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Lucifer's Friend - Lucifer's Friend CD (album) cover

LUCIFER'S FRIEND

Lucifer's Friend

 

Heavy Prog

3.82 | 170 ratings

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friso
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The sixties proto-prog group Vanilla Fudge is one of the most influential bands to never have become famous itself. Deep Purple would even rip off their cover artwork on their breakthrough album 'In Rock' - which was released in the same year as Lucifer's Friend's self-titled debut album. From the womb of Vanilla Fudge one can stylistically & soundwise trace groups like Atomic Rooster, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Birth Control, Fuzzy Duck and many others. The combination of heavy guitar(s), distorted organ, minor classical influences, intense male tenor vocals (often slightly operatic), and a pumping rhythm and blues foundation would appear in many bands in the early seventies. From these groups the Lucifer's Friend album from 1970 sound surprisingly modern, with an almost stadium (hair) metal type feel reminding me of Rainbow Rising. Vocalist John Lawton even sounds a lot like Ronnie James Dio and is just as talented as well. There is little trace of the German roots of this band and no krautrock influences whatsoever.

This type of heavy psych / proto-prog / early metal has a given Achilles heel; with its pentatonic rhythm & blues roots its quite hard to keep it interesting for a full record. Bands like Heep and Purple would excel in songwriting and therefor became famous, whereas Lucifer's Friends great sounding album suffers from a lack of gripping songs after the initial run of three rather good songs ('Ride The Sky', 'Everybody's Clown' and 'Keep Goin''). The second side of the vinyl is a bit tiring to listen to, even if its hard to point out its precise faults. 'Baby You're A Liar' has some great heavy psych/prog parts though. After this album the band would record a more progressive and jazz-infused record with a poor sounding production when compared to this one. I would rate this record 3,5 stars. A must-have for heavy psych collectors and fans of this brand of Vanilla Fudge-type hardrock.

friso | 3/5 |

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