For the most part, Lucifer III is a direct extension of the style seen on its 2018 predecessor. The focus remains on Uncle Acid-esque heavy psych that pairs upbeat, vocal-oriented songwriting with a late 60s/early 70s dark hippie aesthetic. The album even features the same number of songs as nine tracks struct across a similar near forty-minute runtime.
This retread potentially risks phoned-in performances, but Lucifer’s musicianship is as tight as ever. The vocals steal the show as always, sitting front and center and casting the melodies with alluring engagement. The rest of the band may have more distant placements in the mix, but their roles are never undermined. The guitars drape the album in an ominous haze while the drum patterns have a controlled busyness that allows for some steady grooves.
The songs also do a good job of repeating the previous album’s motifs without wearing thin. Tracks like “Leather Demon” and the closing “Cemetery Eyes” are particular standouts, showing off atmospheric restraint while still lending themselves to upbeat hooks. The opening “Ghosts” and “Midnight Phantom” also make for strong highlights thanks to their more energetic drive. Elsewhere, “Coffin Fever” sees the band’s doom roots shine through, and tracks like “Lucifer” and “Flanked by Snakes” bring extra helpings of 70s rock swagger.
While Lucifer III seems to be more about sustaining the band’s momentum than outright evolution, it happens to be pretty damn good at what it sets out to do. A combination of fun playing and breezy songwriting makes for a winning formula that doesn’t feel like it’s missing out. It doesn’t grab me quite as much as the first two albums, but fans of catchy occult rock won’t be too bothered. If you liked Lucifer II, then Lucifer III should tickle your fancy.