Fire plays The Other Side Saturday, July 21, at 9:30 PM. Lazerwolfs and Universal Choke Sign open. $10.
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