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Attic: The Invocation

German retro-metallers go for glory in the court of the King

Due to a catalogue of physical traumas, King Diamond has been out of action for six years. Seems we needed that nailbiting wait to remind us how much we crave the man’s blazing metal, lurid theatrics and extraordinary pipes – so much that a slew of besotted whippersnappers have rushed to fill the gap with their factory-fresh Abigail plimsolls.

In Solitude, Portrait and Ghost have been trumped for audacity by German nutters Attic, whose rampant devotion to metal’s greatest Dane borders on grounds for lawyer-consulting. Every aspect of King’s hitherto unique voice is aped with shameless abandon, the occult 80s HM chops deployed with tribute-band precision.

Although this can occasionally seem annoying and absurd – and it runs the risk of labouring its point at 54 minutes – The Invocation works because the tunes are well crafted and spunky enough to impress in their own right. That’s especially true of the infectious The Headless Horseman, spooky melodic headbanger Ghost Of The Orphanage and the dramatic doom of Edlyn, the equal of any recent ‘retro-cult’ material. A frequently risible pastiche, but a full-blooded and loving one.

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.