Thursday, February 28, 2013

Voodoo Circle-More Than One Way Home

AFM Records

It was just two songs into "More Than One Way Home", Voodoo Circle's 3rd studio-album, when I had one of those déjà vu moments. Man, these guys sound like early Whitesnake. It wasn't some grand revelation or anything. After all when Alex Beyrodt (Silent Force, Sinner, Primal Fear) formed Voodoo Circle back in 2009 there were three bands he was looking to emulate-Rainbow, Deep Purple and Whitesnake. "Tears In The Rain", the 2nd track on the band's new album, could be a long-lost Whitesnake number and does a wonderful job of showcasing the strengths of vocalist David Readman (Pink Cream 69). Meanwhile the next number, "Heart Of Babylon", sounds suspiciously like Rainbow.  I had begun to wonder if this new album would just be a re-hash of the band's influences or if "More Then One Way Home" could stand on it's own two feet. Thankfully the next number, "Cry For Love", sounded fresh and original. It's a good number in which Voodoo Circle strikes on their own. When the band, which is rounded out by Mat Sinner (bass), Jimmy Kresic (keyboards) and Markus Kullmann (drums), does this (focuses less on their heroes and instead chooses to rock the shit out of everything) the result speaks for itself. "Bane Of My Existence", which starts off sounding like early Mötley Crüe, is really solid hard rock as is "The Killer In You" and "Victim Of Love". From the sounds of it though these guys are still struggling to figure out who they are and what they want to sound like. Vocalist David Readman is in fine shape here and the guitar playing of Alex Beyrodt has never sounded better. So, it's a bit of a downer how hit or miss this disk is. "Alissa" is AOR with prog keyboards and is only so-so. "The Ghost In Your Heart" is so drenched in Deep Purple admiration it's hard not to think of that band while you're listening to it. And the title cut is slow and boring coming off as second-rate Whitesnake. That means Voodoo Circle either seem to hit the mark ("The Saint And The Sinner") or swing wide left ("More Then One Way Home"). It sounds kind of strange, but at 12 tracks this LP is almost too long. The band would have been better off if they would have trimmed off some of the filler and instead concentrated on putting out more good numbers like "Graveyard City". This opening number really lifts you me up it's great guitar-driven hard rock before you slowly drift back down to earth. It's kind of a shame that it didn't dawn on founder Alex Beyrodt that sometimes less is more when it comes to filling your album out.

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