Good, meaty heavy rock with classy femme vox is as welcome as free beer at Hacienda El Jefe. So, a few years back when I stumbled across Lucifer by way of their tune Midnight Phantom, my antennae pinged immediately. Riffy guitars playing smoky chords with some wailing solos, rockin’ drums and bass. Some killer vocals from frontwoman Johanna Sadonis really capped it off, her power and liquid sense of melody being a major selling point. They can rock, groove and swing. Really, what’s not to fucking like?!?! I grabbed me a copy of III, and let ‘em sink their teeth in.
So, with Miss J being the constant in the lineup, I guess it’s fair to say it’s her band/project. And her band, despite a couple of lineup changes, packs a helluva punch, and this, being album number five is no exception. Maybe slightly more diverse than the earlier releases, but I’m good with that. There’s a definite trajectory with the songwriting, and I don’t just hear ‘em cover the same ground anyway. Let’s leave that to AC/DC, they’ve earned it and who the fuck WOULDN’T wanna be wearing a schoolboy costume onstage at 97 years old!
To get the riot rolling, Fallen Angel manages to rip the arse outta the party. It’s a massive tune that falls somewhere between the ‘head and (the) ‘sabbath. Nothin’ wrong with that recipe. Drummer Nicke Andersson slaughters the kit on this one too.
They throttle back slightly on At The Mortuary, but not much. More lumbering riffs and those slick melodies that can make or break a tune. I truly love strong, powerful female vocals. Whatever the genre, the feelings they can evoke are just so different. The elements they can add are both mercurial and elusive, but in times like this, they’re just perfect.
Blazing solos and a gutsy rhythm section with a hefty selection of tunes gives Lucifer a great vibe…
Some mangled guitars punch through A Coffin Has No Silver Lining. It’s a stomping, foot to the floor number, with a hyper-catchy chorus. Maculate Heart hits a neat, melodic Detroit rawk kinda vibe. It’s got drive, some great lil guitar runs binding the riffage together, and being a more rock ‘n’ roll feel over the general doomy sounds of the rest of the album, it stands out as a result. With some excellent playing from bassist Harald Göthblad, his rolling runs hold the tune down well.
OK, so if it wasn’t for the eloquence of the vocals, you could easily think there was sumthin’ a bit morbid about these dudes (although, to be honest, it ain’t that different, lyrically speaking, to the previous four albums!)! The Dead Don’t Speak keeps the doominess creeping along. More big riffs and soaring vocals and I really dig the way the guitars of Martin Nordin and Linus Björklund work together. They know the right time to breath, and when they just gotta choke each other out.
Nothing Left To Lose But My Life continues the ‘graveyard’ theme. It creeps into view slowly and builds to quite a majestic peak before slowly dying out with some mournful sirens.
Blazing solos and a gutsy rhythm section with a hefty selection of tunes gives Lucifer a great vibe. I love the power of the songs, and the way the band attacks it all. The current line-up has been around for a few years, and it most definitely shows. So, a few more spins while I’m sitting in the hillbilly hot tub at the Hacienda, and I may just proclaim Lucifer V to be a balls-out classic… which it is.
Scribed by: El Jefe