Review by Greg Maki
The name of the band might suggest a sound that leans hard into the extreme side, or at least something more along the lines of the band’s 2014 debut, “Lucifer I.” But this multinational act, led by German singer Johanna Sadonis and Swedish multi-instrumentalist/songwriting partner Nicke Andersson (The Hellacopters), started moving away from the foreboding, doom and gloom sound of its initial output as soon as its second album, “Lucifer II” (2018).
For album number three, titled—you guessed it—”Lucifer III,” the band is even more deeply entrenched in a heavy rock sound straight out of the ‘70s, with big, big riffs and infectious rhythms that leave ample space for Sadonis to belt out hook after hook in beautiful tones that somehow are at once gentle and forceful, and always packing otherworldly power. Lyrics cover such spooky subjects as ghosts, demons, coffins, cemeteries and even the band’s namesake, yet Sadonis’ delivery and the undeniable energy the band brings to the recording can’t help but make it all feel upbeat and uplifting.
It’s tempting to say the record is front-loaded with singles “Ghosts,” “Midnight Phantom” and “Leather Demon;” but then the middle portion features the hypnotic eponymous song, the incredibly catchy “Pacific Blues” and the creepy, Sabbath-esque “Coffin Fever;” and the final third consists of the energetic “Flanked by Snakes” and “Stay Astray,” and the dramatic closer “Cemetery Eyes.”
My point is, there isn’t a second wasted across the nine tracks of “Lucifer III”—no fat, no filler. It’s the only album I’ve wanted to listen to since I started playing it a couple weeks ago. If a band like Ghost, which also sports a retro sound and relies heavily on the occult, can achieve superstardom, I see no reason why Lucifer can’t find major success, as well. “Lucifer III” is an absolute masterpiece.
Century Media Records – March 20, 2020