The group was noted as early practitioners of heavy metal and progressive rock, they also incorporated elements of jazz into their music, especially in their fourth album Banquet of 1974.
Furthermore heavy metal, the band has been cited, too, as one of the pioneers of doom metal, helping to define both genres due to their heavy sound and dark oriented lyrics of their acclaimed debut Lucifer's Friend of 1970, and returning to their roots in 1981 with Mean Machine, although more influenced by speed metal.
Although they would develop a more prog-influenced style, this debut album finds Lucifer's Friend living up to their sinister name by performing heavy, keyboard-textured rock in the vein of Deep Purple or Uriah Heep. It gets off to a thunderous start with "Ride the Sky," a punchy rocker built on a rumbling, guitar-fuelled melody reminiscent of "The Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppelin.
From there, the band works its way through a series of songs that combine heavy guitar riffs with often-complex arrangements that border on prog rock: "Keep Goin'" builds from organ-led verses into a guitar-dense jam driven home by John Lawton's wailing vocals, and the title track effectively contrasts heavy guitar-laden verses with an eerie chorus full odd keyboard and vocal effects to create its spooky atmosphere.
Another highlight is "In the Time of Job When Mammon Was a Yippie," an eccentric but fun rocker featuring Lawton delivering an odd take on biblical history over a steady hard rock groove from the band.
A downside of the album is that it lacks the varied instrumental textures that would make Lucifer's Friend's later work so interesting, but it makes up for this problem with a consistently high level of energy, clever arrangements, and a full-throttle vocal performance from Lawton.
All in all, Lucifer's Friend is a solid debut and a worthwhile album for any listener interested in the roots of heavy metal.
(Review by Donald A. Guarisco)
Lucifer's Friend is the first album by the band Lucifer's Friend, released in 1970.
01. Ride the Sky (Hesslein/Lawton) 2:55
02. Everybody's Clown (Rietenbach/Horns/Docker/Hecht/Hesslein) 6:12
03. Keep Goin' (Horns/Docker/Hecht/Hesslein) 5:26
04. Toxic Shadows (Docker/Hesslein) 7:00
05. Free Baby (Horns/Lawton/Hecht/Hesslein) 5:28
06. Baby You're a Liar (Rietenbach/Horns/Docker/Hecht/Hesslein) 3:55
07. In the Time of Job When Mammon Was a Yippie (Horns/Docker/Hecht/Hesslein) 4:04
08. Lucifer's Friend (Rietenbach/Horns/Hildebrandt-Winhauer/Hecht/Hesslein) 6:12
Format : Vinyl LP
Label : Repertoire - Philips Records
Seriel : RR 2059-LX
Made in : Germany
Year : 1970
MP3 Size : 101 MB @ 320
FLAC Size : 262 MB