In the year since High on Fire released its last record — Death Is This Communion, an uncompromisingly forbidding, yet strangely melodic album — the Oakland metal gods have remained quite the road warriors. The Matt Pike–led trio has spent virtually all year away from home playing headlining gigs, opening for Opeth, and slaying crowds on Megadeth's Gigantour. The band's tight, pummeling live attack has gotten sharper and more ferocious as a result. Recent shows have proved High on Fire is hardly bored with its older material, but the group may sneak in a new song or two for a taste of what's to come when it performs with Drunk Horse on Thursday, Dec. 18, at Great American Music Hall. 9 p.m., $16; 885-0750, www.gamh.com.