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LUCIFER - III

Release date March 20/20 (Century Media)

Lucifer's 2015 debut full length (I) was unsurprisingly a doom metal/rock outing given that doom riff-god Gaz Jennings (ex-Cathedral) was involved. Three years later the band issued II, finding Jennings no longer involved, with Nicke Anderson (ex-Entombed, Hellacopters) joining his wife/singer (and lone original member) Johann Sadonis. That record found the band adding a little more hip-swivel to their sound, lightening up on the doom somewhat. Both are high quality outings that doom rock fans should seek out if not have already in their collections.

So now we're presented with the new platter - III, the husband/wife team introducing three new members to the mix. Getting straight to the point, I'm finding myself not as stoked about this newbie as compared to the previous two, mainly due to the fact that there's a further lightening of sound here. Sure, there are a couple of bangers that get the ol' blood flowing ('Lucifer' and 'Flanked By Snakes'), as well as a few cool retro-rocking nuggets (opener 'Ghosts', 'Phantom Blues' and the almost-southern rockin' 'Pacific Blues'), but the overall vibe is a little too laid-back for this headbanger. Gotta say that I also find Sadonis' vocals kinda limited as well, not able to mask the lack of aggression found here.

To be clear, this ain't a bad release though. It's a well produced record, with varying musical fare and some interesting lead guitar work ... but I find myself less enamored with it than with past releases.

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