Thursday, July 30, 2020

Lucifer Was - Underground And Beyond (Psychedelic Hard-Rock, Norway 1970-72)

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Lucifer Was is a Norwegian heavy prog rock band strongly influenced by early seventies guitar, flute and vocal-oriented melodic progressive heavy rock.

Killer hard psych-prog from Norway!

“Underground And Beyond” was the debut album by cult proto-metal band LUCIFER WAS, containing songs written in 1971-72 but not recorded until 1997. Fully 70s analogue & powerful sound with devastating distorted lead guitar & flute. Imagine a cross between JETHRO TULL, BLACK SABBATH and ATOMIC ROOSTER!

Remastered sound, colour insert with liner notes by Klemen Breznikar (It’s Psychedelic Baby) plus rare photos.

Established in 1970 in Oslo, Lucifer Was were a powerful psychedelic hard-rock / hard-prog band that lasted until 1975. During those years, they gigged locally and played at some big festivals but they never got the chance to register any recording. The band hibernated until 1996 when they reunited again for a live concert. The chemistry was still there so they entered a recording studio and recorded in just 18 hours their first ever album, “Underground and Beyond”, featuring songs written in 1971-72. Their line-up included two flute players plus bass, drums and the killer lead guitar of Thore Engen. Originally released in 1997 as a picture disc LP, here's the first ever standard vinyl reissue.

Lucifer Was were established in 1970 in Oslo, Norway. The band played regularly in the Oslo area until 1976. The band was reunited in the 1996 and are still active.

What’s the story behind Lucifer Was formation?

It’s Oslo 1969. The very young drummer, Kai Frilseth knew guitarist Tor Langbråten from his neighborhood. The two of them got together for some informal “boy-room” playing. Just drums and guitar did not quite cut it and they wanted a bass player. A classmate of Tor’s, Arild Larsen, popped by their rehearsal room one day, also in 1969, and said he would like to join. He was most welcomed. Under one obvious condition, though. Arild had to get himself a bass guitar. And so, the trio “Empty Coffin” were in play. After some months the trio had expanded to a five-piece, adding organist Knut Engan and a second guitarist.

One day in 1970, the door bell rang at my parent’s house. Outside stood three guys, totally unknown to me. These creatures were guitarist Tor Langbråten, bassist Arild Larsen and organist Knut Engan. They asked if I, as lead guitarist, and Einar Bruu, as bassist, would join their group. We did accept.

With two bass players, two guitars, organ and drums, we started rehearsing. “Autumn Serenade” still didn’t do any original material, but by then I had both learned to master the guitar quite OK and also my songwriting had gotten more sophisticated. 

The double bass experiment did not work out. Probably because we were not adept enough to exploit the possibilities. Arild Larsen switched from bass to working our lighting system from on-stage. And, we changed our name again. This time to “Ezra West”. I liked it since it’s sounded so close to my guitar hero Leslie West! We did a couple of gigs as “Ezra West”, before changing the name again, to “Lucifer”. Quite soon we realized that we were not the only rock group with that name. Now, after gigging under four names in two years, we were tired of name changes so we just added “Was”. 

Around this time flautist Anders Sevaldson joined. Anders still occasionally plays with the group. He is featured throughout on both of our two latest albums, DiesGrows in 2014 and the new one Morning Star.
Then Knut Engan left. After a couple of years, with new people coming and going, something venomous crept into the band and Tor Langbråten also left.

In the summer of 1972, Arild Larsen (18 years and with a driving license) and me, now 16 years of age, borrowed a car and went for a two week camping summer holiday in the Southern part of Norway. One evening we met singer/flautist Dag Stenseng and a friend of his, also on holiday by car and tent. We stuck together for the rest of the trip. After the holiday we kept in touch. We asked if Dag Stenseng and the organ player in his band, Jan Ødegaard, would join forces with what was left of Lucifer Was. The remains of Empty Coffin/Autumn Serenade/Lucifer/Lucifer Was were Kai Frilseth, drums, Einar Bruu, bass, Anders Sevaldson, flute, sax and some vocals, Arild Larsen, lights and me, guitar and some vocals. And the Lucifer Was that still are active to this day, minus Jan Ødegaard, had finally come together. That was the start of developing our own sound with the two flutes trademark. This line-up lasted until 1974 or 1975. Then the band went on hold until coming back in 1996.

Thanks to "It's Psychedelic Baby" Website

Full story at: Lucifer Was

♫♪♪ Thore Engen, guitars, vocals
♫♪♪ Dag Stenseng, flute, vocals
♫♪♪ Anders Sevaldson, flute, background vocals
♫♪♪ Einar Bruu, bass
♫♪♪ Kai Frilseth, drums

01. Teddy's Sorrow 03:13
02. Scrubby Maid 02:44
03. Song For Rings 02:16
04. Out Of The Blue 02:32
05. The Green Pearl 06:19
06. Tarabas 02:47
07. Fandango 03:30
08. The Meaning Of Life 04:01
09. Light My Cigarette 03:01
10. In The Park 03:16
11. Asterix 03:30