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Lucifer Was: The Divine Tree

The history of Norway's Lucifer Was goes back to the early 1970's, as this band of progressive hard rock musicians initially were influenced by bands like Black Sabbath and Black Widow, formed the band and gigged around Oslo for a few years before breaking up. The band reunited over 20 years later in the mid-90's and released a few albums worth of new and re-recorded early originals, with a sound that clearly has a lot in common with bands like Jethro Tull, Atomic Rooster, Black Sabbath, and Cream, but throws in plenty of prog rock keyboard sounds using Hammond organ, Mellotron, and various synths. The Divine Tree is the bands first album since 2004's Blues From Hellah, and sees Lucifer Was following along in a similar style, featuring plenty of crunchy, bluesy guitar riffs, swirling Hammond, wispy flute passages, and the Ian Anderson-meets-Jack Bruce-meets-Guy Manning vocals of Jon Ruder. Most of the tracks are fairly lengthy and contain well thought out riffs, melodic vocals, and lots of instrumental passages. "Determination" has an almost Flower Kings/The Tangent on steriods type of feel, "The Divine Tree" could have easily come off an early 70's Jethro Tull album, and "Almost Home" is a passionate and melodic bluesy rocker, featuring tons of weepy Hammond and slow, grinding guitar riffs. The vocal hooks on the heavy rock piece "The First Mover" really complement the memorable guitar/Hammond crunch, and there's plenty of meaty solos on this one. The real treat is the 11-minute prog opus "Crosseyed", a melodic and epic song that contains Ruder's best vocal performance on the album. This one starts off with some lush acoustic guitars, but then slowly builds into a menacing Black Sabbath/Atomic Rooser styled heavy rocker. Other than the occasional flute blast, crushing power chords from the three guitarists and Arne Martinussen's raging Hammond organ are the key players on this one.

The Divine Tree is a very enjoyable slice of 70's inspired hard rock with some progressive elements, and well worth seeking out if you are a fan of the genre. Honestly, you can't go wrong with any of the band's previous releases, and this one fits well right alongside any of them.


Track Listing
01 - The Divine Tree
02 - Determination
03 - On Earth
04 - Almost Home
05 - The First Mover
06 - Crosseyed
07 - Untitled Bonus Track

Added: June 23rd 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Record Heaven
Hits: 3239
Language: english

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