German King Diamond worshipers Attic had been leading up to their magnum epic concept album for years and ‘Sanctimonius’ is actually way better than it has any right to be. If you’re a complete idiot dork like me you’ll probably buy this just for the lyrical concept and the King Diamond resemblance alone but there are a few major reasons why this is a better album than ‘The Invocation’. The first is the drum sound, they’ve gone with a classic sound without too much reverb and the clicky triggered drums are thankfully extinct. This is probably the biggest improvement besides the layering of the vocals, which are outrageous and loud on ‘Sanctimonious’ often drowning out the guitars more than Andy LaRocque would ever allow. The production is smooth, epic, echoing and fittingly cathedral-esque in it’s tone.
Listening to this side-by-side with Portrait‘s ‘Burn The World’ I can safely change my argument that bands like this need to step away from King Diamond/Mercyful Fate worship and resemblance and create their own sound because both bands are making key improvements to the things that irk me about KD/MF. The crisis-of-faith that leads to nun splatter-house horror story is, as others have noted, way more serious than the sort of corny stuff King Diamond came up with for his more notable mid-80’s releases. The guitars are also more driven, almost taking hints from melodic black metal as much as the more obvious influences. While the vocals are definitely the focal point of Attic’s sound they’ve found a traditional heavy metal sound that feels appropriately modernized.
A lot of the appeal is too obvious here and if you don’t like the specific influence of a particular cheese metal Danish group of yore, you’re probably assed-out for interest in Attic. For what it’s worth this is easily one of the best records in this style and makes for a haunting heavy metal epic that makes up for a lot of the boring crap King Diamond put out since 1995 or so. I’d probably point towards Portrait if you’re out for riffs and dual-leads, but Attic for atmospheric vocals and one hell of a nunsploitation mind-fuck concept album. It is a rare find when I can re-spin an hour long heavy metal album more than once in a row, and I suppose it was because ‘Sanctimonious’ is enough of a roller-coaster with its anti-Catholic jibes and vocal-hysterics to keep me nerding out. Hey that’s the point here: For nerds only.
|Released||August 18, 2017|
|BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp!||Follow Attic on Facebook|
Her faith was broken. 4.0/5.0
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