Let’s have a show of hands. Who likes vintage metal? Great. Me too.
OK. Question two. Who likes new bands who sound like vintage metal? Ahh. Not so many hands up that time. But there’s a few.
Third question. Who likes the sound of a 70’s blues rock band with a bit of Sabbath heft in their down tuning and a vocalist who sounds like one of the girls from Heart doing some operatic hippy nonsense while riding a white horse through a grave yard in front of smoke machines and a band dressed like extras from Almost Famous in broad daylight? Anyone? Anyone?
For the couple of us still with our hands in the air, check out Dreamer by Lucifer, released this month. If someone like 80’s Metalman or Deke told me this was a record by a band from ’76 I’d never heard before, I would have no reason to disbelieve them. I mean they’re called Lucifer FFS. Just look at that logo.
Over a gentle gloom, Johanna Sadonis eases you in with her strong smooth voice. Her ‘English is not my first language’ intonation makes every syllable immaculately well pronounced. The odd power chord drops behind her like hand tools on sheet metal and in no time the doom groove of GZR inflected bass is making a slow crawl towards the next riff.
These guys feature ex-members of Entombed and Cathedral among their ranks. To just look at the band and their choice of instruments you know they’re heavy metal faithful. The kind of long hairs who know their Blue Oyster Cult from their Masters Of Reality. What is so very beguiling about this track for me is the restraint. It stays slow. It stays behind that beautiful voice and yet it doesn’t short change.
Dreamer is a song in the genre not a genre looking for a song. The song and it’s accompanying clip are so ‘on the nose’ it’s beyond parody. This is post Spinal Tap and you can’t take the piss. It’s for real. It’s trad metal for trad metals sake. And yet it holds it’s own among the rock scene in 2018.
I have to wonder if they’d have shot the video at night rather than in the day if the whole thing would have felt heavier. Just like the song though it’s the light among the cold stone and classic metal traits that makes Dreamer stand out.