High on Fire - Luminiferous
E1 Music
Stoner Metal
9 songs (53:44)
Release year: 2015
High on Fire, E1 Music
Reviewed by Goat
Major event

I'll admit to being an easy mark for High On Fire – their brand of rocking stoner doom has brought delight to many a drunken evening. And despite peers Mastodon all but rejecting metal and pretty much turning to shit lately, it's good that Matt Pike and co have remained outside the bear trap of mainstream approval, content in their niche of beer-drenched, headbanging awesomeness. Yet as fun (and interestingly varied, on catch-up listens) De Vermis Mysteriis was, even a band as good as High On Fire were sure to struggle to follow it up, and Luminiferous duly seems like something of a let-down.

Which is a tough accusation to make for a band this fun, because there's a good argument to be made that they've reached that Motörhead-esque plateau that means that every album released is solid simply for being more of the same, whether it's an advancement from previous releases or not. Some bands earn the right to repeat themselves, and whilst High on Fire are nowhere near the legendary status of Motörhead, they do make similar enough albums that please a select crowd, and you have to start questioning whether the new release being 'more of the same' is still a bad thing. Luminiferous is more of the same, and lacks the aforementioned interesting variety of De Vermis Mysteriis, yet no-one but a madman would call it a bad album.

The band themselves have done anything but coast, as galloping opener The Black Pot makes clear; all muscular riffs and powerful rock n roll groove. The following Carcosa is terrific, an even more brutal doom song that swings its punches slowly but brutally – after that, The Sunless Years can't help but feel lesser, despite being a good song in its own right, slower, more melodic and more thoughtful with its barbarian doom riffs. Newcomers to the band may enjoy that sort of song more from High On Fire, but those familiar with the band will prefer the likes of Slave the Hive, galloping pace and chaotic structure, all about the almost thrashing riffs coming at you fast and furious.

Having said that, the best track on the album is the least savage – The Cave's slower, Sabbathy vibe is a pleasant change of pace, even if it's interposed with heavier sections. Yet there's nothing you haven't heard High On Fire do before, let alone do better; a sense of disappointment continually popped its head up during my first listen, and it's still not entirely gone. Still, as uninspired as it may be, High On Fire are still very much worth your ears, and Luminiferous will make many a head bang. Job done.

Killing Songs :
The Black Pot, Carcosa, Slave the Hive, The Cave
Goat quoted 74 / 100
Other albums by High on Fire that we have reviewed:
High on Fire - The Art Of Self Defence (reissue) reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
High on Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis reviewed by Goat and quoted 87 / 100
High on Fire - Surrounded By Thieves reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
High on Fire - Snakes For The Divine reviewed by Goat and quoted 87 / 100
High on Fire - Death is this Communion reviewed by Adam and quoted 89 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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