Album Review : High On Fire – Luminiferous
19th June 2015, 12:00
Posted by Tristan

Releasing a brand new album this year High On Fire return once more to prove that their reputation as one of the most consistently dependable bands remains.


1. The Black Plot

2. Carcosa

3. The Sunless Years

4. Slave The Hive

5. The Falconist

6. The Dark Side Of The Compass

7. The Cave

8. Luminiferous

9. The Lethal Chamber

Length: 54:00
Label: Century Media
Release date: 22nd June 2015

Known for their immovable stature the Romans came, saw and conquered. Spreading far and wide their empire was a marriage of calculated movements and sheer brute force. Adopting similar tendencies High On Fire exhibit their own expansion of empire on brand new record Luminiferous. Frontman Matt Pike’s characteristic howls are ever present, as the portcullis opens the gauntlet is well and truly thrown down with opener “The Black Plot”. Lyrically tackling conspiracy theories that aliens have indeed been a part of this earth and that we simply have not been aware of it, bar the excellent lyrical content the song itself is classic thrashing material from the band.

I won’t shy away from the fact that when I first listened to Luminiferous, I thought it was stock High On Fire riffs, though the more I delved deeper into the album, the more it embedded itself into my psyche. The hermit like “The Cave” see’s the band slow things right down, opting for a more groove oriented growth throughout the song. With incorporation of effects on the singers vocals and even the unheard of use of an acoustic, gives an air reminiscent slightly of Mastodon. A good way to create space between the pummelling distortion. Fear not however fan of the buzzing riffs “The Dark Side Of The Compass” has in spades coupled with the cement sounding production only enhances the experience.

That doesn’t mean that the band have done away with their classic earth shattering solo’s, second single “The Sunless Years” covers those bases. Having been around for as long as High On Fire have are still able to find elements. Their music fluctuates from the steamroller “Carcosa” to the all out assault that is “Slave The Hive” easily the fastest track on the album. Pike, still as ever sounds like he was force fed cigarettes and guzzling gasoline to ensure that the rough around the edges approach still remains.

You would think that the singers sandpaper style vocals detract but they have become part of the feral High On Fire package. The final section in title track “Luminiferous” envelopes the listeners ears with the sense of primal energy so often felt from the band. Brute force doesn’t forgo memorability however, “The Falconist” contains brilliant hooks, sounding like a seasoned veteran in the drunk ramblings arena the signers style gives a lurching movement to the groove of the song.

Though they may give off a sense of Neanderthal like raw energy to their sound, their music is anything but. Melding together elements from Sludge, Doom Metal and Thrash the band are able to exist entirely in their own right. Thinking that it would be easy to get stuck in a rut High On Fire have shown this is not the case. Manufacturing anvil heavy riffs one after the other could see a sense of boredom raise its head but with Luminiferous stale writing eludes the band once more. Our three Roman’s stand tall.

Delivering a devastatingly heavy album, coupled with the significant hooks and that sense of Whiskey soaked groove High Of Fire will no doubt be illuminating fans old and new with Luminiferous for the year round. A rock solid album. 

If like what you read / heard you can pre order the brand new album here, out June 22nd via Century Media.