There is a certain mantra that one puts themselves into when going into a Lucifer album. Much like diving deep into Ozzy’s “Mr. Crowley” or Pentagram’s “Death Row,” a Lucifer album does not cater to the light-hearted. And by now, they have trenched themselves deep into the classic metal dimension where time is merely a blurred line. There’s comfort in that familiarity, especially five albums later.
“Fallen Angel” feels like that first time you put on a Motley Crue album and heard Mick Mars’s guitars rev up. Lucifer drifts off into more psychedelic acid metal hyperdrive than Sunset Strip ritual. The power here lies in Johanna Platow Andersson’s hypnotic vocals. The dive into the abyss is as legendary as the abyss itself.
There are gentle surprises within. “At The Motuary” feels more sincere than what it should be. And “Riding Reaper” is more expressive than the song name expresses (I have Judas Priest expectations but end up in Monster Magnet via Doro vibes).
Like a death waltz through a graveyard, “Slow Dance in a Crypt” is a ballad the only way Lucifer can pull it off.
Before the curtains fall, they manage to squeeze out another metal rager. “Strange Sister” is one of the more stand-out songs on this album. But if this is the chase, their finale is the vampire’s bite. Smoky haze, 3 a.m. blues rock sensuality, “Nothing Left to Lose But My Life” may not be a climactic phoenix burning into infinity; the song does succeed in showing off the band’s fragility.
There’s really no gimmick here: Lucifer are classic rock superheroes in modern day bodies. You come into a Lucifer album expecting exactly what you get out of it. V is no different.