Album: Lucifer II
Label: Century Media
Release Date: 6 July, 2018
This album is a sugarbomb of sweet riffs and tasty hooks.
Lucifer is the vehicle of Johanna Sadonis (ex-The Oath) and her love of 70’s hard rock and Doom seethes from every note, every single sung refrain. The first album had more Doom elements, and was darker, the mysticism at the fore. This second release sees her bringing on Nicke Andersson (The Hellacopters) who plays the bass, the drums, and half of the guitars on the recording. Nicke has added an element of strut to the music, and a brightness that never tames the moody mysticism of Sadonis’ lyrics and vocals, but instead buoys and enhances it. There’s echoes of lots of 70’s greats in here, from Fleetwood Mac to Deep Purple to (of course) Sabbath, but never once does it feel forced or like nostalgia porn. This sound is all their own, and own it they do.
Opener “California Son” rocks right out of the gate, a headbanger, with plenty of organs to underpin the whole thing. I can’t say enough about the bass on this song and, indeed, on the entire album. It not only accentuates what the riffs and hooks are bringing, but add plenty of tasty hooks of its own. This song is a fine example of that, as well as an in your face introduction that things are going to be different on this record. It’s still Lucifer, but they’re more aggressive this time around.
“Dreamer” is the second song and a great example of how Sadonis and her lyrics and vocals blend with the newer, brighter sound on hand here. This song is simply a masterpiece, with beautiful melodies, that lovely voice, the forbidding tale told by the words…This is a good blend of Heart with BOC and a lot of love. And talk about a strut! This song strides into the room, confident and sassy, but never showy. It’s more like “Here, let me floor you by simply showing up and being awesome.”
It carries on from there, with all of the tracks bringing the rock and the melody and a pure, unadulterated love for music. “Dancing With Mr. D,” an excellent Rolling Stones cover, is a vivacious little ditty that blends joyful surrender and abandon with a 70’s swing. This one will leave you swaying, more than willing to sell your soul to ol’ Mr. D himself (or herself, as the twist goes). “Reaper On Your Heels” follows and is a prime example of allowing a song to breathe, with lots of space decorated with rolling guitar lines, walking bass, and that voice! I don’t think I’ve given Sadonis enough praise yet so I will here: her voice is at once sensual and powerful, able to carry the emotion of the song, slightly fragile but at the same time, strong as Hell itself. She has the kind of voice that can lullaby you to sleep or punch you in the face, depending on what’s called for, or how she’s feeling. Leather and Lace, indeed.
The new Lucifer record is like meeting the most beautiful girl in the world (or guy, if you prefer) in a graveyard at midnight, and they greet you with a plate of magic mushrooms, a six-pack of cold beer, and a wicked smile. You know you’re going to Hell but goddamned if you aren’t going to have the time of your life getting there. Every song on this release is killer, some revealing themselves more as they unfold with repeat listenings. If you love rock, if you love Doom, if you just like great music in general, you will be pleased with this one. My favorite record of the year so far.
1. California Son
4. Dancing With Mr. D
5. Reaper On Your Heels
6. Eyes in the Sky
7. Before the Sun
9. Faux Pharaoh
Total Playing Time: 42:00