Lucifer – Lucifer I


Gaz Jennings fancies his Occult Doom at present. Last year’s largely well-received Death Penalty project is followed by another female-fronted band of sinistras, this time headed by former vocalist of The Oath, Johanna Sadonis. Initially Lucifer I (Rise Above) sounds as if Black Sabbath have gone more up-tempo, and recruited Agnetha Faltskog to the mic, though with eerie harmonies flying through the dancing, patchouli-scented riffs of opener ‘Abracadabra’, the feel of ‘Goat Doom’ is still here if not quite the density.

There’s a curious tone to Sadonis’ voice, often laconically delivered yet soaring then swooping with a powerful, aching beauty. The brief harmonising in ‘Purple Pyramid’ is delicious, the odd sparse area lit up by The Wizards’ (Jennings’ pseudonym here) growling riffs and those siren-like pipes. Lighter moments may divide opinion, tripping close to a Folk-rock feel not unlike some of Cathedral’s stuff, yet they display welcome variation; the oft-faster than expected pace lifting the mood despite the plaintive voice and subject matter.

‘Sabbath’ finally, and rather aptly, shows us some serious weight, the thus-far barrelling journey slowed, that voice piercing the leaden, eastern-tinged riffs with a pleading agony. Whilst it’s easy to point out Sadonis as the star of the show, Jennings’ mastery of his instrument is supreme yet so subtle it’s almost unnoticed, taking each track to different characters of a story. This is reined in and directed superbly by Andrew Prestridge’s stunning drums: the bare minimum of flourish, just perfect inclusion and timing. All the ingredients fit together perfectly with the effortless switches and dual leads of the drugged-out pain in ‘Morning Star’: whilst the wonderful ‘Total Eclipse’ and ‘A Grave for Each One of Us’ flick from dreamy seduction to a rampant, roaring pummel and back in an instant, Dino Gollnick’s squirming bass underpinning Sadonis’ honeyed notes and coating some feverish riffs.

Full of more beauty, urgency and omen than Death Penalty could muster in one track, with a perfect blend of depth and air, this is a great first listen and improves with each successive experience. Wicked, in the original meaning of the term.



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Lucifer Releasing Lucifer I on June 16th


Lucifer (ex-The Oath) will be releasing their debut album titled Lucifer I on June 16, 2015 via Rise Above Records. The band recently added Garry Jennings (ex-Cathedral/Death Penalty) as co-songwriter and studio guitarist.

Lucifer I Track Listing:
01: Abracadbra
02: Purple Pyramid
03: Izrael
04: Sabbath
05: White Mountain
06: Morning Star
07: Total Eclipse
08: A Grave For Each One of Us

Roadburn Festival Announce New Additions

roadburn festival 2015 logo

Roadburn Festival has new additions to their 20th edition of the festival, taking place April 9-12, 2015 in Tilberg, The Netherlands.

Roadburn 2015’s curators Wardruna’s Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik and Enslaved’s Ivar Bjørnson have almost completed the line up for their event on Friday April 10. Loop main man, Robert Hampson and Swedish psych heroes, Agusa will both perform alongside Focus, Death Hawks, Sólstafir and others. BardSpec – the Ambient project/band from Enslaved composer/guitarist Ivar – will also perform at the event. Einar will present a workshop which will delve into his approach to music and the extensive creative concept behind Wardruna´s ongoing ‘Runaljod’ trilogy as well as his approach and study of the runes and other Norse esoteric arts. He will demonstrate a selection of the oldest Nordic instruments, play fully accoustic Wardruna music and there will also be time for questions from the audience.

Other bands added to the event include:

Moaning Cities
Your Highness
King Hiss
Tangled Horns
Gnaw Their Tongues
Verbum Verus
City of Ships
Big Naturals
Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell
Death Penalty

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Death Penalty – Sign of Times


There’s plenty of hype surrounding UK / Belgian quartet Death Penalty, the new outfit of former Cathedral multi-instrumentalist Gaz Jennings, and it’s not too hard to see why. While female fronted units with hippo-felling riffs and pounding drums are de rigeur at present, here, the sound is less about the occult and more about heavy blues rock, those rhythms fair flashing along with a seductive groove and some wild, intricate lead play decorating Sign of Times (Rise Above), the title track of this seven-inch release. There are interesting tones and melodies here, not least from the voice of Michelle Nocon, but despite the undoubted power in her voice it’s only on the flip-side ‘Seven Flames’ where she really lets rip and gives us more than two octaves, which is somewhat disappointing especially if compared against other female performances of 2014.

It’s an energetic sound but also a touch dated, coming across as a pub-standard Christian Mistress in parts. This is obviously a taster for the self-titled debut album and as such it’s a decent listen, but one would hope the full-length has more invention to fulfil the promise.


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