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Lucifer's Friend - Banquet CD (album) cover


Lucifer's Friend


Heavy Prog

3.92 | 184 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3.5 stars. "Banquet" the fourth album by LUCIFER'S FRIEND is another change in musical direction to more of a proggy, at times jazzy, definitely lighter brand of music. Even John Lawton's vocals are softer and they sound so much better on those first two albums. I notice a lot of Prog fans rate this very high and to be honest I think the compositions are the best of their careers which has me torn because I do enjoy this album but I also find there's stuff that bothers me. They brought in a guest sax/flute player along with the James Last orchestra and extra singers.

I much prefer the more stripped down version of this band and all of that attitude that came with it on those first two albums. Even the opening section of the almost 12 minute "Spanish Galleon" bugs me, not because I don't like it but it sounds just like SANTANA so not very original of course. Also after the SANATANA vibe leaves we get blasting horns that is one of my pet peeves, it just sounds lame. The song does get better after this and it's quite adventerous.

I'm not big on the poppy chorus on "Thus Spoke Oberon" but it's pretty good overall. We get a short and catchy track called "High Flying Lady-Goodbye" with some blasting horns and lots of energy. The over 11 minute "Sorrow" is my least favourite for a number of reasons. The horns, the orchestral sounds, ballad-like vocals earlier but as usual there's something I enjoy like the opening drumming and the electric piano. The closer "Dirty Old Town" is okay but rather forgettable.

Hard to believe this is the same band that did their 1972 debut and the followup "Where The Groupies Killed The Blues" the following year. Still this is impressive and most rate it high.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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