Lucid Sins – Cursed!
Totem Cat Records
Release Date: 03/05/2021
Running Time: 38:41
Review by Dark Juan
Alright my old muck spreaders? It is I, the Ipssisimus of All Things Groovy, Dark Juan, and having got over what can only be described as a colossal sulk yesterday, I have returned to vent my spleen to you all in the NAME OF SATAN! I hope you are all wearing your cilices, because I am going to have you all tightening those fuckers around your collective thighs until you pass out from lack of blood. Yes, I am feeling very nihilistic and you lot are going to bear the brunt of my disapprobation. I am distinctly displeased and someone has to pay. However, that person will not be our esteemed lord and master, Field Marshal Sir Richard “Are You Still Whining About People Not Liking Your Herr Nox Review? Pull Yourself Together Or I’ll Give You Something To Fucking Moan About, You Ridiculous Northern Arsehole” Tilley, who has threatened me with being left in a Welsh field, wearing nothing but wellington boots and a disarming grin. He’s nothing if not a motivational genius, that man. A prince among men I tell you. A fine gentleman and a true friend to boot…
This is nothing to do with the fact he’s a fucking man mountain and could break me in half with little effort – especially after I have been vegetarian for so many years and now have a skeleton composed of dust and muscles like pipe cleaners…
Anyway, today marks a change of tone from the previous couple of reviews where I have been hovering around the more industrial and gothic side of things, and I am currently worshipping at the altar of Groovetastic Grooviness and echoes of the early days of heavy metal with Lucid Sins, who are based in Glasgow, Scotland.
Now, my computer appears to have put track two ‘Joker’s Dance’ of the album as the opener, and although particularly good indeed, the opening track is entitled ‘The Serpentine Path’ and is that rare thing, a rock record that requires no more cowbell. It has an infectious central riff, which is allowed to expand and breathe, rather than being composed of 40 billion notes in a single second before it segues into an extended psychedelic central part, with ethereal, phased vocal and some tasty soloing and oodles of Hammond organ… If you regularly read my drivel, you’ll find I’ll have a soft spot for Hammond organ and classic riffing. Lucid Sins have these in abundance. The band have a deceptively simple sound – their particular blend of classic metal, hard rock, the blues and psychedelia really rewards close listening with cans on, otherwise you are going to miss some exquisite little touches in the music. It is rather more complex than it seems upon a first listen. Simple sounding guitar work blends seamlessly with a bluesy, clean vocal from Andreas Jonsson, whose voice reminds me greatly of John Kay of Steppenwolf at their most acid fuelled in places, and the music reminds this Hellpriest greatly of Wishbone Ash, a more muscular Hawkwind during the extended psychedelic passages and even in places, The Doors – especially on the more organ and keyboard led parts of the record.
The whole record is lushly produced and everything is perfectly legible and easily heard and the guitar work of both Andreas and Ruaraidh Sanachan (I’ll be honest here, I am literally just copying and pasting his name because it’s a bitch to spell) rich and easily defined, without the overabundance of fuzz that usually accompanies classic sounding hard rock records.
Fifth song in is the title track, ‘Cursed’ and although very enjoyable, it’s where the major flaw of the record is. There’s an almost pathological desire to go exploring off piste and meander around mist filled, mescaline fuelled psychedelic hinterlands. Lucid Sins are at their most effective when they are rocking out and hinting at their desire to wander off the beaten track. The sixth song on the album ‘Snake Eyes’ is a banger and is reminiscent of Ghost (shut up, Ghost are fucking brilliant) in places as are the vocal line and pattern of ‘By Your Hand’. This is of course a Very Good Thing indeed as I am of the opinion that Ghost are responsible for bringing back a bit of melody and interest to heavy metal, as opposed to every band sounding the same with guttural vocals and speed. Plus, I’m an old fart now and it is nice to have a change of pace and not have my brains cudgelled all the time…
The final track is entitled ‘The Forest’ and eschews any attempt at heavy metal and is remarkably similar to The Doors. Of course, this is not a bad thing because The Doors were a formative influence of metal – it’s an extended jam of ethereal vocals, gentle grooves, trippy guitars and atmosphere before an acoustic guitar break and tambourine and gentle swathes of electric alchemy wash over you. If you’re fond of chemical enhancement of the enjoyment of music (hello, 420 fans) might I suggest you partake of some perfumed hash before you listen to this record. It may well take you to places in your mind you haven’t visited before.
In short then – nothing spectacularly new or original, but damned good fun and very pleasing to the ear if you truly know your metal heritage and don’t think that metal started with Slipfuckingknot or Avenged fucking Sevenfold. This is a well-crafted paean to the early days of heavy metal and it is rather splendid in that regard. I hope Lucid Sins become the gateway drug to psychedelic and blues rock for a lot of young people who think that metal starts and stops with Gojira.
I like it a lot.
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Siostam measaidh splat fuil dorcha Juan patent – bet that’s wrong hahaha) awards Lucid Sins 9/10. One point was deducted for a slight overemphasis and reliance on wandering off in the middle of songs, otherwise top notch bluesy, acid tripping hard rock of excellence.
‘Sun & The Moon’ (Official Video)
01. The Serpentine Path
02. Joker’s Dance
03. Sun & The Moon
04. The Devil’s Sign
06. Snake Eyes
07. By Your Hand
08. The Forest
LINE-UP (For the purposes of recording this album – core members are in bold):
Andreas Jonsson – Vocals & Guitar
Joe Gallagher – Guitar
Martin “Eggy Beard” McKenna – Violin
Ruaraidh Sanachan – Guitar, Bass, Keys and Percussion
Sondre Berge Endegal – Bass
Stuart Coleman – Keys
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.