Posts Tagged ‘Luminiferous’

I love doom. 2015’s doom has been in some places, magnificent. It is the most primal and emotional subgenre; the closest to the progenitor riffs of Iommi and ghostly wail of Ozzy. There has been some triumphs this year in this genre, and here are the Killchain top 10. It contains some of the same albums I put forward to the Sleeping Shaman as my top ten, but some have changed.

10. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – The Night Creeper: A last minute addition to the list, where the Deadbeats swoop in to amaze with their groove ridden psychedelic doom. The journey continues deeper into the bowels of doom

9. A Dream of Poe – An Infinity Emerged: An album designed to wring pure emotion from you in every way. Crooning vocals, mourning riffs and a creaking atmosphere builds into one of the gloomiest pieces of gothic doom art this year. Affecting in the most primal way.

8. Thorr-Axe – The Gates of Winter: Another masterpiece of riffing, a crushing swing of the doom sword to smote the enemies below. Thorr-Axe blend some hardcore tinges into their swelling post metal/doom mix, and the result is a heady album of bludgeon and glacial power.

7. Paradise Lost – A Plague Within: Yorkshire doom masters bring the heavy, the gothic melancholy, and just about everything else in their arsenal to create a monolithic slab of deathly doom majesty. Another prime example of how the golden oldies never fail to amaze or deliver.

6. Pentagram – Curious Volume: A triumphant return for one of doom’s legends. ‘Curious Volume’ sees Pentagram regain their place as one of doom’s figureheads with swaggering groove, achingly heavy riffs and Liebling’s soulful croon sounding better than it has in years. Don’t close the casket on them yet…

5. Shrine of the Serpent – Shrine of the Serpent: A pure evilness abounds in this three track crushing death/doom from these US newcomers. This is the sound of misery crushing you into nothing, with a fetid stench of death about every riff and every vomited incantation. Doomed to destroy

4. High on Fire: Luminiferous: RIFFS! That’s pretty much the whole modus operandi for High on Fire, and ‘Luminiferous’ delivers a metric fuckton of riffs. Matt Pike and co have always possessed this primal power in voice, riff and drum, and ‘Luminiferous’ may be their most definite statement yet.

3. Lucifer – Lucifer I: The sultry, smoky occult doom stylings of Lucifer bring me back to the feelings of joy last year when I encountered Mount Salem for the first time. The groove and the simple beauty of each riff is hypnotic, while the vocal hooks keep you from wandering. Stunning.

2. Windhand – Grief’s Infernal Flower: The band you rely on to fill Electric Wizard’s space when they’re off watching horror movies and smoking weed. Windhand have an uncanny knack of writing these dense, monolithic riffs that rumble through your very bones. Psychedelic groove that drags you to the void

1.Undersmile – Anhedonia: The scorching primal beauty of ‘Anhedonia’ is clear for everyone to see. Balancing heft with glacial beauty, melancholy with crushing power of riff, Undersmile’s 2015 effort was one of the finest records in any genre I got this year.

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Originally published here: http://www.thesleepingshaman.com/reviews/album-reviews/h/high-on-fire-luminiferous-cd-lp-dd-2015/

If you follow this site, or indeed any metal site, you’ll know who High on Fire are. But for those who are uninitiated, let me explain who High on Fire are. They are not just Matt Pike and cohorts. They aren’t just a band with former members of a legendary band. High on Fire have evolved past that. High on Fire are one of metal’s great personification of the RIFF. Their new album, ‘Luminiferous’, is yet another testament to their embodiment of heavy metal’s most primal weapon.

I want to take a second to mention the artwork of ‘Luminiferous’ first. Normally I look at metal artwork and either think ‘yeah that’s pretty sweet’ or ‘that’s a cliché’. Not with this record. ‘Luminiferous’ stands as the demon guardian in the art, a roiling sea around him while behind lies the temple. That is the temple of metal, where High on Fire sit as gatekeepers to the realm of the RIFF. It is as perfect a summation of a band as you could hope to find.

‘The Black Plot’ begins with that familiar rumble, that tectonic weight, that earthy roar and that instantly infectious guitar style. Matt Pike is a true guitar hero, but not of the widdly type. He wields his axe as a weapon of music, cutting swathes through mediocre cut and paste doom bands who will never measure up. Within minutes, the listener is given clarity and insight into what metal represents. High on Fire obliterate the mediocrity and stride triumphantly into the arena, slamming down their riffs and screaming ‘Are you not entertained?’ Be it the grinding stomp of ‘Carcosa’ or the primal roar that reverberates throughout ‘The Sunless Years’, High on Fire fight for metal’s core beliefs. A belief in great riffs, great music and passion.

The freight train-esque ‘Slave the Hive’ is a pulsing, propulsive monster of a track, ‘The Falconist’ a more ponderous and melodic offering. High on Fire don’t always play the full throttle riff game. ‘The Falconist’ may be as close to a ballad as you’d ever get from the band, but it possesses this killer bluesy swagger that’s so addictive. ‘The Dark Side of the Compass’ rips that classic High on Fire tribal thunder to start, then unleashes an apocalyptic chug that demands your head begin to nod. The calming, almost psychedelic start to ‘The Cave’ brings back those quintessential memories of Sleep’s most drugged out moments, and it also has a bit of a Crowbar vibe about it too, channelling a bit of Southern groove throughout.

Be it the fury of the title track or the slow burn titan ‘The Lethal Chamber’, High on Fire have yet again hoisted themselves back to the pinnacle of Riff Mountain. Their music is a cathartic release, an exercise in heaviness and pure fucking metal. It is refreshing in this age of constant sub categorising, that there are bands out there that are nothing but metal. High on Fire are one of those bands, and ‘Luminiferous’ is one of 2015’s greatest records.