For Lucifer, heavy metal lives | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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For Lucifer, heavy metal lives


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German singer Johanna Sadonis loves 70s heavy metal down to the last sweaty, swaggering riff. Her band Lucifer have shifted a bit stylistically since they emerged in 2014—the inevitable result of frequent lineup changes. The current incarnation is anchored by multi-instrumentalist Nicke Andersson (The Hellacopters, Entombed), who has become Sadonis's co-songwriter, and also plays drums, bass, and half the guitar parts on the group’s new album, Lucifer II. As a result, while the band’s 2014 debut, Lucifer I, tended toward the doomy Sabbath side of the 70s, Lucifer II is more obsessed with hard rock in the vein of Deep Purple. "California Sun" grabs onto its retro hook with two biker gloves and wrings every ounce of its metal blooze out onto the grease-stained floor (and yes, the video features motorcycles). On the the Stones’ "Dancing With Mr. D,” Lucifer flattens the rhythm and adds thick guitars that turn Jagger's sensual threat into a pleasingly lumbering juggernaut. No matter what she sings, Sadonis's stentorian voice is instantly recognizable, a cross between Grace Slick and Robert Plant. When she wails "You gotta stand up to your fire!" in "Phoenix," you can almost feel the wind of a thousand lighters being raised. Though none of Lucifer's moves are exactly novel, for those who love the tradition, that's a feature, not a bug.   v

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