It's tempting to peg any new concept album from a European band as progressive music. But Casablanca's album Miskatonic Graffiti is less about self-involved noodling and more about glam rock in the grand old Bowie tradition. And to have it juxtaposed with the thematic content of H. P. Lovecraft is only one of the unusual aspects of this fantastic album/band.
So, yeah, there's a definite 70s vibe happening here, but that's not to say it's all trebly Gibsons and Leslie cabs. The production gives everything a nice big space to play around in, making the spooky lyrics more ethereal and effective. Tracks like the 10 and a half minute opener, Enter The Mountains, make for an appealing opening act to this three stage saga which kicks into the Alice Cooper-esque groove of Closer. I really like it when a band goes a different path when it comes to this sort of source material. What I really like is that every song, while part of a larger work, stands on its own as a testament to the talent of this band. I'm totally digging this album.
The Bottom Line: It would perhaps be more natural for a death or doom metal band to do Lovecraft with a heavy-handed approach, but Casablanca fucking rocks this shit, with solo sections that sound like full-throttle classic Boston or Kansas. And that contrast accents the underlying dread of the dark lyrical themes at work, like shambling horrors waiting in the shadows of a bucolic scene. Great stuff.
- Genghis wants to finish playing Dark Corners Of The Earth now...