Attic: The Invocation

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Attic: The Invocation
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Attic: The Invocation
Heavy Metal
Ván Records
Decwember 21st, 2012
Release length: 47:42
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Back in the early eighties, Heavy Metal act Mercyful Fate took the Metal world by storm with their debut album, 1983’s Melissa. Unfortunately, for those faithful to the coven, a long waiting game began come the turn of the century, as vocalist King Diamond decided to focus more on his solo act, putting his original band on hold. Of course, this means the potential of a new album at some point, but most have stopped holding their breath for it. But, for those who are dying for a new one can kind of rejoice. German Heavy Metal act Attic, which formed back in 2010, are here to save the day. After issuing s self-titled EP and split in 2012, they have been picked up by Ván Records to release their debut album, The Invocation. Is this a quality homage, or does this effort lack the luster and spirit, pun intended, to make this a memrable experience?

The Invocation‘s production also shows traights of that early eighties sound, but far from as analog. The crisp production has a little emptiness to it, but nothing to really damage the modern approach. The bass is at a decent level to lend enough support to the mid-ranged guitars, especially during the solos, both filling he recording nicely. The drums are pushed in the back very slightly. The snares have a tighter snap that isn’t too commanding in the mix, and the cymbals are slightly hushed at times, but still come through well enough to help enrich the material. The bass kicks are a strong click that comes through well despite the lower level. Of course, much of the volume levels come from how loud the vocals are. The stern cleaner singing is met with a heavily echoed falsetto approach that suits the material perfectly, lending more to the already dark atmosphere that the performance and production already create.

While the atmosphere is a highly attractive element of this album, Rhe Invocation is chock full of catchy material that pays tribute to it’s obvious inspiration well. The second you come off the funeral-style introduction that is “The Hidden Grave,” later complimented nicely by the beautiful and melancholic organ instrumental “In the Chapel,” you are met with the catchy, mid-tempo, early Heavy Metal cut “Funeral in the Woods.” The melody in the leads is simply infectious against the slightly blackened rhythm chords that lend a chill to the offperformanceering. Offering a bit of contrast, the slower, semi-ballad and emotionally driven “Edlyn” presents a grim and dismal tone. The acoustic guitar chords throughout help to give it a colder setting of remorse, and the chorus slams in full of energy, but without missing a beat of the Doom Metal style tempo. The two vocal styles find themselves mixed together a little at times, offering more than one type followed by another. It sounds fantastic when done, giving a some additional variety to the album, and showing it’s greatly missing from the effort.

The environment and energy of those tracks carry into the quicker, yet even more haunting “Join the Coven.” The echoed vocals give it a far more eerie atmosphere, especially in the chorus. The slower bridges make for suitable transition$s. The guitar solo here does show where the emptier production can take away some bite, but once it picks up it becomes richer and far more engaging. This happens from time to time, but in the end it never detracts from anything. This is something that happens with the fster tracks like that and “The Headless Horseman,” which is another great song. Unfortunately, some of the leads seem lacking compared to others, such as the start of the track with heavily simplistic chords that feel as though a weight were attached to them. This finds the drums pushing the beat and some passages forward, creating a different experience all together. Unfortunately, this does show the band starting to lose steam, as “Satan’s Bride” and “Evil Inheritance” end up more like simplified compositions that weren’t rushed, or even filler, but rather the band running out of ideas as they tried to wrap up writing new material for the effort. Of course, some sections still stand out, such as the faster conclusion to “Evil Inheritance,” that do end up making plowing though these last two worth it.

Attic honestly don’t bring anything new to the table with The Invocation, but what they do offer is a love letter for one of the biggest lost, and most missed Heavy Metal bands of the eighties. If grim and atmospheric nusic of occult-themed material is what you’re looking for, then this album is one you definitely cannot afford to overlook. While it does lose some stream at the very end, there’s still plenty of solid matrial that will have you coming back for more, such as the memorable “Edlyn” and “Funeral in the Woods” to name a few. If you have yet to hear anything by Attic, now is the perfect opportunity to be transported back to the early days of Heavy Metal and remember why it’s such a formidable force to be reckoned with.

01. The Hidden Grave – 00:51
02. Funeral in the Woods – 4:57
03. Join the Coven – 5:39
04. Edlyn – 5:38
05. Ghost of the Orphanage – 6:05
06. In the Chapel – 1:10
07. The Invocation – 5:25
08. The Headless Horseman – 5:56
09. Satan’s Bride – 5:11
10. Evil Inheritance – 6:50
Initial Pressing Score: 9/10

 (band)

Digital review copy of this release provided by Ván Records via Earsplit PR.