Lucifer open this splendid album with ‘Abracadabra’, a magical phrase that implies the opening up of new vistas and worlds. Which, following the sad demise of The Oath, Lucifer most certainly are. The music contained within the grooves of this album is truly marvellous, utterly sincere, timeless… it belongs to no particular time. It is as though, like an ancient indestructible monolith, it has always been there, awaiting Johanna Sadonis to expose it to the light once more, and that is as it should be, for was Lucifer not known as ‘The Bringer Of Light’?
Elsewhere, on the epic ‘Izreal’, Lucifer are especially moving. I really love the track ‘White Mountain’, which truly channels the spirit of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Of course, there is a song called ‘Sabbath’! And appropriately, for a band called Lucifer, we have a song called ‘Morning Star’, which reminds me very much of Dio-era Sabbath – it has that epic sincerity (in this song, the Devil is very much a lady!) ‘Total Eclipse’ is doom metal in the very best sense of the term. And then the album ends with the plaintive ‘A Grave For Every One Of Us’: Lucifer are not afraid to trawl the depths of human feeling, and that is some riff.
As well asJohanna Sadonis, one of metal’s great voices of any era, the album unsurprisingly features Angel Witch drummer Andy Prestidge. Unsurprising, because like both The Oath and Death Penalty, Lucifer very much channel the spirit of the mighty Angel Witch. (If you don’t like Angel Witch, you truly don’t like metal; it’s that simple.) Along with such bands as Venom, Sabbath, Bathory, Celtic Frost, and Cathedral, Angel Witch are one of the bands that are truly special… if Lucifer keep making albums like this, you can add them to that list.
Finally, as the icing on a very special cake, this album features Gaz Jennings. Having seen the mighty Cathedral on numerous occasions, I can confirm Gaz as the best British riff-meister since Tony Iommi. That is no lie, he is The Wizard, conjuring up riffs that embed themselves into your brain, always serving the song. While I very much miss Cathedral, and hope they will one day return, Gaz has truly soared as a guitarist with The Oath and the superb Death Penalty (another band featuring a courageous and talented female singer in Michelle Nocon).
Johanna Sadonis, I must salute you for your courage at rising from the wreckage of The Oath, and bringing forth something equally marvellous.
Simply put, if you love not just metal but music of depth and sincerity, Lucifer – the band and the album — are very much for you.
(Rise Above Records)
Rise Above Records: