CD Review: Lucifer – Lucifer I

CD Review: Lucifer – Lucifer I
Rise Above Records
All Access Rating: A

Lucifer - Lucifer I 2015
Having buried The Oath a year ago, witchy singer Johanna Sadonis ran straight into welcoming embrace of Lucifer, demonic necromancers that have resuscitated the hoary corpse of '70s proto-metal and tortured blues for nefarious purposes.

A three-piece she formed that includes Garry Jennings, formerly of U.K. doom-metal mongers Cathedral, as co-songwriter and studio guitarist, Lucifer is the cover subject of the latest issue of Decibel magazine and Lucifer I, from Rise Above Records, is the first spell they've cast.

Heirs to the fuzzed-out, doom-laden stomp, sinister swing and distorted propulsion of Black Sabbath, the "occult-rock" revivalists also pay their respects to Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult, Blue Cheer and Led Zeppelin on a spectral, yet ruggedly heavy, debut album cloaked in gloom. Seeming to ring out from beyond the grave, Sadonis's distant, haunting vocals only enhance the chilling effect of Lucifer's sinister lyrics, and for everything else about Lucifer's birth that make black masses salivate, it's her singing that calls us to worship.

Lucifer's Decibel magazine cover
Their hotly anticipated maiden voyage of the damned is full of dark, slowly churning dirges, such as "Purple Pyramid" and "Sabbath," where eerie church bells predict a funereal descent. What separates Lucifer from the horde of Sabbath pretenders is the songwriting wizardry of Lucifer I and its ability to authentically conjure the black magic of influences such as Pentagram, as they wickedly unleash the hellhounds in the gathering momentum of opener "Abracadabra" and "Izrael" embeds the mournful, spine-tingling wail of Sadonis in solemn, melodic sacraments and seductive hooks.

What lessons Lucifer learned from grandfathers Tony Iommi, Bill Ward and Geezer Butler are ingrained in "Morning Star," "Total Eclipse" and "A Grave For Each One Of Us," all of them blustery cauldrons of evil riffs that suddenly, but artfully, shift gears and hijack these songs, demanding they go to places – driven in a hearse, of course – that are similar, but different, from those already marked on whatever map they're following. In the process, the tracks complete metamorphoses into strange, compelling new shapes and personalities. Somebody has made one incredible deal with the devil.
– Peter Lindblad

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