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Attic - "The Invocation" (CD)

Attic - "The Invocation" CD cover image

"The Invocation" track listing:

1. The Hidden Grave (:51)
2. Funeral in the Woods (4:57)
3. Join the Coven (5:39)
4. Edlyn (5:38)
5. Ghost of the Orphanage (6:05)
6. In the Chapel (1:10)
7. The Invocation (5:25)
8. The Headless Horseman (5:56)
9. Satan's Bride (5:11)
10. Evil Inheritance (6:50)

Reviewed by on January 16, 2013

"...what’s left from 'The Invocation' is an enjoyable metal album that has the spirit of the early ‘80s, though with a stale musk left in its wake."

To the uninformed listener, Attic’s “The Invocation” would cause a reaction to the effect of, “Wow, King Diamond sounds great! Glad to hear Mercyful Fate is still kicking around.” So originality is clearly out the window, and it’s clear right away once “Funeral In the Woods” kicks in. Ignoring that unfortunate circumstance, what’s left from “The Invocation” is an enjoyable metal album that has the spirit of the early ‘80s, though with a stale musk left in its wake.

Other than the organ-laced instrumentals “The Hidden Grave” and “In The Chapel,” this debut from Attic is right in line with the heavy metal that Mercyful Fate became renowned for. There are two guitarists that harmonize and solo away like it was 1983, a vocalist who knows no bounds as far as his range goes, and an abundance of Satan worship that can hardly be deemed relevant as we start off 2013.

Throughout the traits this album shares with other veteran acts, “The Invocation” does have a catchy streak going through their songwriting. There’s something to be said for that, and the band does this well on “The Headless Horseman” and “Join The Coven.” A few songs do extend for longer than expected, with a feeling of repetition sinking in with the riffs. The lead work makes up for that, especially on the title track. There’s even a foreboding acoustic piece built into “Evil Inheritance” that at least finishes the album off with something less worship-y.

It’s hard to ignore how well vocalist Meister Cagliostro handles that classic King Diamond pitch. The falsettos are note-perfect, and he emotes in a similar way that King Diamond did on an album like “Melissa.” As is the way with the rest of the album, uniqueness is nonexistent, and there’s plenty of ghostly figures and alludes to Satan to make that even more apparent. “The Invocation” takes liberally from earlier sources, but at least it’s not just cover songs disguised as original material.

What “The Invocation” has going for it is the outright allusions to the likes of Mercyful Fate, an opinion that has been obviously beaten into the ground by this writer. Older metal fans will be transported to a simpler time with “The Invocation,” where heavy metal was still finding its bearings. Those who have no idea who King Diamond is would be wise to check out his other work first to see how it is done right, but Attic does enough to raise it above an outright copycat job.

Highs: Pitch-perfect impersonation of King Diamond, has that spirit of early '80s heavy metal, some catchy material to be dug up

Lows: Almost a direct copy of Mercyful Fate, originality is lacking, some of the songs drag

Bottom line: It's the best Mercyful Fate album that has never been released, which may sway listeners depending on their appreciation of said band.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)