Continuing their unimaginative album titling, ‘Lucifer III’ is the band’s third album. And I’ll say right away, this new one, for me, is an ever so slightly disappointing step down from its predecessor. Perhaps a case of difficult third album syndrome rather than the traditional sophomore slump many bands experience? Effectively, it’s much more of the same; a further serving of heavily 70s inspired rock/metal worship, with the same level of authenticity in their mimicking of music from said era. Drums, bass, guitar and vocals… all steeped in a musical aesthetic of a bygone decade. A very decent pastiche once again.
So why is it a step down? Well, despite being a nice enough listen through all of its associated retro charms, the album is, overall, more of a playing-it-safe box-ticker. Songs are well written within the mould of established, tried-and-tested paradigms, although there's a definite lack of imagination here. Some progression in the band’s sound would’ve made this a more engaging listen. I know “progression” is perhaps paradoxical for a band who’ve limited their creativity to regressive musical moulding, but a more expansive sense of compositional flair would’ve been nice. As such, the songs feel constrictive and predictable.
Johanna Sadonis’ vocals, in my review of ‘Lucifer II’, I described as feeling “timeless and of another era… powerfully soulful at times and alluringly soothing at others… rather apt for Lucifer’s regressive propensity.” However, here, on ‘Lucifer III’, her singing feels a little more bland and “safe”… just like the instrumentations over which she exercises her voice. Her vocals aren’t bland per se; rather, they carry fewer charms than before. Not quite as interesting vocal lines, either.
All in all, while ‘Lucifer III’ is ultimately all very predictable and safe, it’s still an above average album. But it’s one that holds zero surprises or has any kind of "wow" factor. Approach with caution!
Review by Mark Holmes
20th March 2020
2) Midnight Phantom
3) Leather Demon
5) Pacific Blues
6) Coffin Fever
7) Flanked by Snakes
8) Stay Astray
9) Cemetery Eyes
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"Songs are well written within the mould of established, tried-and-tested paradigms, although there's a definite lack of imagination here."