Ramon : The new album of The Lucifer Principle is available since yesterday. And as casual as that line sounds, that is as far from the current situation as conceivable. The mere question whether or not the band would ever come out with new material was justified more and more over the course of the last years, and many knew nothing better than that the plug was proverbially pulled by them. Nothing is further from the truth than that however, in the spirit of the album title, the lethargy was nothing more than suspended animation. If you were in local Dutch scenes and you had your antennas out in the right direction, you could have picked up some sparse signs of life and now, eight years after the release of ‘ Welcome To Bloodshed’, the band is finally back. With a self-financed album, without the gimmick of the stand-up bass, with renewed energy and most of all, with new inspiration. And the addition of thoroughbred bassist Sander Keuls can’t be denied as a decisive factor in that.
The Lucifer Principle is known as an old school death metal band and that is a label they will probably never disavow. However, ‘Play Dead’ seems to have shrug off the last remains of party vibe they had in earlier days permanently. And if you want to pay homage to what once was, there is only some many ways to go. And that is an awareness that seems to have nestled inside their music too now, as it still has a very recognisable core, with rock solid riffs, contagious grooves and in singer Erik one of the best Dutch grunters ever, they carefully but steadily venture into new territories.
And the beauty of the whole story is, the shift in style is completely organically. It is not a change because they set out to change, nor because they were fed up with what they used to play, it comes across as the logical next step at a band loyal to its roots, but no intending to compulsively repeat itself. This results in an album that is unmistakably The Lucifer Principle, but operating in a much larger playground, with occasional support of keys to name one thing. And that is done very well. Each musician completely harnesses al his talents in service of the song and if you force me to criticise the record, I would have to say it sort of misses a head and a tail. But with a body like this, referring to the coherence of songs, that is a negligible comment. This is a release you cannot let go by if you love the genre. You simply can’t, you will not forgive yourself. And I think a lot of people have been looking out for this one.