LUCIFER'S FRIEND — Lucifer's Friend (review)

LUCIFER'S FRIEND — Lucifer's Friend album cover Album · 1970 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
I am surprised it took me this many years to know about this album. There's proto-metal and then there's proto-metal. You have your heavy psych bands, your heavy blues-based bands, your jazzy prog bands, and then you get an album like this which is all about rocking out with heavy bar-chord riffs, howling vocals, and a Hammond organ that could raise an eyebrow or two of Jon Lord's (RIP).

To sum up the sound simply, this is a large dose of Uriah Heep circa "Salisbury" and "Look at Yourself" heavily emphasizing the rocking heavy side but going more for the aggressive sonic assault of Deep Purple In Rock and hinting at times of Dio-era Rainbow. I am really impressed how every song goes for guitar distortion and totally avoids any light weight numbers. There are no slow songs, no acoustic numbers, not even any numbers with a clean lead guitar. But each song is distinct enough so that I find myself looking forward to the heavy riff to be found in every song. Oh, sure, some songs are better than others. But I have no disappointments.

A few words need to be said for John Lawton, whose vocal prowess and power make it easy to tell why he would be able to secure a job with Uriah Heep later on. He really lets a couple of good screams loose on the title track. It's rare to find a singer with such metal talent so early on in metal's history. At this time (1970) Ian Gillan was all the news. Well, John Lawton fits right in there.

All in all, I'd say this album really has a strong place in metal history because the music really fits the bill. This is no three-chord garage rock band and no Led Zeppelin imitation. If you like the heaviest of Uriah Heep's early songs and wish they'd done more you would be doing yourself a favour by checking out this beast. The sound quality is there, too. A nice lost (?) classic.
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