We've been following the career of Norway's Lucifer Was here at SoT for quite a number of years, and for those who might be new to the band, they formed in the late 1960's under various different names before settling on Lucifer Was in the early '70s. The band played plenty of live gigs until 1974, when they split up before recording any of the original music they had written and played live. Fast forward to 1995 when various members of the original band got together for some jamming, and an updated version of Lucifer Was crept from the grave, recording their first ever album in 1997 and they have stayed fairly active since then. Morning Star is their latest Transubstans Records release, and comes three years after 2014's DiesGrows. This new one also features the complete original line-up of Lucifer Was along with the current version of the band!
I'm happy to say their brand of Jethro Tull-meets-Black Sabbath-meets-Deep Purple hard rock is once again in full force here on Morning Star. The opening 1-2 punch of "As It Comes" and "A Forest of Zaqqum Trees" combine wispy flute, mammoth guitar riffs, and raging Hammond organ for a lethal blast of classic sounds. "Tube Music" is an upbeat hard rocker, again the flute/Hammond/guitar shining bright alongside some strong vocals, while "Cold Up Here In the North" takes on more of a folk vibe, the layers of vocals and acoustic guitars bringing a more rustic feel. "Sea of Sleep" could either be Tull at their heaviest or Ian Anderson jamming with Sabbath, the riffs doom laden and the flute majestic, with a nice backdrop of Mellotron for good measure, and "Sunday Morning Griever" again turns to more folk based arrangements, the acoustic guitar and vintage keyboards eventually giving way to a scorching electric guitar solo, crushing riffs, and commanding Hammond organ. The vocals here are also spectacular as well. The 15+ minute closing epic "Pure" offers up prog, doom, hard rock, and folk for a fabulous journey, flute and Hammond and guitars providing plenty of ear candy for the listener.
Plenty of Scandinavian bands do the whole '70s retro thing, but very few combine the hard rock, the prog, the doom, and the folk quite like Lucifer Was. Morning Star is another stunning achievement from this band, who show no signs of slowing down now well into the second chapter of their career.
01 As It Comes
02 A Forest Of Zaqqum Trees
03 Tube Music
04 Cold Up Here In The North
05 Sea Of Sleep
06 Sunday Morning Griever