Restless creative spirits never sleep and class is eternal. Thus, the timely and welcome return of Johanna Sadonis is only to be expected. Despite the sudden and distinctly premature disintegration of her previous band The Oath in 2014, Johanna’s passion for making music that touches the darkest recesses of the soul has blazed on. The result is Lucifer – a new manifestation of the Berlin-based singer and songwriter’s extraordinary and potent musical vision.
Although still firmly rooted in the fertile soil first cultivated by Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Blue Oyster Cult, Lucifer exist in a proudly liberated and limitless sonic realm, where the heaviest blues rock is a mere starting point for the band’s skyward creative trajectory. Lucifer’s instinctive take on the very soul of early heavy metal is the electrified essence of rock’n’roll at its nascent purest. This is Magic Rock – heavy, heartfelt and holistic.
Eschewing the now well-worn clichés of the occult rock explosion in favour of a truthful and tempestuous re-imagining of classic 70s proto-metal and turbocharged blues, the two songs on this band’s debut seven-inch single crackle and fizz with nascent energy and the compelling conviction of music made for all the right reasons. Boasting a sound that revels in exquisite analogue warmth without ever retreating into some nostalgic ghetto, both ‘Anubis’ and ‘Morning Star’ came to life at Candy Bomber studios in Berlin, under the supervision of aural wizard Ingo Krauss, a one-time apprentice of legendary Krautrock producer Connie Plank. With the finest and most unique collection of old school analogue equipment, from tape machines to vintage amps, Candy Bomber provided Lucifer with everything they needed to realize their potent vision.
Lucifer represents the culmination of a spontaneous and intuitive creative mind-meld, wherein their leader’s kaleidoscopic focus collides with the heavy soul abandon of earthbound but astrally-inspired musicians at the top of their game. With songs crafted by Johanna and Cathedral legend Gaz Jennings – the first Lucifer release is a mesmerizing glimpse into the sumptuous depths that await us further down the evolutionary trail.
After the release of their debut seven-inch via Rise Above Records in February, Lucifer will be edging towards the completion of their full-length debut album, which is expected to emerge later in 2015. While Johanna states that this first release does give some indication of the musical direction that this band will pursue, there is a strong sense that these songs are merely a prologue to the much deeper and more substantial body of work to come. Meanwhile, the band intend to hit the road to spread the news of Magic Rock to as many willing sinners as possible. With a solid line-up, a renewed sense of collective purpose and the invigorating effects of creative adrenalin propelling them forward, Lucifer is a glowing advertisement for fresh starts, clarity of vision and the rejuvenative powers of heavy music. Lucifer lives!
Dom Lawson, December 2014