The Lucifer Principle – Play Dead

It is been a while since The Lucifer Principle released their last album “Welcome to Bloodshed”. 2009 to be exact. Since then is has been quiet around The Lucifer Principle, record wise.

When asked during one of last years gigs, front man Erik acknowledged that there were advanced plans for a new The Lucifer Principle album. The new songs played during those gigs weren’t just old unpublished material, but were the stepping stone of the new album.

The Lucifer Principle’s third full length album is called “Play Dead” and is announced for quite some time now (since 2012-ish to be more precise), but it has finally arrived!
In the recent months The Lucifer Principle posted some teasers of songs of the new album on Facebook and they were received quite well. So when the opportunity came to review this album, I was quite eager to get my hands on it.

Track by track

The album “Play Dead” consists of 9 tracks and has some great artwork, which makes me curious about the merch that will be derived from this. That could be pretty awesome.

The album kicks off with the title track “Play Dead”. It starts out quite mellow, but just wait ‘till the drums kick in… The speed of the first track, sets the pace for the rest of the album; it is pumping, groovy and catchy like hell! “Play Dead” is the kind of song that sticks in your head for days. The break in the middle makes it even more brutal than it already was.

The second track on this album is “Darker” and it starts right there where “Play Dead” ended, but has more tempo changes. “Darker” has a nice build up towards an aggressive end. “Monsters” is the next track and has a bit of different beginning. To say it is more melodic is compromising the rest of this album, but it is in a certain way. Maybe there is a tiny bit of a Killing Cult Society (front man Earik’s other band) influence crept in, which sounds great. It sounds almost like a happy song on a death metal album!

With “Razor” we go slow and heavy almost like doom metal, but with The Lucifer Principle you know it doesn’t take long to get it grooving en stomping again. This song takes it time to build up to just that. I greatly contributes to the heaviness of this track. “Eaten by the Wolfes” is next and is around since 2012. It is a straightforward death metal track in The Lucifer Principle-style. The well defined guitars and the ever stomping drums making this track quite enjoyable.

I have to give it to The Lucifer Principle, their intros are varied and not always what you expect. “The Loss” has an intro which could make you wonder, but the the ever present drums tell you there is something brewing. After about 30 seconds mayhem is released and this might be one of the better songs of the album. “The Loss” is very catchy and fast and has a very good build up to the end. Surprisingly the end of the song is a fade-out and that is a bit of a shame for such a good track.

With “Dei gratia” The Lucifer Principle takes a slight different direction. Halfway the track there is a very enjoyable break with spoken text and an acoustic guitar. This songs is a bit slower en heavier at times than the other tracks and has some great riffs and tempo changes which sound best with the volume way up, but that goes for the whole album.

The one but last track is titled “Of Many Tongues” and this one doesn’t leave room for any misunderstanding of the intent of The Lucifer Principle with this song. No fancy intro, but an icy scream of front man Earik and the relentless hammering of the drums. From start to finish, this song is merciless! Damn! what an aggressive and psyched song this is! I love it! I just can’t wait to lower the roof of my car and blast this out loud form my car stereo while driving on an empty freeway!

The ninth and last song is called “Nail the Coffin Shut” and with that we return to the grooving and stomping sound which is typical for The Lucifer Principle. The title is well chosen for the last song of this album I think and is a worthy closing track. Maybe it is a tad bit more melodic than the other songs on this album, but it is still very recognizable The Lucifer Principle.
Even though this songs has a kind of fade-out too, this one is quite different and is done in a interesting way keeping the the title of the song in mind and it being the last track on the album.

Conclusion

What a revival of The Lucifer Principle this is! It is wild, it is pumping, it is stomping and groovy as hell! When you close your eyes, you can almost see the wild moshpit in front of the stage and The Lucifer Principle on stage encouraging the wild bunch to get even wilder. This album is close on how the songs are played live and that is a strong point of this band. No fancy additions which are hard to perform live, but straight up groovy death metal.

Technical this album is very good too. Front man Earik’s growling voice is well defined and intelligibly. Guitars and bass are clearly audible separately too. A special mention goes out to drummer Mikhail. He is smashing the drums relentlessly, and puts in a lot of variation. That must have been a job and a half!

The only real point of criticism is the fade-out of “The Loss” which deserved a better end.

Besides that minor detail: a great album of The Lucifer Principle!

Score: 9.0

Tracklist

01 Play Dead

02 Darker

03 Monster

04 Razor

05 Eaten by the Wolves

06 The Loss

07 Dei Gratia

08 Of Many Tongues

09 Nail the Coffin Shut

artwork: Sieger Miedema