Friday, February 25, 2011

VOODOO CIRCLE: "Broken Heart Syndrome"

Rating: 7/10

Label: AFM 2011

Review by Alan Holloway

The first Voodoo Circle album was pretty good, and well reviewed back in 2008, with most people agreeing it was a unashamedly retro sounding heavy rock record but none the worse for it. Founder Alex Beyrodt (Silent Force, among others) has come back with a vengeance, pre-empting David Coverdale’s new Whitesnake album with a set of tunes that at times rock like a pissed off thunder god.

Any number of tunes off “Broken Heart Syndrome” can be picked apart by anyone, unravelled into their source material of Rainbow, Dio and the aforementioned Whitesnake. When you just want to enjoy the music, though, that’s three bands you really don’t mind overlapping, especially if there’s a bit of Deep Purple thrown in at times as well. Vocalist here is the ever reliable David Readman (Pink Cream 69), who I was surprised to learn recently is part of a Whitesnake tribute band called Quitesnake. This explains how he is so adept at the traditional Cocerdale-esque screams that pepper the album. That said, he is in no way a Coverdale clone, just that he can sing the same style of music with an ability that almost reaches that of the master.

The songs are mainly pleasingly upbeat, handled well and pretty much guaranteed to raise a smile and provoke a few nods of the head. Tracks like “No Solution Blues” or “Heal My Pain” really turn everything up to eleven - angry, passionate blues rock with real bite and some lovely guitar from Beyrodt. “King Of Dreams” is a Whitesnake song from the start, although lacks real punch, whilst the title track lays on some very Purpley keyboards and a Dio/Rainbow vibe throughout.

“Broken Heart Syndrome” has some very, very good tracks on it, echoing some of the better stuff from the late seventies and early eighties. Readman does a great job on vocals throughout, and there’s no stopping Alex Beyrodt when he wants to lay down some nifty guitars. Having said this, it had to try hard to keep my attention all the way through, and there are a few tracks that lack the excitement of the ones at the top end. I think that I prefer the debut, but there is still plenty of good shit here for fans of classic, British style rock music.


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