"Although they would develop a more prog-influenced style, this debut album finds Lucifer's Friend living up to their sinister name by performing heavy, keyboard-textured rock in the vein of Deep Purple or Uriah Heep. It gets off to a thunderous start with "Ride the Sky," a punchy rocker built on a rumbling, guitar-fuelled melody reminiscent of "The Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppelin. From there, the band works its way through a series of songs that combine heavy guitar riffs with often-complex arrangements that border on prog-rock: "Keep Goin'" builds from organ-led verses into a guitar-dense jam driven home by John Lawton's wailing vocals, and the title track effectively contrasts heavy guitar-laden verses with an eerie chorus full odd keyboard and vocal effects to create its spooky atmosphere. Another highlight is "In the Time of Job When Mammon Was a Yippie," an eccentric but fun rocker featuring Lawton delivering an odd take on biblical history over a steady hard rock groove from the band. A downside of the album is that it lacks the varied instrumental textures that would make Lucifer's Friend's later work so interesting, but it makes up for this problem with a consistently high level of energy, clever arrangements, and a full-throttle vocal performance from Lawton. Repertoire's 1990 CD reissue of Lucifer's Friend further enhances the album's value by throwing in five bonus tracks consisting of non-album singles and B-sides. Highlights in the bonus track area include "Our World Is a Rock and Roll Band," a Beatles-ish song built on an impressive wall of sound, and "Alpenrosen," a wild, synthesizer dominated instrumental that moves at a fast pace and allows the band to show off their prog-ish instrumental dexterity. All in all, Lucifer's Friend is a solid debut and a worthwhile album for any listener interested in the roots of heavy metal."
Lucifer's Friend - Toxic Shadows