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Lucifer - Lucifer II

Label: Century Media
Format: Download
Released: 2018
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 7.5/10


Brainchild of Johanna Sadonis, who changes bands more frequently than some of her German countrymen shower. Luckily, each time she's come out in spades, beginning with short lived The Oath and although this is the second outing under the somewhat ill-conceived moniker (as there's nothing Satanic or evil), it's a new line-up, most notably with current live-in boyfriend Nicke Andersson (ex-Hellacopters/ex-Entombed). There's a lazy, heavy groove to the music, with plenty of fuzz tones, slide and wah wah guitars, which has led to labels of "stoner" or "doom", although neither are 100% accurate as there's a strong sense of melody running through the seemingly 70s inspired material. If they came from the USA, probably would just be considered classic rock. At different junctures recalls Fleetwood Mac (‘Phoenix’), Allman Brothers/southern rock (‘Dancing With Mr. D’) and others, so take your pick.

 


Before launching into the guitar break, an atypically bouncy ‘California Son’, which opens the album, actually has a late 70s New Wave feel, sort of Blondie meets Pretenders. It's the only such one. Sadonis coos throughout the ten tracks, not a bit of screaming, scaling heights, nor harsh (usual metal) vocals on display anywhere. About as blues rock as Lucifer gets, ‘Reaper On Your Heels’ rides a booming bottom end and cymbal active drummer into the winner's circle. ‘Eyes In The Sky’ switches on a dime, from it's initial sludge to an almost lilting, tambourine/hi-hat workout, before ultimately succumbing to the dirge fate. Apart from the occasional guitar rumble intrusion, ‘Before The Sun’ is a tender ballad. ‘Faux Pharaoh’ begins like a Candlemass outtake, then enlivens. Backed by symphonic strings and squawking guitar, Sadonis' clean, angelic voice soars above any metallic fray. Closer ‘Evening Wind’ crosses a Led Zeppelin intro with a smokey, jazz lounge chanteuse. Mood music, for a diversion.

 
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