Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Lucifer's Friend - Banquet CD (album) cover


Lucifer's Friend


Heavy Prog

3.92 | 184 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars Artwork, yes. The principle idea behind the cover would be or should be to point out the direction of the music housed within. At least one might argue that the artwork ought to do just that. If you don't know anything about Lucifer's Friend you are truly forgiven for thinking that these leatherclad (apparently) metalheads on the cover must be the birthgivers to some of the most hardhitting heavy metal of the day. And not only that, they may well be participants in some occult order, practicing witchcraft and summoning the Devil at their will. If you listen or have listened to the first album by the group you might guess according to your knowledge that the heavy metal line of music is exactly what the guys play but you are mistaken. Not sadly mistaken but mistaken nevertheless.

Heavy prog was the bands genre on the first two albums. Then they changed direction. Progressive they remained but in another way. This, their fourth, is not very much hard rock but is instead one of the most accomplished jazzrock albums I have heard, and I've actually listened quite alot to that genre. The fact that pure hardrock is almost entirely missing from the album does not mean it is any less powerful. The songs on this album are extremely energetic and just as majestic, muscular and forceful as any hardrock album from the day. To me this is the most focused of all Lucifer's Friend albums I have heard. It's like everything came to them in a haze of divine inspiration. Each and every instrument is something to marvel at and follow. Just listen to the bass player, for instance. He works his way up and down that neck like there's no tomorrow. And you mustn't forget the utterly brilliant vocalist John Lawton. Man, what a voice.

Out of the five tracks on this album three are five star songs in my book. "Spanish galleon" with it's pirate themed imagery, "Thus spoke Oberon" and "Sorrow" are mindblowing examples of jazzrock and rank (according to me) alongside the supposedly greatest in the genre. I do not think it's possible to make greater jazzrock than this, actually. Out of the two remaining tracks one is merely okay and the other one great. "High-flying lady goodbye" (2 stars) is somewhat in the Status Quo vein and the closing "Dirty old town" (4) is a ballad-y but energetic song. Quite a good way to end an album of such sparkling and powerful music.

Sorry to say Lucifer's Friend really never hit these heights again. This was and is their greatest moment. And what a statement it is! I have loved this album for the last 20 odd years and it feels as vibrant and engaging now as it did back then. If you like jazzrock (Chicago, If, Blood Sweat and Tears, Colosseum and so on...) I bet you will find things on this album to cherish. If you bought this album thinking it would be filled to the brim of heavy metal, don't be too disappointed. Listen to it with an open mind and I'll bet you just might reconsider.

Had it not been for "High-flying lady goodbye" I just might have considered giving this album five stars but as it stands I'll give it four. Still, a marvellous album by a sometime marvellous band.

GruvanDahlman | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this LUCIFER'S FRIEND review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.