LUCIFER BLOOD OF THE SUN/LOWEN
BOSTON MUSIC ROOM, LONDON A mesmerising ceremony at the 70s rock altar
lowen have pulled the short straw and landed tonight’s early shift, putting in a performance that can’t quite make up its mind whether to plod or soar. Nina Saeidi’s impressive voice is the definite highlight, and, while they could do with honing their stagecraft, their proggy doom is nonetheless interesting. We head from nuance and atmosphere to primal atavism with Blood oF The sun, a Texan sextet whose choogly retro rock worships at the altar of Mountain, Foghat and Sixty Watt Shaman. Bashing out riff after frothy riff and closing on a rambunctious rendition of I Just Want To Make Love To You, they leave you with the impression that they would play with the same gusto whether they were rocking a pal’s barbecue or headlining Altamont. It seems appropriate that a band named lucIFer should take the stage on an unseasonably warm October night, even if their music is less the product of Hell’s foul pits than years appreciating classic rock LPs. From opener Faux Pharaoh in, it’s clear that the refreshed line-up has locked nicely into place, with the band’s booming live sound a million miles away from their restrained recorded material. Guitarists Martin Nordin and Linus Björklund trade protean, blues-infused riffing and tasteful shred while drummer Nicke Andersson (yep, him from Entombed and The Hellacopters) keeps the pace swinging spryly. Star of the show, though, is singer Johanna Sadonis, whose rich, resonant voice makes you feel like you’re being beaten with a baseball bat wrapped in black velvet. Tracks like Abracadabra, Dreamer and the shamelessly Sabbathantine
Anubis undulate at her command, the singer wielding a strange hypnotic power that runs through every action, be it staring piercingly into the crowd, swigging casually from a bottle of wine or indulging in a slow-motion, fan-assisted headbang.