Kreyskull: Year Of The Octopus

Multi-hued retro rock in search of a big picture

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Melding 70s hard rock, trad metal and old-school doom, the debut offering from this Finnish foursome is a likeable mash-up of styles which, although offering nothing new, has enough character to carry itself off.

The 70s are the new 80s as far as the surging wave of revivalists is concerned, and at least half the riffs and much of the mood here is drawn from those far-flung days. Uptempo opener The Czar Of Rock’n’roll rocks out on a dirty, foot-stomping groove, axes fuzzed-out to the max and vocalist Kari Killgast seized by a Grand Magus-style sense of scale. Devil & The Preacher, meanwhile, kicks around a bunch of borrowed Obsessed, Vitus and Candlemass moves, and from here on in it’s a tag-team trade-off between the two.

There’s the deceptively melodic Selling The Sadness, the hammering Wicked Lady, doomy duo The Island Of Dr Mondog and Back To The Island, and the oddball Carnival Nightmerium which caps things on an epic note. An engaging and occasionally inspired effort; interesting but not essential.