Reviews of The Crown of Creation Album (2010)
|Lucifer was is a nominee for Best foreign prog rock record of the year 2010 and Best production of a prog rock record of the year 2010.|
The listeners to the Norwegian radio station Rock FM 100,6 have voted “The Crown Of Creation” the best prog album of 2010.
Norway Rock Magazine
“Seldom has it been so satisfying to review a Norwegian album.”
Rating: five stars
“”When The Phoenix Flies Away” og “By A White Lace” er to melodiøse ballader som vi kan anbefale. Det kan vi også uten forbehold gjøre med skiva som helhet, og stort bedre rockeopera enn dette finner du ikke.”
“”The Crown Of Creation” certainly lives up to the expectations one might get from a disc with this title. Lucifer Was have made a challenge for themselves in following up on this enchanting venture, and in a fair world this is a CD that deserves sales by the truckloads.”
“”The Crown Of Creation” har blitt Lucifer Was’ magnus opus, og har satt enhelt ny standard for progressiv rock her til lands. Mektig og imponerende.”
At albumet er en utfordrer til en plass på pallen dette året er en sannhet man ikke kan utelate. Såpass sterkt står disse komposisjonene.
Metal Temple Magazine (Greece)
“The Crown Of Creation is the modern glimpse into a monstrous kind of “Phantom of the Opera” act, or even better. Personally I bend in front of the Norwegians’ grace because of their courage and daring to offer us something “new!, mening each one letter of the word.”
Fireworks Magazine (UK)
Bold, mad and hugely grand in scale, “The Crown of Creation” is a major achievement that on paper should be a catastrophe; However in fact it’s a triumph.
Anders Eljas (keyboardist and arranger for ABBA, Mama Mia etc.)
“Well executed production, lots of great songs, good arrangements, rhythm and orchestration! “When The Phoenix Flies Away”: A superb ballad!”
Sea of Tranquility
By Steven Reid
“The fifteen tracks on show really gel quite beautifully to create one piece of music that almost sounds alive as the emotion conveyed through flutes, recorders, strings, choirs and the electric instruments are so strong and believable. Vocally Jon Ruder mixes elements of Ian Gillan and Dennis DeYoung with his very stage like style.
Every word he and his female vocal partner (she isn’t credited in the details I received) sing adds the right amount of drama to the music and heightens the sense of storytelling that is evident throughout.
The man who composed the music Thore Engen who along with Andreas Sjo Engen and Freddy Linquist also contributes some fine guitar playing and the other two full time members of the band, bassist Einar Bruu and drummer Rune Engen really have done a stunning job complementing the completed orchestral score and it is impossible to tell that all the parts were not recorded simultaneously.”
“My favourite tracks are “Rising Sun” with a recorder part, “Bethanian Theme” with a fabulous organ solo and the great instrumental “Cabris Sans Cornes”. The opener of the album is one of the heavier pieces, with a flute (yes, sorry, I have to mention the name Ian Anderson) part.
Thematically it’s a journey from before the beginning of everything, the universe, and to what’s called escathology, which is the teachings of the final things to come.
If you like rock opera’s, you should really try this one because it sounds as if Andrew Lloyd Webber has written a rock oriented masterpiece.”
Reviews of The Crown of Creation Concert (2009)
Yngve M. Jacobsen
Visuelt var dette en nær perfekt oppsetting. Lyset og lyden var (lei av å høre det?) nær perfeksjon også her. I øyeblikk var det som om man spilte skive hjemme på et bra anlegg. Gitarist Thore Engen kjørte maks 70-talls feel på soloer og riff, og jeg trakk stadig linjer tilbake til en av mine favoritter; Ritchie Blackmore. Også trommis lå her, i terrenget hvor Cozy Powell og Clive Bunker (Jethro Tull til og med Aqualung) opererer. Det var ikke så detaljert som Tull, men hint av Bunker mente jeg å kunne høre. Notert er også tangent-trynet, som fikk meg til å sikle når han befølte instrumentet sitt i god gammel Lord-ånd.
Reviews of The Divine Tree (2007)
Performing a style of hard rock with proggy influences that was perhaps last popular in the 1970s, Lucifer Was pay no heed to the passage of time. As far as time between formation and debut album release goes, this must surely rank as a world record, as Lucifer Was gigged in the Oslo area before calling it a day in 1974, only to reform and release their debut album in 1997! The Divine Tree is their fourth album, and apart from a stronger and more lucid production than would have been the case in the ’70s, there is no concession to anything that happened during their hibernation. It is a rather varied album: the first track features a flute, immediately evoking comparisons with Jethro Tull, whilst the use of a harmonica on the following track imbues it with a bluesy feel and “The First Mover” is an obligatory power ballad. The record is a rather mixed bag, strung together by engaging compositions and the endearing vocals.
I haven’t been too impressed with the releases on the Transubstans record label. They specialize in retro bands, but although I am a big fan of the sounds of the 70’s in particular, most of the albums the label has released, sound quite unimaginative to me – not to say boring.
Not so with LUCIFER WAS. This is a band that not only sounds as if they were still in the 70’s; they were actually around in those days! This Norwegian band was formed around 1970, and performed some heavy progressive rock that was inspired by BLACK SABBATH, BLACK WIDOW and the like. They split up in 1974, before having the opportunity to record an album. Their debut album wasn’t released until 1997, after they reunited. “The Divine Tree” is the fourth release, and what a terrific album this is.
Imagine a mix between BLACK SABBATH, JETHRO TULL, DEEP PURPLE, ATOMIC ROOSTER and URIAH HEEP, and you might get an idea of what to expect. Lots of flutes, heavy Hammonds, crunching guitars and great vocals – this is an album that delivers. I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to resist strong melodies like ‘The Divine Tree’ and ‘On Earth’. The bluesy aspect of the band is accentuated by the use of the harmonica in ‘Determination’. The album also has a magnificent epic in ‘Crosseyed’, which starts like PURPLE and then turns into a very HEEP-like track.
A band that definitely deserves your attention.
A highly original band that are very recommended for friends of heavy 70’s music, be it URIAH HEEP, ATOMIC ROOSTER or MOUNTAIN. 4th album from Norweigan rockers who was originally formed in the early 70’s. It’s progressive, cathedral, heavy, bluesy and melodic. This album is oddly weird, oddly normal ! All the LUCIFER WAS trademarks; screaming guitars, the flutes, occasional mellotrons, heavy hammonds and Jon Ruders enchanting vocals, are all present. For the first time we also find the new guitarrist Freddie Lindquist, who were responsible for the great “Menu” album in the mid 70’s joining the band. A highly original band that are very recommended for friends of heavy 70’s music, be it URIAH HEEP, ATOMIC ROOSTER or MOUNTAIN!
Surprise, surprise… Prog Rock “made in Norway”… ?!? Well guys, I hope to hear more of you and listen to some new records…! author: Ulrich Weidner
From ArtRock (Sweden)
Norska Lucifer Was har faktiskt anor ända från 1969, men redan 1974 lades gruppen på is. Återuppståndelsen kom inte förrän 1997 och albumet ”Underground And Beyond”. Detta bestod av låtar från 70-talet fast nyinspelade med fräscht ljud. Norrmännen besökte i denna vevan den allra första upplagan av Slottsskogen Goes Progressive.
Ofta har bandet beskrivits som en blandning av Jethro Tull och Black Sabbath.
Kanske inte så konstigt med tanke på tung 70-talsrock med tvärflöjt. Så minns även jag dem men när jag lyssnar på ”The Divine Tree” så tycker jag inte det längre. Mina tankar går mer åt Purples Burn-era fast kanske lite rakare och tyngre. Den som letar proggiga element kan nog ge upp men det kan ju vara bra för det! Och det vill jag nog påstå att det är. Produktionen är oklanderlig och sångaren Jon Ruder har en snygg och bra röst. Plattans 6 spår är hyfsat långa och alltihop håller en jämn kvalitet. Den inledande titellåten sätter sig ganska fort. Gästmusikerna är många och här finns både flöjten, mellotronen och hammondorgeln med.
Jag önskar att plattan kunde ta ut svängarna lite till men får ändå ge den klart godkänt.
Lords Of Metal e-zine
Sjak: A little strange, but good nonetheless! If you’re into a nostalgic trip into the seventies, you should give this ‘The Divine Tree’ of the for me totally unknown Norwegian band Lucifer Was a try.
The band was already active in 1969 and was at that time heavily influenced by Black Sabbath. About five years later, in 1974 to be exact, they decided to cal it a day and that seemed to be the end of Lucifer Was. However, about twenty years later they reunited and in 1997 the debut album ‘Underground & Beyond’ was released, which in fact was nothing more than rerecorded versions of their seventies songs. The debut album was followed by ‘In Anadi’s Bower’ from 2000, after which ‘Blues From Hellah’ was released in 2005. Now in 2007 the Record Heaven label takes care of the release of their fourth album entitled ‘The Divine Tree’, which is my first acquaintance with this rather interesting band.
Guitar player Thore Engen is quite obviously the main man within Lucifer Was, because he’s responsible for the majority of the song material. This song material consists of six tracks, but with a duration between six and almost eleven minutes this still accounts for about forty five minutes of music. And fairly adventurous music I must say, because besides the solid guitar riffs of Thore himself there’s lot of room for the Hammond organ and once in a while also the flute (hello Jethro Tull) and the harmonica passes by. This brings us a mix of heavy metal, blues, psychedelic and progressive music which takes you quite some listens before everything falls into place. Add to that the fact that also vocalist Jon Ruder sounds pretty convincing and it may be obvious that I kinda like this disc. When you have Black Sabbath listed as one of your favourites and are quite open minded (without taking many hallucinating drugs) you’ll probably appreciate this.
Caverna de Som (Brazil)
Alguêm sabe onde tem o THE DIVINE TREE pra baixar?, já achei o BLUES FROM HELLAH e o IN ANADI’S BOWER, mas não acho nem a pau o último deles, se alguêm souber o link desde já agradeço.
Freak Emporium (UK)
The lucifer was trademarks, screaming guitars, the flutes, occasional mellotron and Jon Ruders enchanting vocals, are all present on their new release. This time the band also feature a lot of the B3 Hammond organ and one of Norway’s absolute top guitar players and musicians Freddy Lindquist (Ex-Vanguards). He plays his plays his Fender Stratocaster and bottleneck more like a bowed instrument, those long soaring tones sound like they are crusted out from the gypsy violin. The music is at the same time both weird and normal and makes for an accessible but still challenging listening pleasure. It’s progressive, cathedral, heavy, bluesy and melodic. This album is oddly weird, oddly normal!
Music Waves (France)
Lucifer Was est une formation norvégienne, composée au départ d’une bande de copains dont l’idée de former un groupe naquit en 1970. Mais c’est seulement en 1997 que le premier album, intitulé «Underground And Beyond», voit le jour . «The Divine Tree» est le quatrième opus en trente sept ans de carrière. Ce constat porte à croire que Lucifer Was est avare de production studio, car il faut reconnaître qu’une sortie tous les dix ans, c’est quand même très peu. Mais le groupe se rattrape allègrement sur les prestations scéniques, surtout dans son pays d’origine.
Aujourd’hui, le membre fondateur Thore Engen, également principal compositeur et guitariste, s’est visiblement entouré de musiciens dignes de confiance. En effet, trois «Engen» occupent des postes clés, en particulier aux guitares et à la batterie. C’est donc dans ces circonstances plutôt familiales que fut composé «The Divine Tree».
Les seventies, comme il se plaît de nommer cette florissante décennie, sont le point d’ancrage de la musique proposée par Lucifer Was. Un souffle d’antan, sans être poussiéreux, enchante l’atmosphère dégagée par les sept morceaux alignés dans cette récente production. Les guitares résonnent à l’unisson, se fondant vers des sonorités empruntées aux mythiques amplifications à lampes. La pointe de saturation sur les rythmiques s’allie tout naturellement avec une tendance plus «fuzz» sur les soli. Pour accroître davantage cette ambiance colorée, un B3 tombe à point nommé en apportant sa touche de chaleur et d’authenticité. Quant à la voix, claire et puissante, elle se pose sans anicroche sur ce synopsis.
Les titres respirent et s’enchaînent dans ce feeling à la fois tendre et rugueux, à commencer par «The Divine Tree», agrémenté d’une flûte nerveuse et enjôlée qui fait immanquablement penser à Jethro Tull. La construction repose sur des riffs bien sentis, mais les nuances dégagées tendent à considérer Lucifer Was comme une formation très à l’aise dans le rock à tendance progressive. La longueur des compositions renforce encore plus cette aspiration, comme le prouve «Determination», avec son refrain mélodieux et entêtant.
«On Earth» a tout d’un tube en puissance. La simplicité apparente de ce titre met en fait en exergue toute l’expérience que ce groupe sait déployer pour composer une petite perle où bon nombre d’entre nous trouvera son bonheur. La lourdeur de «Almost Home» renvoie à une tessiture plus brute, mais agréablement complétée par la performance vocale de Jon Ruder dont le timbre, spécialement sur le refrain, avoisine la teneur de Glenn Hughes. Tandis que «The First Mover» amorce un revers plus rock and roll, avec toujours en avant le souci de rendre le refrain mémorisable. Les duels guitares/B3 sont encore garants de juteuses envolées. Le dernier titre «Crosseyed» œuvre dans un registre plus électro acoustique dans lequel se côtoient sensibilité et énergie. Une marque de fabrique chère à Lucifer Was.
Le bonus track de ce CD est en fait certainement la version «single» de «On Earth». L’écoute en est tout autant digne d’intérêt.
«The Divine Tree» parviendra à trouver sa place dans la discographie de tout amateur de groupes issus du début des années soixante dix. Ces sept titres sont tout à fait représentatifs de l’état d’esprit de cette époque. C’est un petit ballon d’oxygène de cinquante minutes que distille Lucifer Was avec professionnalisme et inspiration. Pour les autres, cet album peut se révéler comme le tremplin idéal pour se fondre dans cette ère post soixante-huitarde qui figurera toujours comme le berceau de sons nouveaux, dont l’impact est toujours perceptible sur les productions actuelles.
Sea of Tranqulity
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.
Chronicle of Chaos.com
Rating: 8 out of 10
If you are looking for cutting edge music, you won’t find it on Record Heaven’s roster. But if you are looking for variations on hard rock and metal that was popular in the 1970s and 1980s, then there is much to be found within the label’s catalogue. Lucifer Was is one such band.
Performing a style of hard rock with proggy influences that was perhaps last popular in the 1970s, Lucifer Was pay no heed to the passage of time. As far as time between formation and debut album release goes, this must surely rank as a world record, as Lucifer Was gigged in the Oslo area before calling it a day in 1974, only to reform and release their debut album in 1997!
The Divine Tree is their fourth album, and apart from a stronger and more lucid production than would have been the case in the ’70s, there is no concession to anything that happened during their hibernation. It is a rather varied album: the first track features a flute, immediately evoking comparisons with Jethro Tull, whilst the use of a harmonica on the following track imbues it with a bluesy feel and “The First Mover” is an obligatory power ballad.
The record is a rather mixed bag, strung together by engaging compositions and the endearing vocals. It is quite far out of my preferred styles of music, but I nonetheless enjoyed it more than just a bit, and I imagine it will still be listened to in six months.
Tarkus Magazine (Norway)
Jeg må tilstå at jeg aldri har vært noen stor fan av Lucifer Was – ikke av forbildene deres heller for den saks skyld. Tungrock som er mer seig enn tung og som har mer enn sin rettmessige del av klisjeer har aldri appellert til meg. Men så kommer altså dette norske bandet med en skive som riktignok ikke er noe stilskifte for dem, men som viser seg å være både spretten og frigjort fra stereotype forestillinger om hvordan såkalt tungrock skal låte.
De åpner med et halvminutt med kor (eller «kor» ettersom det er gutta selv som er korister, men det låter flott) som starter sånn litt gregoriansk, men som umerkelig smyger over i rock-modus. Tittelsporet, som åpner plata, utmerker seg med friske vendinger og en god melodi. Svein Grenis fløyte gir det litt Jethro Tull-preg (nei, alle skiver med fløyte ligner ikke JT, men Grenis teknikk er påfallende lik Ian Andersons). Både «Determination», «On Earth» og «Almost Home» som følger, er kjappe låter, og spesielt «On Earth» utmerker seg med lettbent rytme (som forhindrer at det blir seigt, men ikke står i veien for at det blir tungt), en god og fengende melodi, og ikke minst en fremragende vokalprestasjon av Jon Ruder. Hans gjennomgående fine vokal er faktisk noe av det som gjør denne plata så bra. Ingen påtatte heavy-fakter, kun streit, flott synging. Med seg på laget har de også fått superveteranen Freddy Lindquist både som gitarist og medprodusent. Sannsynligvis et sjakktrekk når det gjelder å få omtale i den mindre spesialiserte musikkpressen.
Avslutningskuttet «Crosseyed» er albumets eneste ballade, blir som sådan noe i enkleste laget og det eneste kuttet hvor ordet klisjé dukker opp i bakhodet. Men så kommer koret igjen, og fløyta, og etter hvert tar det seg litt opp.
Plata er drøye 45 minutter lang, men føles kortere. Det alene er et godt tegn!
Olav M Bjornson
Rating: 5 stars
Prolusion. LUCIFER WAS is a Norwegian band with a long history. They started out in 1970, and played regularly until 1976, though without releasing any music. For the next 20 years the band was more or less dormant, before the original line up reunited in 1996. “The Divine Tree” is their fourth CD since reuniting, and was released in 2007. Related review.
Analysis. Musically, Lucifer Was are highly influenced by some of the bands that were popular in the first half of the 70’s. On this album, the main influence seems to be Deep Purple. The Hammond organ, the guitar riffs, the melodic overlays by the guitar and the (clean) vocals here are all very much in the vein of Deep Purple. On some tunes, influences from Black Sabbath are noticeable too. This is audible first and foremost in some riff patterns that have a distinct Tony Iommi feel to them in style, although not in sound. Some influences from folk rock can be found here as well, and the inclusion of flute on a couple of tunes will make many think of Jethro Tull. Lucifer Was concentrate on melodies and carefully crafted atmospheres rather than the often hard hitting rock of their influences. The guitar sound is slick more than hard or heavy, the soloing harmonic and structured more than wild and frenzied, the vocals are clean and melodic at all times. There are some moments here where the band rock out hard, but more often than not the tunes are then melodic hard rock in style, with some progressive rock elements added to create variation and complexity. The individual songs come across as well crafted: the melodies are catchy, the explorations are interesting and rarely drawn out too long, and the mix and production are high quality, highlighting the strengths of each individual composition. Although a couple of the tunes do come across as more average fare, most songs are clearly above average, having both captivating melodies and intriguing atmospheres.
Conclusion. “The Divine Tree” is a good album and should be an interesting acquisition for fans of early 70’s influenced melodic hard rock, as well as people into Deep Purple and Black Sabbath who don’t mind music more melodic in style and sound.
Amazon.com custormer review
By Tore (Norway)
Rating: 4/5 stars
Before I start I would like to mention that progressive rock is not a genre that I listen most to. My knowledge to bands like Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple etc is limited. As these are bands whom Lucifer Was is heavily influenced by, I believe LW’s songs contain lots of referances and nods to these kinds of bands that hardcore fans of prog rock will recognize, but myself (with my rather mainstream taste in music) will not get.
The songs strike me as a mixture between Underground & Beyond and In Anadi’s Bower with a slight emphasis on the first one. Even though there are a few “slow” songs, the overall tone seems more metal with a hint of 80ies hard rock. The opening track is my personal favourite, a song I first heard during a concert in Gothenburg the fall of 2000. It’s a grand, heavy song that unlike songs by The Darkness manages to stay clear of vulgarity. In my opinion there are 3 songs that really define Lucifer Was: Scrubby Maid (Underground & Beyond), Little Child (In Anadi’s Bower) and now The Divine Tree. The first one is a diamond in the rough, prog rock in its most bare form. Little Child is a 11 minute long epos with its beautiful transitions and The Divine Tree is a fullblood and tight rock tune.
I think some of the songs on the album lack the little extra to become memorable, but again, this is from a guy with mainstream taste in music. Determination has a small hook, The First Mover is perhaps Lucifer Was’ hardest song of all times, but doesn’t quite make it to the top for me. Almost Home is the song I like the least, because I find it too nagging and monotome at times, but saves itself from disaster with a ok middle.
However, I can mention some favourites, like On Earth with cool guitar play, good singing, rhythm and snap. The ending track, Crosseyed, is a long and slow song which reminds me a lot of Little Child. Although it doesn’t reach Little Child’s level of excellence, it works perfect as this album’s swan song and you get the feeling of finally reaching the top of the divine tree. Lyrically speaking I really can’t say much, the theme seems to be a continuation from the previous albums, where the story centers around the relationship between mankind and God.
The Divine Tree is more professional than Lucifer Was’ previous outings, the timing and energy seems more polished and I believe lots of work has been put in the post-production. And with 3 new, fantastic songs (in my opinion) this album is absolutely worth a purchase – still ridin’!
[Note: This review was originally written in Norwegian, so I apologize for any broken English.]
By Rick Hawkins
Newest release from this Nordic outfit who established themselves in 1970! That alone should explain the sound that radiates from this record! Heavy, pounding rythyms! Heavy Blues driven rock for your mind, body and soul. Emotional and charismatic vocals, soulful music that groove to! I am completely blown away back to my youth. I am stoked to see that my fathers music, the music I was raised on still lives on strong today! Guitars, Drums, Keyboards, Flutes! Classic Progessive music, a sure pleaser for fans of Rush, Jethro Tull, and Kansas! Eternal!
Reviews of Blues From Hellah (2004)
Freak Emporium (UK)
Third album from Norweigan progressive legends lucifer was offers a more well though album that part contains a little more blues influenced style, but also more symphonic as they add much orchestration than before. The flutes and dreamy vocals as as present as always, with a clear Jethro Tull influence. Mr Thore Engen delivers some excellent bleeding guitar solos, especially outstanding on the Captain Beyond cover “Armworth”. This is a a release filled with magic and love for the 70â€TMs scene, a time when music had no limits or boundaries. Very recommended!!
Progressive Rock Pages Progressor (Uzbekistan)
Prolusion. I’ve heard of the Norwegian group LUCIFER WAS, but haven’t heard their music until now. “Blues from Hellah” is their third album, and the previous are “Underground & Beyond” (1997) and “In Anadi’s Bower” (2001).
Synopsis. There is the note in the CD press kit that the influences of the Blues and Jethro Tull are widespread on the new Lucifer Was recording. Indeed, the music has Blues in its basis, but the latter remark, in my honest opinion, corresponds to reality only in part. Only Jethro Tull’s debut has a pronounced bluesy feel to it, and nevertheless, there is little in common between “Blues from Hellah” and “This Was”, too. Some of the flute solos resemble those by Ian Anderson, but these are rarely at the helm of the arrangements unlike Jethro Tull. Black Sabbath’s main man, Tony Iommi, who was for some time a member of Jethro Tull in 1968, is originally a blues guitarist. The music that he and his fellows played as The Polka Tulk Blues Band and Earth, i.e. before they ‘become’ Black Sabbath, is, in my view, closer to that of Lucifer Was than anything else. Iommi’s bluesy roots have become really apparent to the general audience only on 1986’s “Seventh Star”, which was primarily intended as Tony’s first solo album, and it’s enough to listen to Heart Like a Wheel from there to agree with my version of Lucifer Was’ stylistic cognates, etc, at least partly. The Wizard from the eponymous Black Sabbath album can also be taken into account in this respect, but Heart Like a Wheel and some other songs from “Seventh Star” and “Eighth Star” (1996, another product of collaboration between Tony Iommi and Glenn Hughes, which, though, is still a bootleg CD) are, still, more striking examples. Well, while Blues Rock is the central archetype of the music on “Blues from Hellah”, Cathedral Rock, the paternal genre of which is Doom Metal discovered by Black Sabbath, and Symphonic Progressive are also important components of it. The profusion of passages of various violins on most of the tracks not only makes the sound of the album lush and rich in symphonic colors, but also vastly distinguishes it from those of any other ‘brothers in style’ of the band. Besides, many songs here feature some highly complex and eccentric parts performed jointly by the band and a violin quartet. What’s most important, however, is that everything here, including the only straightforward number Come Drug Me Babe (2), is filled with tastefulness, raised to the power of high attractiveness. The dense and diverse in tempo Lucilla Has Gone, Mire, Armworth, Sleeping House, and Leave & Let Leave (7, 3, 4, 10, & 9 respectively), the first of which features a brass quartet, and the latter is largely instrumental, would probably be the best from a progressive standpoint. But I wouldn’t say that the slow, pronouncedly bluesy Old in Eden, Za Za Banshee, and When the Crossword Is Done (5, 6, & 8) are less impressive. By the way, the album’s title track (1), which is the only instrumental here, has nothing to do with Blues! Consisting of complex interplay between passages of violin and solos of flute, it lies somewhere between the Classical and Avant-garde kinds of academic music. What’s interesting, the bits of the latter form can be found on some other tracks, too.
Conclusion. If you, like me, believe the best Hard Rock (in a general sense) of the ’70s was also a revelation, as well as, probably, the most important stage on the way to comprehending Progressive, you are well familiar with a sense when music’s energy runs through every cell, compelling a heart beating thumping. Here is just the case to recall all those wonderful feelings. “Blues from Hellah” possesses everything necessary to be loved by you. This album is a superb masterpiece, at least in its genre category.
Babyblaue Prog-reviews (Germany)
Und täglich grüßt das Murmeltier. Jedes mal, wenn der Name Lucifer Was fällt oder, wie in diesem Fall, ein neues Album zur Rezension vorliegt, kommen mir die Bilder vom Progressive Rock Festival 1997 in Stockholm (u.a. mit den Flower Kings, Anekdoten, Höyry-Kone) wieder in den Sinn, als Lucifer Was diesen Event eröffneten. Die Ausstrahlung der Band und vor allem die des Sängers erreichten die mitreißende Emotionalität eines geöffneten, leeren Kühlschranks – Langeweile pur! Nun soll man ja eine Band nicht gleich im vorhinein verteufeln und somit haben natürlich auch Lucifer Was mit ihrem aktuellen Album Blues from Hellah“ wieder eine Chance verdient.
Und hoppla, was für eine Überraschung. Da sind auf einmal Streicher zu hören! Doch hält dies nur 40 Sekunden an, dann geht es hinüber in bluesig getränkten progressiven Hard Rock. Klingt zwar typisch nach Lucifer Was, doch irgendwie hat die Sache mehr Drive, klingt frischer und druckvoller. Verzerrte Gitarre, Streicher, Flöte und Mellotron sorgen hier genau für die Tiefe und innere Spannung, die man bisher bei den Norwegern vermisste. Glücklicherweise ist dies nicht nur ein Strohfeuer, denn auch in den weiteren Titel geht es wesentlich interessanter und vielschichtiger weiter, als man dies erwarten durfte.
Zwar sind Lucifer Was nicht ganz plötzlich zur Überband mutiert, doch ihr typischer Stil, der schwer bluesgetränkt bzw. im Hard Rock verwurzelt ist, aber immer wieder einige progressive Schlenker einbaut, erklingt auf Blues from Hellah“ so überzeugend wie noch nie. Die Band macht einfach aus den ihnen zur Verfügung stehenden Mittel das Beste, holt alles aus der Retro-Schublade heraus, was man bei ihnen passend verwenden kann. Besonders Mellotron und die effektvoll eingesetzten Streicher (stellenweise auch noch Bläser) helfen, das Klangspektrum aufzuwerten, während die verzerrte Gitarre so leidenschaftlich überzeugend schön, voller Weltschmerz heult. Na also, es geht doch!
Third album from Norweigan progressive legends LUCIFER WAS offers a more well though album that part contains a little more blues influenced style, but also more symphonic as they add much orchestration than before. The flutes and dreamy vocals as as present as always, with a clear JETHRO TULL influence. Mr axeman delivers some excellent bleeding guitar solos, much outstanding in the CAPTAIN BEYOND cover “Armworth”. This is a a release filled with magic and love for the 70’s scene – a time when music had no limits or boundaries. Very recommended !!
Another hint on a Heep-sounding band: Lucifer Was, a Swedish hard prog band, especially on the album “Blues From Hellah”. Except from a Captain Beyond’s cover (“Amworth” from their debut album), the songs are all originals. The singer has reportedly a David Byron/Ken Hensley feel and the music can be describe as a mix between Uriah Heep/Rough Diamond and old Jethro Tull (because of their bluesy style and the use of the flute).
The story of Norwegian Lucifer Was began as early as 1969 influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath, Black Widow & Coven. Then under a different name but sometime during the 1970’s they changed it to LUCIFER WAS to avoid mixing with the other Lucifer’s of the times. LUCIFER WAS was then active up to 1974 gigging around in the Oslo area but not much more. Then after the split up in ’74 nothing happened for (except a shortlived re-union in ’77) over 20 years when the band discovered an old tape and got re-united. First album, “Undreground & Beyond” released in ’97 is actually LUCIFER WAS originals from the 70’s re-recorded! Then in 2000 LUCIFER WAS second album came out, “In Anadi’s Bower”, followed in 2005 by “Blues from Hellah” setting the foundation for one of the most interesting “new” bands of today.
“The Divine Tree” consists of six tracks, ranging in time from five to eleven minutes. The music is at the same time both weird and normal, and makes for an accessible, but still challenging listening pleasure. It’s progressive, cathedral, heavy, bluesy and melodic. This album is oddly weird, oddly normal.
Questo è un disco blues. Semplice, ottimo, interessante, vigoroso blues, anche se i Lucifer Was insistono a definirsi una band di “heavy prog”.
Per questo “Blues from Hellah”, loro terzo album, la band norvegese ha raccolto una lunga serie di vecchi brani, soprattutto dei Plann (la band della quale faceva parte negli anni ’80 in chitarrista Thore Engen), e li ha remixati aggiungendo degli effetti moderni, come ad esempio lo strano effetto “circolare” in “Za Za Banshee”, l’unico brano davvero prog di questo disco.
Il risultato è piacevole, molto più vicino ad Eric Clapton che ai Genesis ma bello comunque: diciamo che si tratta di un blues un po’ modernizzato, ecco; ci sono alcuni accenni al soul (in particolare nei cori di “When the Crossword’s Done”, o il già citato effetto in “Za Za Banshee”, ma pochissimo davvero di progressive, tranne appunto il fatto che la band insiste a definirsi tale.
The Cutting Edge Reviews
The third offering from this Norwegian prog-rock legend is even more drenched in Jethro Tull inspired blues rock than ever before. Right out of the box the title track bolsters a gorgeously orchestrated 30-second intro, followed by a The third offering from this Norwegian prog-rock legend is even more drenched in Jethro Tull inspired blues rock than ever before. Right out of the box the title track bolsters a gorgeously orchestrated 30-second intro, followed by a driving flute, then bleeds into an intense slow-burn riff. “Come Drug Me Babe” is the perfect segue way complete with thundering bass and drum. The edge of “Mire” hinges on the flute, which drives the melody. Who says the flute can be used in heavy rock music to set the pace of the song?
Lucifer Was is a big band hosting six members. Jon Ruder’s baritone carries each song with dignified grace while Thore Engen cuts through with a clean almost mechanical guitar. Flutist Dag Stenseng and Morten Seyfarth duel it out as a wicked flute combo while Einar Bruu (bass) and Kai Frilseth (drums) keep the train steamed and running. They all come together in a cacophony of inspired prog equipt to take on the hooks of Captain Beyond’s “Armworth”, the big band of “Lucilla’s Gone” and on to the New Orleans-styled “Sleeping House”
Personal favorites gravitate toward the sharp blues driven “Old In Eden”, the hypnotic (almost disco) “Za Za Banshee” and the power-house “When The Crossword’s Done” which coaxes a Robert Cray riff from a Cliff Richard-like vocal. This has to be the record’s highlight as an exceptionally well-crafted song. If it’s a taste for the distinguished stadium rock of the Seventies (Kansas, Styx, Jethro Tull) then Lucifer Was is for you.
If you, like me, believe the best hard rock of the ’70s was also a revelation, as well as probably the most important stage on the way to comprehending progressive rock; then you’re familiar when music’s energy runs through every cell, compelling a heart beating thumping. Here is just the case to recall all those wonderful feelings. “Blues from Hellah” possesses everything necessary to be loved by you. This album is a superb masterpiece.
Reviews, In Anadi’s Bower (2000)
From Sir Lord Doom
Some cool norwegian band that brings back the original 70s prog and hardrock during the 90s. Lucifer Was have actually been founded in the earliest 70s by then teenage Tore Engen and some friends and took 27 years to unleash their debut album “Underground and below” in 1997. In 1999 they returned with a vengeance and an equally original, moving and memorable second album, “In Anadi’s bower”. Forget about AOR, Grunge, Sleaze, Stoner and Alternashit, everything that made the 90s the most cruel time for music…this is the real deal, this is classic 70s stuff far away from every mainstreamish feel. This was their last overwhelming album unfortunately, the two later records are just good…which makes them still better than 95 % of the rock albums today.
Tre år etter debut-CD’en “Underground And Beyond” er Lucifer Was tilbake med nok et album på Record Heaven. Debuten viste oss et band med musikalske referanser i retning heavy progressiv rock – delvis i tråd med den såkalte Vertigo-katalogen (Black Sabbath, Gravy Train og Mayblitz). Siden debuten (som hovedsakelig bestod av materiale skrevet i perioden 1971-74…) har de nå tatt steget et godt stykke videre og dagens utgave av Lucifer Was fremstår som mer rikholdig på kontraster og stemninger.
Siden sist har gruppa fått ny hovedvokalist i Jon Ruder, som med sitt kraftfulle og varme stemmemateriale overbeviser stort. Dag Stenseng – som var en av to hovedvokalister på forrige album kan dermed konsentrere seg mer om fløytespillet, noe det også er mer rom for på dette albumet. En annen vesentlig forskjell fra tidligere et at mellotron tas i bruk, vel og merke i økonomiske doseringer tilpasset de tette arrangementene.
Referansene til begynnelsen av 70-tallet er fortsatt tilstedeværende i musikken, og man kjenner absolutt Lucifer Was igjen fra forrige album. Dette har naturlig nok sammenheng med at bandets gitarist og musikalske leder – Thore Engen, står for størsteparten av komposisjonene, som ved forrige utgivelse.
På alle måter et veldig gjennomført album, som nok vil appellere til et langt flere lyttere. Lucifer Was har blitt mer progressive, fått langt større bredde, komposisjonene har vokst ca. femten hakk (!), og med en utrolig god produksjon som får frem alle detaljer, vil jeg ikke nøle med å anbefale “In Anadi’s Bower” til alle som setter pris på god, tung og kontrastfylt progressiv rock!
On this album by Norwegian ‘heavy progressive’ band Lucifer Was you can hear elements from Jethro Tull (flute) and The Moody Blues (Mellotron) but in general the focus is on harder-edged guitar work. Most of the ten compositions sound pleasant, no more or less. The titletrack delivers a wonderful part featuring the unsurpassed Mellotron (flute like Strawberry Fields Forever) and bluesy, Peter Green inspired guitar play. My highlight is the long Little Child (more than 11 minutes): alternating with halfway the two Mellotrons (played by Knut and Jon-Willy..!) and sensitive electric guitar. In general the guitar is pretty good on this album, the heavy riffs remind me of Black Sabbath but especially the guitar soli are great like fiery in Darkness and wah- wah in My Mind Said Stop. A fine album with some elaborate tracks.
Babyblaue Prog-reviews (Germany)
Die Norweger Lucifer Was bieten bodenständigen Hardrock, der von schneidenden Gitarren-Riffs und beherztem Flötenspiel geprägt ist. Die kompakt gehaltenen Songs kommen ohne Umschweife auf den Punkt und versprühen eine nostalgische Power, die voll und ganz im Sound der 70er Jahre angesiedelt ist. So wirken die Aufnahmen der Skandinavier fast wie ein längst verschollenes Relikt aus der britischen Hardrocktradition, das aus den Archiven ausgegraben wurde. Der Bandname und die schnörkellosen Flöteneinsätze erinnern an die englischen Okkult-Rocker Black Widow, die aber nicht so rockig agierten. Zwischenzeitlich klingt auch mal im Titel “Darkness” der typische Bombastsound der 80er Jahre Formation von Black Sabbath durch. Im heimischen Bereich kann auch die Formation Høst genannt werden.
Im Gegensatz zu meinen beiden Vorrednern, die dem geradlinigen Sound der Wikinger eher reserviert entgegentreten, stehe ich dem von glasklaren Riffs, folkigen Flöteneinsätzen und einer soliden Rhythmussektion dominierten Hardrock positiv gegenüber. Die Kompositionen glänzen zwar nicht mit progressiver Finesse, bieten aber einen angenehm stampfenden Rocksound, der auch mal in hymnische Gefilde tendiert. Hierzu passt der kraftvoll schmetternde Gesang hervorragend. Es wird eine grundehrliche Heavyästhetik geboten, die von gekonnt akzentuierten Mellotroneinsätzen veredelt wird, was besonders effektvoll im Titelsong “In Anadi´s Bower” zum Tragen kommt. Von einem sich ständig wiederholenden 08/15 Rhythmus kann hier nicht die Rede sein. Auch kann ich beim besten Willen keine unterkühlt-nordische Spielweise ausfindig machen. Es wäre höchstens die Kritik hinsichtlich einer Tendenz zu einem gewissen “Hauruckstil” gerechtfertigt, was aber bei solch einem ursprünglichen Rocksound in der Natur der Sache liegt und der Band nicht negativ angelastet werden sollte. Die Eleganz des instrumentalen Mittelteils des Longtracks “Little Child” präsentiert Lucifer Was aber auch mal in einem angenehm symphonischen und mellotrongetränkten Gewand.
Quite impressive, their first effort “Underground and Beyond” (1997) was yet a mere hint at what the subsequent “In Anadi’s Bower” and “Blues From Hellah” held in store. On these two, crunchy guitars, absolutely wild flute and tons of cascading mellotrons give way to meaner-than-snakes guitar riffs bound to send shivers up and down your spine. As for lead vocalist Jon Ruder, he is something of a cross between Ian Anderson and Klaus Meine (SCORPIONS). Of course, this music isn’t all that innovative or adventurous, but it is delivered with such gusto it’s hard not to love it.
On this 2000 album by Norwegian ”heavy progressive” band lucifer was you can hear elements from Jethro Tull (flute) and The Moody Blues (Mellotron)and Sabbath (heavy,riffs) check out tracks like “Kill The Rats”, “In Anadi’s Bower” and “Behind Black Rider” and you will understand. Lot’s of flute and marvelous guitar playing from the man and the myth; Thore Engen.This album is a superb masterpiece, at least in its genre category.Contains 10 page lyric booklet.
Lucifer Was – In Anadi’s Bower CD. This is nothing but a pure masterpiece from this Norwegian band. LUCIFER WAS sounds very much like a mix between BLACK SABBATH and JETHRO TULL and their songwriting skills are just incredible. Listen to songs like “Kill The Rats”, “In Anadi’s Bower” and “Behind Black Rider” and you will understand. Lot’s of flute and marvelous guitar playing from the man and the myth; Thore Engen.
Reviews, Underground And Beyond (1997)
From Bjørn Egil Eide (Norway)
Keeper of the world’s first Lucifer Was web site
Man, I’ve just got to say: This album is the number one album for me! And most of the Lucifer Was fans that I know personally, also state that this is their favorite. I had to buy a new copy of this record because my first could not handle another trip in the cd player. It was that polished! I’ve never listen to an album more then this one, and since the first minute I heard it, I just got cought in it’s magic sound. The tracks are truly great, with lots and lots of flute and heavy guitar-riffs, making their flute-rock style! Lucifer Was did a great job with this self-produced, weekend-recorded treasure. The vocals are mostly two voices combined, sort of lying low in the musical landscape, not like the loud and sharp vocal on their next albums, but darker and more relaxed. The tracks are all damn good, and catchy. All the lyrics are well written and has a certain mystic feel to them, except the “somewhat mismatching” Light my cigarette. Short excerpts from Edward Grieg’s Hall of the mountain king is a welcome act, because it’s not a cover-song, but a re-arranged, rock-edition of a piece of Norwegian classical music. When listening to this album while driving through the deep forest’s of Norway, you may detect a certain “feel”, at least I do, especially during the flute solo’s on the tracks Meaning of life, Fandango and In the park. A fellow norwegian Lucifer Was fan once wrote on the internet; “I guess you have to be an norwegian in order to get this special feel”. If that is so, then you who are not is really missing out on something far above great – the true sound of Underground and beyond.. So, this is the record I always carry with me on travells, along with Black Sabbath’s first album and Jethro Tull’s Aqualoung. I just can’t leave Underground and beyond at home! I recommend it to everyone! The way I see it, this is Lucifer Was’ masterpiece.
By John Verica
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Lucifer Was – Underground and Beyond CD. New pressing of this deleted album since many years. This time in digi-pack version with 2 bonus tracks as well, written in the old days, and perhaps the heaviest tunes by LUCIFER WAS thus far !! On these 2 tracks, we have guest apparences by member of AUNT MARY !!! For those of you not familiar with LUCIFER WAS, we can describe them as a hybrid of progressive JETHRO TULL style mixed with 70’s hardrock ala BLACK SABBATH. This is their debut album, and also their heaviest one !!
From Freak Emporium
Reissue in digipak format, coming with 2 bonus tracks from the early days of heavy satanic progressive rock album by this late ’90’s Norwegian band. Obviously influenced by Black Widow and Sabbath. Flute, heavy guitar work and dark vocals/lyrics to freak out the neighbours.This re-issue contains bonus tracks which have guest appearances by members of Aunt Mary.
A hybrid of progressive Jethro Tull style mixed with 70’s hardrock ala Black Sabbath.
New pressing of this deleted album since many years. This time we do it in digi-pack version, and add 2 bonus tracks as well, written in the old days and just recently finished off. Perhaps the heaviest tunes by LUCIFER WAS so far !! On these 2 tracks, we have guest apparences by member of AUNT MARY !!! For those of you not familiar with LUCIFER WAS, we can describe them as a hybrid of progressive JETHRO TULL style mixed with 70’s hardrock ala BLACK SABBATH.
From CD Baby
By Mort Helmers
Rating: Five stars
Great songs and heavy guitars. Even the twin flutes kick ass!
This was my entry to the bands music first time around and I love it. A rough and raw early 70’s sound with magic atmosphere. Standouts are Out Of The Blue and Green Pearl, two songs of originality and beauty. The first with a masterful heavy riff and the latter a progressive composition with quite a few twists! Great leadguitar, melodic and soaring. A classic. The bonuses fit in nicely and they are great songs with magic, thunder and even humour. And the drum-stool are occupied by the drummer from Aunt Mary, one of my favorite obscure bands from the early 70’s. The link to Aunt Mary adds an extra touch. The twin flutes are prominent on all the tracks, and even they kick ass. I love this little masterpiece.
Amazon.com customer review
By Yadis Hernandez
Rating: 5 stars (for rockers only)
If you are the person who likes old school, this is your great chance to listen the sound of the 70’s and 80 ‘ in this century this album is some kind of mix between jethro and sabbath with more powerful and faster riffs.. DO NOT miss this chance to buy you WILL NOT regret……………….
Quam Libet Records
70’es prog rock for nights out of one’s mind … Tull fans: don’t miss this!
Ceverna de Som (Brazil)
Não costumo comentar blogs, mas — com o perdão do palavrão — puta que paril!, este álbum do Lucifer Was é EXCELENTE! Muito obrigado pela dica e continue assim! =)
From The Freak Emporium (UK)
On the picturedisc LP version
Full colour picture disc release of this heavy Satanic progressive rock album by a new Scandinavian band obviously influenced by Black Widow and Sabbath. Flute, heavy guitar work and dark vocals/lyrics to freak out the neighbours….
The Lucifer Was Home
The main online source of Lucifer Was information is the fan site run by Bjørn Egil Eide, the man who made the cover image on the Divine Tree album. He has gathered a lot of valuable information on Lucifer Was, and this is definitely the authoritative source of information on Lucifer Was.
Lucifer Was on MySpace
Thore edits the Lucifer Was page over at myspace. There is not much there yet, but the myspace blog is intended to become a source of Lucifer Was news.
Grande Rock has a long interview with Thore Engen on the Blues from Hellah album.
Norsk Progrock Diskografi has a short presentation of Lucifer Was in Norwegian, which also tells you about other projects the various band members have been involved in.
The Norwegian online music magazine Ballade also has an article on Lucifer Was in Norwegian.
There is a short article on Lucifer Was on the Norwegian version of the Wikipedia.
The Prog Archives have a short review of the band.