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High on Fire: Luminiferous

I'll let other reviewers comment on the conspiracy theories Matt Pike has been bringing up of late. A quick Google search will take you to plenty of commentary (and probably several memes) concerning Pike and his recent interest in David Icke, the guy behind some of the more off-beat perspectives. Maybe none of this stuff really matters—lots of people have weird ideas, after all—but those listeners who care to read through this album's lyrics will probably recognize some of the stranger ideas finding a voice here and there.

Whatever criticisms people may level at Matt Pike and the rest of the gang in High on Fire, there's no denying that this is an excellent album. It just hits harder and heavier than much of the band's other work. High on Fire has always been good, but things just seem more ramped up, more powerful, than ever before. Sure, all the elements that make this band strong are on display, but things sound just a bit different, as though the band wants to make another first impression. After listening to this album a few times, all I can say is that High on Fire sounds better than ever.

I think most people will agree that Des Kensel's drumming is especially powerful on this album. He pounds out beats and rhythms like he's trying to stamp out a fire that won't go out. Not to be outdone, Kensel keeps going and going, never stopping for breath. Pike's guitar playing is likewise fast and heavy, an equal mixture of riffs and rhythms that somehow manage to provide even more energy to the songs. He doesn't solo as much as he might, but there are a few lead moments that stand out. Be sure to check out the Tony Iommi-like esque passages at the end of "Carcosa." Wow. Jeff Matz's bass, never far behind, thunders with no less energy and power. Even though the musicianship here is great, I can't overlook Pike's vocals. They also sound stronger and edgier, as though Pike really wants to be heard and understood.

The music on this album is like a Biblical plague—swift, powerful, and unrelenting. It is harder and heavier than most of the last album and includes songs that will remain essential listening for High on Fire fans. The song that gets the most attention (and deservedly so) is "The Black Plot." For those who haven't heard this song yet, check it out right away. It just slams into the ears with all the fierceness and passion this band can manage. "Carcosa" is another excellent track, as are "The Falconist," "Dark Side of the Compass," and the title track. If you haven't heard this album yet, check it out!

Track Listing:
1. The Black Plot
2. Carcosa
3. The Sunless Years
4. Slave the Hive
5. The Falconist
6. Dark Side of the Compass
7. The Cave
8. Luminiferous
9. The Lethal Chamber

Added: July 7th 2015
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1814
Language: english

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