While these Norwegian veterans’ story began in earnest with 1997’s Underground And Beyond, their first incarnation was active in the late 60s, and you can hear clear traces of that era throughout the band’s latest collection.
Purveyors of robust and dramatic hard rock with a bluesy heart and all the prog trimmings, Lucifer Was sound both classic and contemporary here, eschewing the orchestral bombast of 2010’s The Crown Of Creation in favour of a more straightforwardly muscular and groove-driven sound. Although at times redolent of Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and Atomic Rooster, six-string driving force Thore Engen and his skilled cohorts play this stuff as if it oozes from every pore; the riffs are king, the rippling Hammond flourishes are perfectly pitched and vocals edge towards the melodramatic doom realm. It’s a potent combination, swollen with conviction and dark intent, the band wring fresh intensity from familiar ingredients. Just as effective on the mellifluous drift of Crazy World Turns To Me as they are on the thudding bombast of The Devil Is The Boss Animal and I’m Cornered, Lucifer Was are keeping the spirit of a golden age alive with great style.