There’s been a lot of bands named Lucifer, but this one hails from Europe and despite rotating members for each of their three records, the mainstay has been and always will be vocalist Johanna Sadonis, she of the gorgeous, ethereal and mystical voice. Nicke Anderson (Hellacopters, Entombed) has been with her second longest and is primary songwriter along with Johanna. Lucifer falls into that whole Occult Rock movement that was popular a few years ago and while this does pretty accurately describe who they are, they’ve added a lot more rock n’ roll the last couple of albums, which has spiced-up some of the witchy vibes, giving them added heft.
So what are they doing here on their third album? It’s safe to say they’re keeping the course, this record full of grooving hard rock, melodic textures, and lots of numinous undertones. Johanna’s voice is the star here, as it always is. She has such a velvety delivery, yet there’s plenty of grit in there. She is truly a chanteuse for Satan, as I believe she could easily seduce any Holy Man into apostasy. All of the songs carry gorgeous hooks to go along with the phenomenal vocals, riffs mixing with leads to hex the listener. Opener “Ghosts” sets the table, delivering everything you’re going to get for the rest of the platter, and then some. It rocks, it rolls, it steals your soul. And so goes the rest of the record, delivering one catchy, rocking song after another. My particular favorites are “Cabin Fever,” a return to their more doomy roots, a song that slinks like a snake, all sex and black lipstick, and closer “Cemetery Eyes,” that serves as a quasi-epic. Big and towering, it manages to sprawl out, feeling very open and yet tight as a door hinge. The only drawback I’d say to the album is that it’s simply more of the same, the band refining the sound they celebrated on their second opus, moving it forward but not changing very much in the process. This is only a problem if you tire of good music, and III stands out just enough from II so the similarities aren’t damning.
If you’re looking for a hard rock record full of slithering occult and great psychedelic moments, look no further. This is a return to the 70’s in all the best ways possible. Bow before Lucifer, your new lord and Morningstar of rock n’ roll.
Three Buckets of Blood out of Four
Kelly is the author of dozens of stories and dozens of reviews, he likes to write, he likes to read, he likes going to the movies, and he loves to laugh. He hails from the wilds of Kentucky and if you'd like to see more of his work, check out his website: www.kellymhudson.com