I’m pretty sure the brainstorming process for Luminiferous went something like this – Matt Pike and Co. locked themselves in a room, smoked the gross weight equivalent of a bull elephant in weed, marathoned all the seasons of Ancient Aliens and as many Lovecraftian movies as they could get their hands on, strapped on their instruments and went to aural war. The only way to properly prepare yourself to listen to Luminiferous is to follow suite by finding the strongest marijuana strain you can, smoking it in an attempt to gain their god like powers, then blast this album from your rooftop. Shirtless the whole while of course. Mr. Pike wouldn’t want it any other way.
Luminiferous follows 2012’s De Vermis Mysteriis, an album that stands as one of the best the band has released to date and one of the best metal albums of its year. Though I can’t say Luminiferous hits quite the same high water mark as De Vermis Mysteriis but it comes damn close which puts it leaps and bounds ahead of 90% of the metal bands on the circuit today. The most significant thing that I’ve taken out of Luminiferous is that High on Fire is a band that can stay on the cutting edge of the game while maintaining the quality that fans have come to expect over the years. Just the right amount of experimentation coupled with the gut punch riffery we’ve all come to expect from Matt Pike ensure that not only will this album please longtime fans but is sure to bring new fans into the fold.
The first half of the album kicks into the aggressive stoner riffs that the best High on Fire songs are known for as soon as you hit play. “The Black Plot”, “Carcosa” (sneaky reference there guys), and “The Sunless Years” blast one after another, forming a trilogy of sorts that weaves stoned guitar noodling with enough aggression to put most modern punk bands to shame. The next song is the one of the only real issues I have with the album and that issue isn’t even the song, but it’s placement on the album. “Slave the Hive” blends into the furious speed of the proceeding songs and doesn’t have enough room to breath on it’s own. Were it to be placed before or after “Dark Side of the Compass” I think I would be able to appreciate it more.”The Falconist” slows it down just a little so we can all catch up and/or pack another bowl before we ride headlong and full speed into the back half of the album. “The Cave” is a standout track on this half of the album, reminiscent of some of Pikes earlier work with a little band called Sleep, You might have heard of them. Maybe.
An extremely strong follow up to an amazing album, High on Fire proves that we can expect them to assault our ears for a long time to come with their brand of stoner metal.
PS – Can someone please get Matt Pike and Attila Cishar together so they can talk about chemtrails? Film it of course. I think that this could be the single most important conversation of our generation.