Germany’s Attic are set to releases this their first concept album centred around 4 characters in a convent. Namely Sister Alice, Sister Joan, Abbess Margaret and Prioress Clare. The sinister sounds are obviously compared to Mercyful Fate, especially with the falsetto vocal. Attic have yet to reach the same heights as modern equivalents like Sweden’s Portrait but are part of a relevant cult of bands doing a similar thing; Australia’s Dracula and to a certain extent, England’s Lucifer’s Chalice and of course the international band Them.

Attic’s music is traditional metal but with a sinister feel, often attributed to black metal, merely in lyrical theme, although there are certain characteristics in the music say of the title track “Sanctimonious’, that walks in black metal shadows on occasion. The level of the arrangements are great, the style and the execution of the lower end of the vocal range bestowing a rather satanic vibe. The inclusive falsetto vocal is nice, I like this style anyway, however, I find on this release it’s a little overdone. As proven on other parts of this release, you can get just as much artistic expression without the need to be “up there” for the majority of the time. This is a major selling point for this band and talent should be commended where it is due, it’s simply an observation I made whilst playing this countless times. ‘Penalized’ is right out of the book of ‘Melissa’, a really strong track giving the listener passion and excitement coupled with some great guitar work. ‘Die Engelmacherin’ is sinister, evil and possessive of attention from where I have to admit, the falsetto works well,  as there is more variation concluding for me one of the two tracks I really adore on this album.

The concept and the presentation may not be to everyone’s taste but they have a hell of a lot of talent in their song arrangements that sounds beyond their years, sinister heavy metal maybe rising in popularity amongst the newer generation of metal fans and for those seasoned blood drinking souls who walk this earth, well, the chalice is topped full. Whilst I do not find ‘Sanctimonious’ as favourable as their last album, I can see the horror flowing further around the world with this one. Its dark, mystical, thoughtful and gives you a good old ear bashing with a high level of quality with some deft guitar work.

(7.5/10 Paul Maddison)