Mirror Queen – “Verdigris” (Tee Pee Records)
Although hailing from NYC, Mirror Queen have a decidedly European take to their sound, drawing heavily from 70s British hard rock along the lines of UFO, Budgie, Hawkwind and even Thin Lizzy in their melodies while incorporating all of this into some groovy fuzz toned stoner! Led by guitarist / vocalist Kenny Sehgal, who renamed himself Kenny Kreisor after his namesake band, the roots of Mirror Queen go back a number of years and explain the pedigree behind this excellent album that also features Swans 6 stringer Norman Westberg. Putting out a fine tribute to the crucial 70s period of rock that was so inspirational in firstly forming heavy metal and through that later giving rise to what are today’s metal genres, Mirror Queen more than capably handle the full measure of the 70s through the 6 deep songs here. From rolling fuzz tinged, guitar warbling stoner rock into space age monoliths along with drawn out guitar driven epics, funky groove-tastic jams and ethereal levitators, it’s all carried along by Kenny Kreisor’s laid back vocals and not in the least, the musicianship of the band especially in the amazing guitar work. Despite the variation in 70s styles, the skillful arrangements ensure “Verdigris” has an enjoyable flow between the numbers so the 8 minute plus ‘Sorrow’s End/ Dark Kiss of the Sun’ sits comfortably alongside the 6 minute ‘Curse The Night’ and the 3 minute opener ‘Poignard’. Both an intense but also enjoyable listen, this album will appeal to anyone with a penchant for the 70s, and especially those favoring any kind of heavy dosage guitar driven axe work!