|It does have a lot of elements from all of their albums. There's the hard rock thing on some of the numbers and then the AOR, proggy bits and so on. I really appreciate all of the songs except for Tears. The keyboards get a little sissy on that one. Tracks like the Uriah Heep-ish Jokers & Fools, the piano led ballad When Children Cry and the dark AOR on Straight for the Heart all kick ass (The short keyboard solo on Straight for the Heart could fit easily in a Dario Argento Giallo flick). I could say that about most of the tracks. There's no moments of artistic glory as on Where the Groupies Killed the Blues or Banquet, but I wouldn't have expected that either. Not after listening to the four new tracks on last years LF compilation album Awakening. This is quite hard rocking stuff in a similar vein as Firefly/Innocent Victim/Abominog era Uriah Heep or even Rainbow's post Dio era. I'm really not a fan of those albums (Firefly is actually great!), but Lucifer's Friend adds it all up with a tight musicianship as always, though they don't venture into complex territories. The band is really strong with the incredible Dieter Horns on bass (One of my favorite bassists of all time!) and Peter Hesslein on guitar. One reviewer mentioned that Hesslein didn't get to play any interesting solos on this album. I disagree hard! Mr. Hesslein never played that many solos in some of the earlier albums. It was always more about the keyboards and it's the same on Too Late to Hate... But Peter Hesslein gets to play some of his finest solos on here. Those solos never gets too heavy but a have a beautiful and smooth edge to them. John Lawton is not young anymore (70 years old, baby), but he's still a great singer. Better than Ian Gillan in 2016. |
The closing number "When You're Gone" is a short ballad that was recorded in early 2016 at a gig in Japan. John Lawton croons "When the lights go down and the curtains close, you walking those lonely streets out there on your own. When the lights go down and the music has come to an end. Yeah we'll be missing you whenever you're gone". I love how it ends with the audience cheering. Too Late to Hate really surprised me and I think it's their best record since Mind Exploding or Banquet.
P.s. I read somewhere that the lyrical contents on the album deals with the conflict in Syria. The band never said it themselves as far as I know, but I read an interview where the interviewer mentioned it.