Lucifer's Friend -

(2CD 2015, 63:50, Lucifer's Records)

The tracks:
CD 1:
  1- Ride The Sky(2:56)
  2- In The Time Of Job(4:06)
  3- Keep Going(5:27)
  4- Toxic Shadows(7:01)
  5- Burning Ships(4:33)
  6- Fugitive(4:54)
  7- Moonshine Rider(4:48)
  8- Dirty Old Town(4:49)
  9- Fire And Rain(4:44)
10- Hey Driver(4:12)
CD 2:
  1- Pray(4:14)
  2- Riding High(5:01)
  3- Did You Ever(4:16)
  4- This Road(3:49)

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Lucifer's Friend reformed in 2015, about twenty years after the band's last performance. The eponymous debut album of this German band − founded in 1970 in Hamburg − was a milestone in the progressive rock genre. The band made a couple of great albums, but broke up in 1982. Now they're back with a two-disc album called Awakening.

The first disc contains a compilation of their ten best songs chosen by the fans. From the debut album you can enjoy four tracks; to me these songs are certainly the best of the old songs. Especially Toxic Shadows and Keep Going are excellent tracks with obvious Uriah Heep and Deep Purple influences. Check out the guitar solo in Toxic Shadows: it is as if you are listening to Deep Purple's Speed King. However, Burning Ships and Dirty Old Town are really utterly boring semi-acoustic songs with weird and strained high-pitched vocals by John Lawton.

The second disc features four new tracks that certainly capture the spirit of the music they formerly made. This means rather heavy music dominated by guitar and organ comparable to bands like Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Atomic Rooster. Pray is an up-tempo song with orchestral parts and a short guitar solo, while Riding High is a bombastic power ballad-like song. This Road contains straightforward rock with influences from bands as Free, Bad Company and Magnum.

I'm afraid Awakening is an album for the diehard fans of Lucifer's Friend, as it all sounds a bit too old-fashioned.

**+ Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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