• 2013

One of the most notable names in Chicago heavy metal is Chris Black. He’s a member of Dawnbringer, Superchrist, Aktor, and Pharaoh, and the former bass player in black-metal revolving door Nachtmystium. Since 2009, Black has also been recording and playing shows with High Spirits, essentially a solo act that has evolved into a full-blown live band. This Saturday, High Spirits—who don’t play live very often—will be taking the stage at Reggie’s Rock Club with Manilla Road, Bible of the Devil, Harbinger, and Ancient Dreams. As the name suggests, High Spirits is all about good times. A far cry from the intense, bleak metal of some of Black’s other projects, this act owes more to the good-vibe, tough-guy rock ‘n’ roll of Judas Priest and Saxon. On High Spirits’ latest record, the 2013 EP, Black lays down smooth, catchy, Halfordesque vocals over sharp, harmonized guitar shredding. There’s even a lofty power ballad, the heartfelt “If I’m Gone,” that’s rife with hand claps and a massive, wanking guitar solo. Cheesy? Sure. But that doesn’t matter. In the end, it might even be the point. High Spirits is fun and undeniably great, and Saturday’s set should not be missed.

You can hear 2013—which I can’t stop listening to, by the way—in its entirety after the jump.