Since I’ve been listening to dave weckl drumming I’m listening to more Chick Chorea and all the bands, projects and musicians he’s been associated with. This lead me to the Jeff Forber Fusion group. Today was my first time listening to them and I was intending to write a review, but finding that Kenny G, and while there’s nothing wrong with him, was one of the prominent members of the group I had to ask myself if I was really going that soft.
Sure I just got married but I can’t just lie down, can i? Either way, I got about 1 song in before realizing Mr G is one of the members of this group. I had to do what any metal drummer would do. Switch to High on Fire.
This band is the motorcycle loving leather dude you drink with and see at shows. he rules, and he hasn’t had the gall to step down. he has a vision of his life and who he is and he lives it. This would be Matt Pike. the dude was involved in the beginning of the true stoner metal sound with his group Sleep in 1992. He’s also had an intense life.
Watching High On Fire live is a trip. Dude walks onto the stage with his shirt off, hair past his shoulders and they just shred. Their intensity is half of the show. They just played Thalia Hall the same night Weckl and Mayer played at Martyrs. As a drummer I made the right decision.
When you hear the name High on Fire you hear Matt’s snarling voice in your head, like at the 2 min mark on Sunless Years. He’s yelling from the depth of his lungs and his voice has yelled in a lot of faces through the years. The thunderous drums that finish the track raise the song in an amazing way to end the song.
The songs tend to get into a mid tempo groove, but there’s also the rippers. Slave the Hive is a thrash jam, double bass, big fills. pissed at someone.
This is one of those bands that if you like them, you really like them. There are probably some fair weather fans, but the majority are devoted. Their albums are consistently good. You know what to expect, yet there’s something new for their music. If they were to do an acoustic album there’d probably be overly dramatic reactions.
Hearing this new album, Luminiferous doesn’t sound like they’ve aged or calmed. It sounds like they continue to refine their songs and collaboration as a band. The album is great. What’s difficult is to rate the album amongst the others without really devoting yourself to the songs.
The title track performs as you’d expect a High on Fire title track to play. Luminiferous (the song) is a ripper. Once the song gets to the climax (you’ll know) Matt’s voice holds out for dear life, like the drop below would hurt him.
The final track takes you on the familiar Matt Pike-esque journey. In a slower groove, but the middle build is a monsterous drumming experience. The only type of tension that can drop off to the slow sludgy groove they’re known for.
And after listening to High on Fire for any period you must cleanse the palate with Snakes for the Divine.