Firmly rooted in the psychedelic rock tradition of the ‘70s with influences of occult artists like Blood Ceremony and Jex Thoth, Juniper Grave’s debut album “Of Hellions & Harridans” promises us tales of forgotten folklore and prophecies of doom. The band from Edinburgh (UK) weave their tales through seven songs in 40 minutes, where organs and female vocals dance on a wave of catchy riffs and leads, steering away from the doomy, gloomy approach of occult rock and bringing things more into a folkloristic Thin Lizzy and Deep Purple influenced atmosphere.

So far, so good and I must say that “Of Hellions & Harridans” is a pleasant experience, for intense listening as well as for background music. Jenni is a talented vocalist and Juniper Grave regularly come up with strong melodies and quality riffs. However, the album is not entirely without flaw. While there is nothing to hate about it, it’s also playing rather safe, leaving very little in terms of memorable moments. Also, the songs tend to be strung out a bit too long without having any new twists or bends to keep things truly interesting. Nevertheless, Juniper Grave are a talented bunch and I’m looking forward to hearing more from them in the future. If they compact their songs a bit and add some more emotional depth, they can be a force to be reckoned with.

(7/10 Lykle Thijssen)