The rock ‘n’ roll heathens in Lucifer have a killer new album out on October 29. Led by German songstress Johanna Platow Andersson, and featuring her husband, Swedish rock and death metal icon Nicke Andersson [Entombed, The Hellacopters, Death Breath], Lucifer IV will be released on Century Media Records. 

The band have successfully transitioned from the hypnotic doom of their 2015 debut, into a nigh-perfect amalgamation of hard rock meets retro pop rock, perfectly exemplified on the new record. Although the pandemic provided time for the couple to write new music, the grim reality of the outside world didn’t directly influence their songs, since thankfully, they live a relatively secluded life when not on tour.

“The horror for me is every day when I open my laptop,” Platow shares. “Of course, there’s a darker and gloomier mindset regarding the pandemic, and the climate crisis, and all that, but I don’t think that really fed into the album. That kind of darkness, both Nicke and I have always sort of incorporated that into our music. Obviously we have a thing for creepy things, you know? The previous album [2020’Lucifer III] was just as dark or as light as the new one. Of course, when you have a cover like the new album [featuring a crucified Platow, under blood red lighting] you get, like, a darker association. The visuals always feed into perception somehow.”

From the ominous first notes of album opener, “Archangel of Death,” to the toe-tapping ode to decapitation, “Bring Me His Head,” Lucifer IV is a masterclass in songwriting, and features some absolutely swingin’ performances.  

“When we write and make a demo, it’s pretty much finished,” Andersson says of his and Johanna’s effective, dynamic duo writing process. “Usually for me, when I write songs for my 40 other bands, it’s not riff-based, I just sit with a guitar, and everything comes at the same time. If I play anything on guitar, I hear the drums immediately. I guess one of the perks of playing more than one instrument is that maybe you can see the whole picture easier and quicker. With Lucifer, I have to push the vocals and phrasings aside, because that’s Johannas job.

Platow’s illustrious voice and knack for melodies led the singer to dip her toes into the riff department on the song “Mausoleum,” resulting in one of the catchiest tunes amidst an album full of ridiculously catchy tunes.  

“‘Mausoleum’ is the only song on the album I wrote on my own,” she reveals. “I had this thing on my songwriting to do list, where Lucifer didn’t really have a song where you do this simple trick, you sing the riff, kind of like [Black Sabbath’s] Iron Man.’ A lot of bands use that, and it can be super stupid, or it can be so simple it’s really good. So, I wanted a song where the riff was sung, so I sat down with a crappy keyboard and made a demo, and handed it to Nicke so he could transform this keyboard melody into a guitar.”

“In this case, it is more about the riffing, I guess, than it is with stuff I write for other bands,” Andersson says. “In the beginning it was a little bit difficult to just push [vocal melodies] aside. Of course, I write ‘this is the verse,’ ‘this is the pre-chorus,’ but sometimes when Johanna gets it, I still send her stuff even though we live in the same house.  

For example, on the Lucifer II album, the first song we wrote was ‘Dreamer.’ I had a completely different idea of where the verse would be, and then when she finished the song, I was like, ‘Oh, one could do that,’ and that’s really cool. Because that’s not how I would do it, but that doesn’t mean it not good or better.”

“The production is a little bit different this time also,” Platow says of Lucifer IV’s brooding yet groovy sound. “This time it was not only recorded at Nicke’s studio but also at our guitarist Linus’ [Björklund] studio as well.” 

“And he has a better live room for drums,” Andersson adds. “So, they’re a little bigger sounding, which is fun. Maybe that’s where the darkness is too?”  

With infectious, soon to be classics like “Wild Hearses” and “Crucifix (I Burn For You),” Lucifer IV is easily the most pristine collection of morbid, graveyard rock jams you’ll hear … until the next Lucifer album that is.  

Watch the video for “Bring Me His Head” here:

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Photo courtesy of Lucifer and Ester Segarra

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"What can you expect when you're on top? You know? It's like Napoleon. When he was the king, you know, people were just constantly trying to conquer him, you know, in the Roman Empire. So, it's history repeating itself all over again." -Dirk Diggler

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