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Album Review

High on Fire – Luminiferous – Album Review



E1 Music

Trystan MacDonald

Luminiferous, simply put, is nine tracks of crushing, overdriven guitar riffs accompanied by the husky, berating lyrics of Matt Pike.  It’s an overly simplified summary of the album; one could say: Luminiferous, sounds like the last three High on Fire albums,” at the risk of being insulting, but not necessarily inaccurate.

For a genre of music that promotes aggressive experimentation, heavy metal has always held a ubiquitous loyalty to consistency once that experimentation proves fruitful. High on Fire have prospered from that consistency, with a career spanning seventeen years and seven albums, with fanatical fans that thrive on the grimy, doom-laced sludge,  the same way they hold an endearing fondness for their favorite brand of cigarettes and beer.  Sonically, High on Fire, embody the classic American metal aesthetic of ripped jeans, patch jackets, and greasy hair.

To properly compare Luminiferous to High on Fire’s discography, you would simply have to look at their previous album, De Vermis Mysteriis, the only other album in High on Fire’s catalog produced by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou. Under Kurt’s direction, the heavy under currents that ran through De Vermis Mysteriis, have concentrated. Guitar solos have been stripped down, and there is far less ‘space’, resulting in an album that stampede’s from beginning to end.  The rampaging riffs of Matt Pike mercilessly assaults the listener from one song to the next, with progressions refined to the point of surgical precision; despite the illusionary tone of total intoxication.