"The Invocation"

By Dr. Abner Mality

King Diamond has not had an easy time of it at all in the last few years. Excruciating back pain and a near-fatal heart bypass operation have sidelined the diabolical Dane. How nice, then, that Germany's Attic have stepped in to fill the gap with "The Invocation". This could be a lost Mercyful Fate album.

This kind of mimicry often leaves me in a conflicted state. I find it ghoulish when bands ape a famous artist so thoroughly that their own identity becomes lost. But when that imitation is done so well it can match the original inspiration, you have to hold your nose and give credit where credit is due. Attic pretty much hit all the iconic Fate/Diamond notes here. The vocalist, whose name I have unfortunately not been provided with, has not only got King's creepy falsetto down pat, but also the semi-whiny clean vocals and occasional growls. I mean, there is literally NO influence here from anybody but King Diamond. The guitarists are not quite in the Sherman/Denner class, but that doesn't stop them from trying as hard as they can to match the masters. "The Invocation" is a classic metal guitar freak's delight, as solos and twin harmony work is literally coming up everywhere like zombies in a graveyard. That's evident in every song, but "The Headless Horsemen" and "Evil Inheritance" take the cake.

One aspect of the band I dig is the occasional interjection of eerie church organ instrumentals like "The Hidden Grave" and "In The Chapel". I have always dug the timeless sound of a true organ. But it's sinister metal that takes center stage here and songs like "Funeral In the Woods" and "Ghost of the Orphanage" demonstrate Attic's KING-ly mastery of Mercyful mimickry.

I guess you could call these dudes a tribute band that just happens to play originals instead of covers. If that doesn't bother you, then "The Invocation" is an album that you are sure to enjoy.