Attic - The Invocation (Van Records)

Heavy Metal.
Release Date: 
20 Dec 2012 - 11:30pm

 

The trouble with a lot of these modern bands wanting to, um, invoke the power of eighties true metal in the twenty first century is that most of them can’t pull of the look – there’s always one member of the band with a day job haircut, or someone who may well be a hipster ‘just helping out on bass til the guys get sorted out’, and, superficial though that might seem, it always ruins the effect for me, no matter how good the tuneage is.

Thankfully there are no such problems for German rivethounds Attic, who appear to have been cryogenically sealed in pods in about 1983 (when they had just come off of a little-documented Peruvian tour in support of Mercyful Fate), and thawed out ready for an onslaught on the world’s ears some thirty years later.

And thank the evil scientists who did the nasty deed, quite frankly. Attic's The Invocation is the latest from the recent slew of bands – most notably Portrait and In Solitude – mining King Diamond’s seams, and they may well be the best so far. Star of the show, needless to say, is vocalist Meister Caglliostro who has eerily managed to replicate Diamond’s hellish wail almost completely, and certainly well enough to convince even the most cynically hard-hearted of headbangers that he’s got the goods. He bestrides this album like the proverbial colossus, lighting up every inch of my blacked-out Peckham hovel with his incendiary vocalising; His work on the track Edlyn is quite simply, the best, most convincing singing I’ve heard on a heavy metal album in years, and The Invocation as a whole could be – should be -  the start of something big for this man.

It’s not all about the Meistermeister though, as the rest of the band are certainly not the worst in the world in their respective departments. Guitarists Katte and Rob aren’t quite up there with Sherman and Denner just yet, but certainly they are on their way and display enough chops to impress at every turn. It’s hard at times to remember that this is the band’s first full length, such is the maturity of the material on show, although – and this is the only major drawback of the album – so much of it is so derivative of Mercyful Fate you wonder occasionally how they’d fare tying their hand at something a little more original in the future.

But that really is to ignore the fact, when you listen for listening’s sake, that this is a bloody fantastic heavy metal record that won’t fail to appeal if you like metal as it used to be played – to bang heads.