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Lucifer Was - 'The Crown Of Creation' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 14, 2010    
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Bold, mad and hugely grand in scale.

You may think that five albums released over a forty year period makes Boston look prolific, however the Lucifer Was story is slightly more convoluted. The band did indeed form in 1970 and for the first six years of their existence Lucifer Was toured regularly and worked up some material for their debut album. That album however never saw the light of day and over the next twenty years the band would get together from time to time to put on some shows and remind an enthusiastic audience of what could have been. That all changed in 1996 when an unknown member of their audience handed the band a cheque for £1000 with the instructions to ‘go and make a record’. Lucifer Was never found out who that mysterious benefactor was, however they complied with his wishes and using material they had written in the first two years of the band’s life recorded their debut ‘Underground and Beyond’. From that point on, a grander vision was slowly brought to fruition, with lyrics and musical themes being mapped out for current and future releases to create a cohesive drama that plays out across the band’s subsequent five albums. Musically the band have also evolved across these records with what was a straight ahead rock sound growing through into more progressive vibes. The band’s previous album ‘The Divine Tree’ included a string quartet to embellish the band, however here on ‘The Crown of Creation’, Lucifer Was have made the bold leap of recording their album with the full Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra. The music from the orchestra was actually recorded before Lucifer Was played a single note – the reason for this being so the orchestra could play in their natural surroundings, rather than having to force their style into a ‘rock’ sound.

Now this may all sound a little too pompous, or pretentious for its own good; however the end results couldn’t be further from those sentiments. ‘Crown of Creation’ is an intricate and bold statement that somehow blends a full orchestra with progressive rock and creates a finished product that falls somewhere between Jethro Tull, opera, a West End show and ‘Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds’ and is to put it quite simply – stunning! The music itself is intricate, emotional and involving and unlike nearly all rock/orchestra crossovers, merges all the disparate aspects beautifully, allowing all the themes room to breathe and play off each other rather than over each other. There is never a feeling that the orchestra doesn’t belong, or that the Lucifer Was are drowning out the strings, as everything works in perfect sympathy. The musicianship from every quarter is faultless; however the vocals from Jon Ruder and Deb Girnius, who also plays acoustic guitar and flute, deserve special mention. In less capable hands the whole project could have been ruined however both mix the emotion of a stage show with a more straight ahead rock approach that is needed to really convince in this situation.

The album itself really has to be viewed as one long piece of music that ebbs and flows with the story of life death and everything before and after, and it is testament to the guitar skills of Freddy Lindquist, Andreas Sjo Engen and the mastermind of the whole project Thore Engen that their playing manages to shine through the rest of the instrumentation without once overly dominating proceedings.
Bold, mad and hugely grand in scale, ‘The Crown of Creation’ is a major achievement that on paper should be a catastrophe; however is in fact a total triumph.

Steven Reid

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