VOODOO CIRCLE - Raised On Rock (Album)

MARIA GLOVER

 

German rock royalty, Voodoo Circle was founded in 2008 by guitarist Alex Beyrodt (Silent Force, Primal Fear) who wanted to make music based more on his early influences. After a debut album the then-solo project became a collaborative band, with Beyrodt on guitar together with vocalist David Readman (Pink Cream 69) and bassist Mat Sinner (Primal Fear, Sinner). In 2016, after 4 albums, it was announced that original vocalist Readman was leaving the band and he was replaced by Herbie Langhans (Avantasia, Sinbreed) after Beyrodt and Langhans met in 2015 at Wacken Open Air. Francesco Jovino (Drums) and Alessandro Del Vecchio (Keyboards & Vocals) complete the lineup. With Langhans as the group’s new frontman, the stylistic direction of Voodoo Circle hasn’t significantly changed but "the band sounds even more autonomous… and much meatier with Herbie at the mic”, Beyrodt enthuses. The new album 'Raised on Rock' is released on 9th February 2018.

 

'Running Away From Love' is a glorious opening track from start to finish, with a hard and heavy melodic vocal, and Beyrodt's inimitable guitar. The riffs are unreal, and the chorus fantastically memorable and catchy. Beyrodt is without any doubt one of the hottest talents in today's guitar world, and Langhans' voice fits really well, as if the track was written around him. 'Higher Love' has a bluesier sound with a massive hook, a surlier vocal and a moody, voluminous guitar solo. The rhythm section is heavy and tight. They certainly are working some voodoo magic on me so far. 'Walk The Line' brings the tempo down a notch in what I can only describe as a timeless power ballad soaked with emotion, which is as satisfying as it is beautiful. The vocals are warm and sincere, reminiscent of great frontmen long gone, the drums are focused and punchy, and this track is simply incandescent. Wow what a guitar solo! So effortless, pure and powerful, I'm destroyed.

 

'You Promised Me Heaven' is another blues-saturated track and is guitar-heavy - my joy is immeasurable! There is a great depth and texture, and the raspy vocal suits the atmosphere of the track really well. The picking is euphoric and sets the strings in a flurry of motion. This is a song for those who appreciate the very roots and basics of classic guitar-led rock, and is worth the price of the cd/download alone. Different people gather different things from music; I hear the vocal and guitar first, above all else, and it's usually on these that I form an impression, and either enjoy a song or don't. I don’t think there are words to describe my love for this song - I certainly am in heaven, guitar heaven… "Through the darkness I've found a way out". #GuitarPorn

 

'Just Take My Heart' keeps the joy flowing, brim-full of soaring harmonies and a melody that seeps into your brain. The tempo drops for ‘Where is the World We Love’, a graceful heavy-hearted ballad, with some breath-taking instrumentals and chord work, which stirs the imagination and emotions. 'Ultimate Sin' is a typically melodious pearl with pinch harmonics, heavy guitar riff and a rhythm section that hits you like a hammer. 'Chase Me Away' is a slow burner full of passion, and when it builds (and man does it build) it reaches an exasperated intensity which inflames the senses and makes you forget what day it is or what you should've been doing while you were immersed in the song. The vocal is strong and sexy, and undulates with emotion, along with a work of instrumental genius, all of which is unparalleled through the rest of the album. Best track by a country mile. Spectacular.

 

Long live Dio - 'Unknown Stranger' is a Dio-esque romp with that distortion in edge sound which gives a screaming, angry vocal, and some deliciously retro keys.  Who doesn’t love Dio?... The 6 and a half minute long 'Dreamchaser' is another first-class track which will delight those of us who have been "raised on rock" with whispers of Richie Blackmore and even a little Jimmi Hendrix style guitar. This is an epic song that will transport you straight to Rainbow territory, an outstanding production, a masterpiece and a piece de resistance for any Blackmore fan.  'Love Is An Ocean' is a lush compilation of acoustic guitar, old-school Hammond organ, a rumbling thunderous drum beat, and a sing-along chorus.

 

If you love Dio, Rainbow, Deep Purple, Jimmy Page or the Dead Daisies, give this a listen. If you’re a fan of previous Voodoo Circle work, don’t let Readman’s departure put you off; this is a brilliant album by brilliant musicians, ablaze with resplendent riffs, hooks and melodies. Langhans sounds like he's right where he should be. An album which restores and invigorates the soul. Roll on payday so I can order this treasure of classic rock perfection.

 

9.5/10

 

Tracklist:

Running Away From Love

Higher Love 

Walk The Line

You Promised Me Heaven

Just Take My Heart

Where Is The World We Love

Ultimate Sin

Chase Me Away

Unknown Stranger

Dreamchaser

Love Is An Ocean

Time For The Innocent  ( Digipak Bonus )

There's More To See ( Digipak Bonus )

 

Band:

ALEX BEYRODT - Guitars

HERBIE LANGHANS - Lead Vocals

FRANCESCO JOVINO - Drums

ALESSANDRO DEL VECCHIO - Keyboards & Vocals

MAT SINNER - Bass & Vocals

Featuring Corvin Bahn (SAXON, Uli Jon Roth) on keys.

 

Genre: Classic rock

Label: AFM records

Release date: 9.2.18

 

DISCOGRAPHY: Voodoo Circle (2008), Broken Heart Syndrome (2011), More Than One Way Home (2011), Whisky Fingers (2015), new: RAISED ON ROCK (Release date: 09 February 2018)

 

Links:

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/voodoocircle/

Web - www.voodoocircle.de

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