Metal music and the biblical character known as Lucifer have always had a close relationship. Fifty years into the genre’s existence, simply stating that seems like a gross understatement. However, the band known as Lucifer doesn’t look evil or sound evil; at least no more so than the group’s influences (Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Steppenwolf).

The quintet from Stockholm returned in July 2018 with a new lineup and a new album entitled Lucifer II (Century Media Records), the follow-up to 2015’s debut Lucifer I. The album starts with “California Son” which features chugging riffs and a considerably lengthy solo in the bridge. An organ adds to the already stated 70s ambiance and the video highlights the core members of the band travelling on motorcycles through various landscapes and contain an emphatic use of production techniques that were popular decades ago.

The next track “Dreamer”, is much more bluesy and sullen, and features the group jamming in a graveyard. Things begin to liven up on “Phoenix” where a Scorpions-meets-Dio vibe takes over. Those looking for a dose of southern rock can get their fix with “Dancing with Mr. D”, whereas “Reaper On Your Heels” and “Eyes In The Sky” are filled with sludgy guitar work and make a nice fit for stoner rock fans.

“Aton” makes emotions swing like a pendulum from moments of doom to feelings of ease. The record ends rather calmly with “Evening Wind.” The high-pitched cut of guitar strings at the beginning have the potential to hurt the ears depending on how loud you’ve got it. Nevertheless, this soon changes into an easy-listening hard rock experience and remains that way until the midway point when the tempo picks up. What follows is a guitar solo fitting to the works of Jimmy Page before things slow down and the song gently fades out.

Lucifer music has mass appeal and there’s really no reason to shy away from it. Even those who might feel a bit reluctant to attend a hard rock/metal show would find themselves digging these songs. The name on the cover is Lucifer, but the contents are a lot more charming.

Tyler Spivey