Matt Pike is a legend, there’s no denying it. Whether through his work with stoner titans Sleep or sludge warriors High on Fire, you can’t deny he has influenced a lot of modern metal bands. But being an icon means everything you say is going to be analysed and spread across the Internet like wildfire.
It’s a shame Luminiferous’ launch has been overshadowed by Pike’s recent comments about believing 9/11 was an inside job and that aliens are living among us, because what Pike and co. have produced is a really good album. Yes, there are David Ike-influenced lyrics about reptilian aliens existing on the planet. But as De Vermis Mysteriis proved, Matt Pike is a man who likes to tell stories. These stories are certainly interesting and in some ways chilling; they may not have inspired me to grab a tin foil hat but definitely made me want to look into what inspired him.
As with every High on Fire release, it’s not about the lyrics, it’s about the riffs. The album opener ‘The Black Plot,’ gets the album off with a ferocious start, it shifts the album into acceleration and does not slow down until ‘Carcosa’ begins. The guitar solos on the album are also godlike; Pike knows his way round a fretboard better than most and after all these years he can still pull off a face-melting solo. The solos on ‘The Black Plot’, Carcosa’, and the epic ‘The Cave’ are exact proof as to why he has become a shirtless deity to many. Vocally he may still sound like a stoned Lemmy, but his vocals on ‘The Falconist’ convey real sorrow and fear. However, High on Fire isn’t a one man show, Des Kensel‘s thunderous drumming is still some of the best in the field while Jeff Matz‘ bass skills provide a solid backbone to the album.
Some songs may take a few listens to get acquainted to and some (as with every album) are overshadowed by other tracks, but whether it’s a fast one like ‘Slave the Hive’ or ‘Luminiferous,’ or longer track like ‘The Lethal Chamber,’ the team behind De Vermis Mysteriis have done it again. Job well done lads.
Best Tracks: The Black Plot, The Falconist and The Cave.
1. The Dark Plot
3. The Sunless Years
4. Slave The Hive
5. The Falconist
6. Dark Side Of The Compass
7. The Cave
9. The Lethal Chamber
Matt Pike – Vocals / Guitar
Des Kensel – Drums
Jeff Matz – Bass