It has been weeks since my last music review so let’s bolt out of the gate afresh with a killer album. I was first introduced to this band through my fellow WordPress blogger and music reviewer Rob over at Hard Rock Hideout. He put together a 2011 Top 20 Best List and this Voodoo Circle album made the cut at #16 I think. I would’ve placed it higher but it wasn’t my list. Voodoo Circle is a group of German hard rock musicians from other metal bands such as Silent Force (Alex Beyrodt (pronounced “bairodt”) on guitars, and Primal Fear’s Mat Sinner on bass. They are joined by lead vocalist David Readman, keyboardist Jimmy Kresic, and drummer Markus Kullmann. The music they play is a bluesy mix of metal in the vein of Whitesnake (vocalist David Readman sounds like he has David Coverdale’s pipes on loan), Deep Purple, Blackmore’s Rainbow, and some speed metal in the fashion on Yngwie Malmsteen thrown in for nice liquidity. What you end up with is a retro hard rock metal sound out of the 70’s with the production quality of the present day. Open up and swallow hard.
The album “Broken Heart Syndrome” was released on May 3rd of 2011. The cover alone (Fender Stratocaster w/Marshall stack amp) emits the old hard rock ‘a roller “Smoke On The Water” classic “fist in the air” punch that many of us from the early hard rock 70’s relate to to so well. The music on the album is the perfect mix for an older “head-banger” of the blues variety like me. The previously mentioned sound similarities bring emotions that are both haunting and pleasing as I listen to it over and over again. The overall effect was very intentional as seen in this interview with guitarist Alex Beyrodt, even down to the use of vintage gear.
The album opens with a roar with the Whitesnakesque “No Solution Blues”. The riffs are clearly drawn from a mixture of Blackmore and Sykes in a “Still of the Night” kind of way. The solo from Beyrodt is a killer. The playful pickup switch effect throughout the song is classic. Next up we have “King of Your Dreams”. In this song Readman sounds more like Ronnie James Dio, and the classic Richie Blackmore “white strat” influence shines ever present from Beyrodt. I also like the classic DP organ sound throughout. “Devil’s Daughter” slows down in a heavy blues tone with grinding organ, and guitar volume knob play. The vocal talents of Readman are showcased early on, then the blues step tapping guitar made famous by Blackmore, and the bluesy keyboards take over. A nice organ flow on the outro. “Could This Be Paradise” follows. The opening riff and consistent rhythm bring audible pleasures of Savatage to mind. The song again showcases Readman’s vocal range. I can almost see him assuming the bent over backwards pose so reminiscent of Coverdale as he hits those high notes.
My album highlights would be “No Solution Blues”, “Devil’s Daughter”, the album namesake “Broken Heart Syndrome” with its Blackmoresque (second time with the …esque) Stratocaster toned solo. I so love the blues in “Blind Man” (what a typical title for a classic blues song). The guitar riff and subsequent playing style in “Heal My Pain” reminds me so much of Stevie Ray Vaughn. “The Heavens Are Burning” is a great band piece and could easily fit in on any of the first two Rainbow albums.
I could go on and on about highlights but I want to keep this posting a little more brief than previous music reviews. Overall the album spotlights more of the retro hard rock genre the more you listen to it. If you like that sort of thing, you will absolutely love this album as I do. One last thing I’d like to mention: This band is from Germany and we may not ever have the opportunity to see them live, mainly because the human powers over music would never see many dollar signs with this genre of music anymore. But if a promoter could read this review, (yeah right) believe this, someone in Nebraska would travel anywhere in the Midwest to see these guys.
As for the album rating, you guessed it, I give it a 5 out 5 Strats.
Again, since there aren’t any real $$ ‘s attached to promoting this band I could not find a music video but I did find video of the audio to “No Solution Blues”. Enjoy!