Artist: High On Fire
Record Label: E1 Music
Release Date: 23rd June 2015
Matt Pike & Co.'s 7th full-length is as wickedly catchy as it is pumellingly heavy and crustily epic
High On Fire's ascent into being lauded more consistently by a wider audience really began with the release of and response to their 2012 opus De Vermis Mysteriis. Though Matt Pike's CV already read like an academic game changer within the metal community, De Vermis Mysteriis seemed to be the point when the scope of his song-writing was realised by those unfamiliar to the charms of Sleep. Luminiferous, the band's 7th full-length, continues on the monolithic path set by its predecessor and, although slightly more lo-fi in terms of size, it contains some of the band's catchiest and most epic moments to date.
Not only are the songs on Luminiferous played with supreme precision, but Kurt Ballou's production is instantly as thick, pure and crushing as expected. Though the sense of melody is more profound on this record than anything Pike has written previously, the riffs are still full of fried filth and swampy menace.
Opener 'The Black Plot' is a ferocious, no holds barred punk-indebted rumble, one of the three blood-pumpingly heavy thrash numbers on the record (see also the skyscraper-flattening 'Slave The Hive' and the title track). 'The Sunless Years' is a wonderful, slightly tribal off-kilter banger. Perhaps most memorable of all though is 'The Cave', a 7-and-a-half minute epic that flits between meditative, dusty bass and guitar noodling and soaring chord sequences.
In effect, just like De Vermis..., Luminiferous is a righteous entwining of rootsy, hardcore essence and huge vision. It's very distinctly a High on Fire record as well as a showcase of the ability to be consistently creative. It's preaching to the choir while proving that they are absolutely still worth listening to.
Key Tracks: 'The Cave', 'The Sunless Years', 'Slave The Hive'
For Fans Of: Sleep, Mastodon, Exodus