The nice thing about certain bands is you pretty much know what you’re going to get with some of them. With Devin Townsend you’re going to get about 9000 layers of everything or a choir of Devin. With Slayer you’re going to get cheesy ass lyrics from Kerry King. With Deicide you’re going to get something stupid because Glen Benton is a moron. And with High on Fire you’re going to get raw, unpolished, sweaty, smelly Motorhead-meets-old-Slayer metal. And the nice thing is, not much needs to change when you have a formula that works.
Enter the new High on Fire album, Luminiferous. There are parts of the album that will remind you of every effort before this. BUT! With each album they manage to get a better mix than the last. Which is great if you want metal that is thick like 70’s porn star bush and certain to have the same swanky flare to it. Never have High on Fire succumb to the modern crutch of over-production that plaques a million metalcore groups or given in to the idea they need to start having a lot of melody to get new fans. Matt Pike says “Fuck you” to that whole concept. With a bottom end that would make the Melvins proud and a throaty delivery of conspiracy theory lyrics screamed in key like so many Lemmy verses, High on Fire never tries to be anything more than they are. Ever. Sometimes they’ll go fast and force you to run a minivan off the road, while other times you’ll get a super dose of swaggeriffic 70’s swamp rock downtuned into a vat of sludge and big muff pedals. Add in a tinge of progression rock influence and you have a formula that works.
Make no mistake about it. Much like other High on Fire releases, unless you’re a super fan the album may wear on you a bit. I personally can manage around 5 to 6 tracks before I know what I’m getting, but I always LIKE what I get. While it’s not a top ten record of the year for me as of right now, that may change. But I do know this is a DAMN FINE EFFORT from High on Fire. And if you know what’s best for your alcohol induced summer nights filled with possible bong hits, political discussions that go in circles and hopefully oral sex from the one you love, then you’re in the right to get this heavy ass album.