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Lucifer V

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Lucifer V
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: January 26th, 2024
Genre: Doom, Heavy, Rock
1. Fallen Angel
2. At The Mortuary
3. Riding Reaper
4. Slow Dance In A Crypt
5. A Coffin Has No Silver Lining
6. Maculate Heart
7. The Dead Don't Speak
8. Strange Sister
9. Nothing Left To Lose But My Life
10. At The Mortuary (Halloween Edit)
11. Maculate Heart (Radio Edit)


Review by Vladimir on January 28, 2024.

Occult bands like Coven, Black Sabbath and Black Widow had a significant impact on numerous generations of rock and metal musicians that followed, producing talented artists such as The Devil’s Blood, and the forefront of this review, Lucifer. Whilst the band’s themes carry that unholy torch of their predecessors, their music is what keeps the flame burning, bringing back that 70’s rock fused with proto heavy and doom metal, along with vocalist Johanna Sadonis conveying the energy of her role model and mentor figure Jinx Dawson (Coven). One can’t overlook the simple fact that Lucifer is a band made for people who really dig classy bands with plenty of style and rock ‘n roll passion, powered by lyrical subjects that in the days of old caused satanic panic and made your parents/grandparents furious. Not long ago, on January 26th, 2024, the band had finally released their fifth full-length album Lucifer V via Nuclear Blast, with much anticipation and high expectations surrounding the album, which meant that the band had an incredibly challenging task to fulfill. Have they succeeded? Let’s find out!

From the first track 'Fallen Angel', we are already jumping into rock ‘n roll action, striking hard with heavy guitar riffs, thunderous bass, banging drums and Johanna’s angelic voice. This is but the first song that only gives a slight glimpse of what is to come, but the Black Sabbath-like track 'At The Mortuary' is where the band shows their doomy and gloomy side with a nice addition of church bells, while also providing some backing vocals by Nicke Andersson. The doomy elements of Lucifer will make a return once again with tracks such as the melancholic 'Slow Dance In A Crypt' that is one of many highlights of this album. A personal favorite of mine is the third track 'Riding Reaper' that has a nice melodic and emotional touch to it, blending so perfectly with the rocking rhythm of the song while also giving this banger sort of an element of surprise. One can’t overlook the instant hit song that starts with probably one of the heaviest and insane drum intros in recent years. That’s right, I am talking about 'Maculate Heart'. This song definitely has the catchiest riffs and catchiest chorus out of all the songs on this album, that speaks out loud and clear “Bring it on!”, and so it does. In my personal opinion, this song might be one of the best things that Lucifer made in recent years, while also assuming it is also a fan favorite from the album. I can’t deny that it instantly won me over upon first hearing and it still hits me the same way like it did for the first time, so I guess I am guilty of this too. Other great tracks that deserve a mention as well for their brilliance and joy are 'A Coffin Has No Silver Lining' and 'Strange Sister', but the final track 'Nothing Left To Lose But My Life' is also great for giving the album a powerful closure, ending this wonderful 9 track journey on a high note with alarming sirens in the fadeout.

The band gave us an album with very intricate and dynamic songwriting, where each song conveys a lot of emotions and I’d also say that they convey a vast variety of emotions, where each verse or chorus has a different vibe and flow that helps each song set itself apart from the rest. Their music is highly centered around simplicity and catchiness, but it also manages to feel quite complex and progressive as well, showing indeed that sometimes “less can be more” but also not fully adapting to the age-old principle of “just keep it simple and stupid”. As you have guessed by now, there is just no shortage of great songs on this album, from each next track being as excellent as the previous one, or even more. If that wasn’t enough, the band also put radio edits of their two hits 'At The Mortuary' and 'Maculate Heart' as extra bonuses on the digital release of Lucifer V, however I think that anyone would still prefer listening to the entire album on repeat just to once again experience its greatness. Just because you see the cover art depicting Johanna in the coffin, that doesn’t mean that you should bury the album to be the thing of the past, but instead keep on digging it back from the dead until you start slowly dancing in the crypt. The album has a very top-notch and organic sound production that balanced out everything all the way up to perfection.

Did you really think I wasn’t going to enjoy this album? Lucifer came out with probably one of the best albums of 2024 that came to be an instant success, surpassing all the expectations and managed to become critically acclaimed in just a matter of days. I believe that the reputation surrounding this album is a highly deserved one, especially after all the effort, filled with sweat and blood, that gave birth to this brilliance. Lucifer V is an example of timeless brilliance and a cult of an album that just keeps on giving, satisfying the appetites for all your devilish needs that would even make the fallen angel proud for all ages. If you still haven't checked it out yet, what are you waiting for? Come on, and bring it on!

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

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Review by Michael on January 17, 2024.

(Un)holy shit!!! With the simple named album (which is a logical continuation of the previous album titles) Lucifer V and the first album on their new label Nuclear Blast, Lucifer don't take no prisoners. Starting with a casual hard rock riff monster called 'Fallen Angel', they kick ass right from the beginning. It is a song pretty much in the vein of faster Black Sabbath songs from the Ozzy-era and the siren-like voice of Johanna matches like a glove to all this. A propos Black Sabbath – the next track might be a nice little homage to the godfathers of doom when you take the first minute: spooky church bells, a crawling doomy riff and some more melodic riffs like in "The Writ" from the (in my opinion) best Ozzy-era album “Sabotage” create a nice bastard of what made out the Brits in the 70s. But after this intermezzo, Lucifer play some more ghoulish hard rock with a lot of keyboards and create a very morbid and gloomy atmosphere. If you think that Ghost were best with their debut and you still miss The Devil's Blood, this is perfect for you!

But apart from really strong catchy rock songs, Lucifer can also do it slowly. 'Slow Dance In A Crypt' (what a macabre title) is a strong, bluesy-oriented ballad with a fantastic vocal performance, a very rousing chorus and some amazing piano notes. Another song that still got the blues in its core is 'The Dead Don't Speak' with another pretty slow pace but the song lives from this atmosphere between the instruments and again Johanna’s fantastic vocal performance. With 'Maculate Heart', 'A Coffin Has No Silver Lining' and 'Strange Sister' they have some potential hit-singles on board, too. 'Maculate Heart' is highly melodic, catchy as the reaper himself and with a fantastic pace to rock to. Again, you get a lot of influences presented, apart from the above mentioned ones it is clearly Blue Öyster Cult (no surprise if you recall that this is a huge influence for Ghost, too). Same goes for 'A Coffin Has No Silver Lining' but here you also get some more stadium rock from the 80s like Europe did. 'Strange Sister' is more kind of hard-rock with a lot of heavy guitar riffs and probably one of the heaviest tracks on “V” and reminds me pretty much of the new Alice Cooper album. But beware, in the middle-part, there are some really creepy piano tunes with some more doomy parts that send shivers down your spine. Closing with 'Nothing To Left But My Mind' the lady and the gentlemen unleash a very powerful, contemplative semi-ballad with many dark riffs that remind of Tony Iommi a lot. The track is kept very slow and creates a feeling between comfort and the feeling of sadness and loss ('Farewell To My Friends…'). This is really a fantastic end for an album.

So let me summarize – V is a really strong hard rock / occult / metal album with all killers and not a single song that shows some weaker aspects. The production is well-balanced between some more retro stuff and a modern touch so that you get a nostalgic feeling for sure. Musically Lucifer V is really top notch album stuffed with fantastic melodies, hooks and chorus lines. And most of all the vocals are amazing. So if you like classic hard rock this is an unavoidable album in 2024 for you! For me it is one of the very early highlights to which I will reach back for sure again and again in the future and I have the feeling that it will find its way on my top of '24 list later in December.

Rating: 10 out of 10

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