Lucifer (2014 band)
|Genres||Heavy metal, hard rock, doom metal, occult rock|
|Labels||Rise Above, Century Media|
|Past members||Neta Shimoni|
Lucifer is a multinational heavy metal band formed in Berlin in 2014 by frontwoman Johanna Sadonis. Following several member changes, vocalist Sadonis remains the only constant member, with the current line-up featuring drummer Nicke Andersson, guitarists Martin Nordin and Linus Björklund, and bassist Alexander Mayr. Currently based out of Stockholm, the members are Swedish with the exception of the German Sadonis and Austrian Mayr.
Although the Oath released their self-titled debut album in 2014 via Rise Above Records to much critical acclaim, the duo of singer Johanna Sadonis and guitarist Linnéa Olsson broke up that same year. Having had big plans for the Oath, Sadonis was devastated but decided to utilize the energy she had and quickly formed Lucifer to continue making music. She said that it "was clear" Andy Prestidge, former drummer for the Oath and Angel Witch, and bassist Dino Gollnick, who was about to play with the Oath before its demise, were going to be a part of the new project. When Sadonis told Rise Above founder Lee Dorrian that she was looking for a guitar player, Dorrian recommended his bandmate from the recently disbanded Cathedral, Gaz Jennings. Jennings quickly agreed and he and Sadonis began writing songs.
Because of Jenning's work with his band Death Penalty, it was agreed that he would not play live with Lucifer or appear in promotional photos. The single "Anubis" was released on April 7, 2015 on Rise Above Records. With a spot on the bill at the April 2015 Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands approaching, Sadonis quickly booked four smaller gigs in Germany to warm up. However, after being unable to find a guitar player for their first gigs, Jennings stepped in and with a big American tour booked later, his position as live guitarist continued. The band's first album, Lucifer I, was released on June 16 and the North American tour took place from July 30 to August 23.
In March 2017 it was announced that Jennings and Prestidge had amicably left the band. Sadonis later revealed that Jennings left in November 2016, after their European tour. On the same day Jennings told Sadonis he was leaving, she met with her now-husband, Swedish multi-instrumentalist Nicke Andersson, who had been asking to write songs with her for some time. With a new songwriting partner and eager to record, Lucifer recorded their second album in Andersson's home studio without a complete band, only the addition of guitarist Robin Tidebrink.
Now based out of Stockholm and signed to Century Media Records, the single "Faux Pharaoh" was released in December 2017. Second single "California Sun" followed on May 4, 2018. Before Lucifer II's July 6 release, guitarist Martin Nordin of the band Dead Lord and Austrian bassist Alexander Mayr were recruited as full members. In October Lucifer began a European tour that includes performing live on the TV show Rockpalast. They also took part in Kiss Kruise VIII, a six-day American music cruise from October 31 to November 5.
Music and style
Lucifer's influences include Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Blue Öyster Cult, Lucifer's Friend, Steppenwolf, 1970's Heart and Fleetwood Mac. When the group started, Jennings would write guitar riffs based on Sadonis' ideas and they would arrange songs together. Sadonis would then write the lyrics and vocal melodies. She often uses occult imagery intertwined with personal stories. For example, with the song "Anubis", it refers to the god of the same name in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, but he also stands as a metaphor for someone she knows. A self-admitted spiritual person, Sadonis explained "the music is very laden with spirituality and magic is like a central topic in the music, whether it being in the lyrics or how I present everything, the whole visual stuff but also numbers." For example, the singer has an affinity with the number seven, thus the band name Lucifer has seven letters and the all-seeing eye on their first album has seven beams shining down. Sadonis said that she felt the first Lucifer album was aimed more at a particular crowd, the "doom and underground metal people," and wanted their second to attract a wider audience. She explained that the first album became much heavier when Jennings joined and described the sophomore effort as more in line with what her original vision for the band was.
Lucifer's style musically and physically is retro, influenced by the 1960s and 1970s. Sadonis and Andersson both feel the "slick and polished" sound of modern recording techniques is inferior to the music from those decades. Speaking of the first album, Sadonis said it was recorded live with analogue equipment, so "you hear the little flaws. It's not over-produced because that would take the life out of it." Sadonis is particular about the visuals, saying "I like the presentation of the band and I think it's part of the ritual to kind of bring across the message of the music. It's meant for all senses, for your brain, for your ears, for your eyes, everything."
- Current members
- Johanna Sadonis – vocals, keyboards (2014–present)
- Nicke Andersson – drums, guitar, bass (2017–present)
- Alexander Mayr – bass (2018–present)
- Martin Nordin – guitar (2018–present)
- Linus Björklund – guitar (2018–present)
- Former members
- Neta Shimoni – guitar (2014)
- Dino Gollnick – bass (2014–2015)
- Andy Prestidge – drums, keyboards (2014–2017)
- Gaz Jennings – guitar (2014–2017)
- Robin Tidebrink – guitar (2017–2018)
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