Distributor/label URL: Century Media Records
Buy Album [URL]: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lucifer-II/dp/B07CJL9BQQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1532640467&sr=8-1&keywords=lucifer+II
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/luciferofficial
Band Line Up:
Johanna Sadonis – Vocals
Nicke Andersson – Drums
Robin Tiderbrink – Guitar
Martin Nordin – Live Guitar
Alexander Mayr- Live Bass
- California Son
- Dancing With Mr D
- Reaper On Your Heels
- Eyes In The Sky
- Before The Sun
- Faux Pharaoh
Johanna Sadonis suddenly found herself without a band in 2014: The Oath split and she saw this as an opportunity to explore something new. Her love was for 60’s & 70’s rock, especially bands like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and moving into Fleetwood Mac & Heart. While in Berlin she joined up with Cathedral guitarist Gaz Jennings and Lucifer was born. Initially Jennings’ doom metal sound took it down a darker path, but in 2016 he decided to leave and in his place Nicke Andersson (drummer) joined. His background was in bands such as Entombed, The Hellacopters & Imperial State Electric, a more eclectic mix of genres, so he had a more open style of playing. They recorded Lucifer II in his studio, The Honk Palace, Stockholm, mixing was done by Swedish Producer Ola Ersfjord and Andersson played most of the instruments on the album, with some additional guitar by Robin Tiderbrink. Once the album was ready they set about adding the necessary members to take the show on the road: Martin Nordin (Guitar) and Alexander Mayr (Bass). Thus, Lucifer emerged for the second time, now on Century Media Records, and aiming to take the world back to the 70’s.
Now there are some very good aspects of the 60’s / 70’s, and retro is very in vogue, however from the opener ‘California Son’ it is clear this is more ‘Winter of Discontent’ than ‘Summer of Love’. The sound owes a lot to the heavier bands musically. It is well played but very generic and bland, the vocals are more wannabe Stevie Nicks and don’t have the punch that the music requires. It’s sugary sweet and insipid. Track two is ‘Dreamer’, which sounds more like she is singing Demon, full of dated imagery and riffs that lack any imagination; this ambles along with little impact. ‘Phoenix’ is muddy sounding; it’s not that she cannot sing, her vocals are just mundane, a little bluesy, but it lacks something that makes it stand out.
The song that most suits her is ‘Dancing With Mr D’, a more bluesy, slow number but something of a cliche, and it fails to inspire. ‘Reaper On Your Heels’ continues with the same lack of originality, it seems overlong and directionless. Musically, ‘Eyes In The Sky’ is more appealing, until the vocals drown it in a platitudinous drivel of lyrics and the music gets lost and wanders down a path of mediocrity instead.
Zeppelin-inspired ‘Before The Sun’ is a mere shadow of what it hopes to emulate, lacking passion or fire, in the way a Mills & Boon is nothing like as satisfying as a Jane Austin. Tripping on to ‘Aton’, a song that makes no sense lyrically, something to do with sunshine which we have enough of just now, it seems lost in its own time-warp and maybe it sounds better when drunk. Finally we reach ‘Faux Pharaoh’, the doom-laden opening promises Sabbath-esque wizardry but soon falls into a more characterless dirge that leaves you glad there are only nine tracks on this album.
Maybe if you are a great lover of trying to live in the past, someone who wants to chill down with some wall-paper music that doesn’t ask you to think too hard, doesn’t try to tread new ground, has no passion or fire, something a little bluesy and likely to put you to sleep, then Lucifer are for you. This isn’t what I look for from music though, I like challenge and innovation and excitement, none of which can be got from this dull offering. Nine songs that are neither uplifting nor entertaining. Even the band name suggests something different to what they offer, it’s mismatched and as such you feel disappointed that you are not getting what is promised. Even the image suggests something harder, glam, maybe even riskier, but what is offered is tame and soft and mushy. If this was hoping to cash in on the current Fleetwood Mac resurgence, it is likely to fall flat for it’s not in the same league.