Lucifer III

(Century Media Records)

      As a whole, the bulk of the music journalists at the gap-toothed epicenter of the blogosphere are often quite eager to abuse and overuse the terms 'groundbreaking', 'revolutionary' and even 'breathtaking' when describing the artists and groups they feel deserve additional or, in certain cases, renewed recognition. Unfortunately, the increasingly-faithful reader, this has resulted in you being repeatedly subjected to my painfully adjective-riddled prattling concerning State Of Euphoria era Anthrax, Dream Theater, ex-Holland/Nitro axeman Michael Angel Batio and post-Metal Health Quiet Riot (i.e. QR III, QR and Terrified) on a semi-regular basis throughout the course of what remains of my tattered journalistic career. Not surprisingly, when approached regarding coverage of the highly-anticipated Lucifer III, the latest--and quite possibly greatest--offering from truly-unsung Berlin, Germany-born Doom and Occult Metal merchants Lucifer, we were again only more than happy to overindulge.

      On the brilliant Lucifer III (2020), an expertly assembled eight song collection of Doom and Occult-laden Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, each track, beginning with the maddeningly infectious first single “Ghosts” and the 'deliciously somber' lamentation “Leather Demon”, immediately commands the rapt and undivided attention of all parties involved, myself most definitely included. Undoubtedly intent on capitalizing on the success of the equally ingenious Lucifer II (2018) and, for that matter, their Rise Records-issued debut Lucifer I, 2015, the group wastes little--if any--time reminding us all of their compositional prowess. Wholeheartedly flexing their creative muscles early and often, the group the group hints at the ingenuity burgeoning below the surface (as most evident on the noteworthy “Midnight Phantom”) without ruining the surprise. Appearing leaner and more focused than ever before, the group subtly lays the foundation for the surgically precise tomes that soon follows.

      Continuing with the soaring, breakdown-fueled “Pacific Blues” and the thunderous, quasi-love song “Coffin Fever”, the newly-rejuvenated combination of vocalist Johanna Platow-Andersson (Dies Ater, Ferox, The Oath, guitarists Martin Nordin and Linus Björklund, bassist Harald Göthblad and drummer Nicke Platow-Andersson (ex-Entombed, Imperial State Electric, The Hellacopters) steamrolls ahead like the well-oiled machine they've so obviously become. Tastefully embracing their more-than-obvious influences (most notably Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult and pre-Rumors era Fleetwood Mac), the group offers both die-hard completists and clueless newcomers alike the opportunity to vicariously partake in a now long-defunct era. Driving home each key focal point via a seamless blend of Platow-Andersson's smoky and gloomy vocals, Nordin and Björklund's blistering fretwork and an array of punishing rhythms, the group forgoes the clichéd formulas of their few contemporaries.

      Recorded at the Stockholm, Sweden-based Honk Palace (Dead Lord, Grand Royale and Tribulation, among others), other standouts, including the hook-laden--and arguably Alice Cooper-influenced--jewel “Flanked By Snakes” and the smoldering, equally impressive closer “Cemetery Eyes”, leave the listener with a blissful sense of pure melancholy that further solidifies the group's reputation as a rising force amid the Doom/Occult Rock sub-genres. While not necessarily groundbreaking and certainly not revolutionary, the overall impact(s) of the group's sonic amalgam ultimately separates them from their few legitimate contemporaries without, believe it or not, overwhelming the proverbial average listener. Although one might effectively argue the group still exists in a relative state of infancy (they have released three full-length releases and six singles within a five year span), what the group has created is indeed nothing short of extraordinary and is deserving of our highest of accolades.

      So what, exactly are you waiting for? At this point, you literally have nothing to lose. Delightfully forthright in both execution and delivery, the majority--if not all--of the thoroughly memorable wares contained herein 'deliver' the proverbial 'goods' with a palpable sense of authenticity that mildly hints at an undoubtedly bright future. Even if you somehow find still yourself less than enthralled with the group's oft-retro yet refreshingly unique interpretation of the previously mentioned sub-genres, one must, at the very least, sincerely admire their ability to persevere amid what can only be describe as a less-than-hospitable commercial environment. Needless to say, if you've once again found yourself in search of an entirely imaginative and, for that matter, outright musically-challenging, alternative to the painfully mindless din and clatter that is so often force fed en mass, then this, my friends, might just be the high-octane salve for what ails you. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Select Discography

Lucifer III (2020)

Lucifer II (2018)

Lucifer I (2015)

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