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Voodoo Circle: Raised on Rock

If the opening track "Running Away From Love" off of Voodoo Circle's fifth studio release Raised on Rock doesn't mesmerize you and grab you in a state of '80s hard rock/metal bliss, then check your pulse at the door and move on. Band leader & guitarist Alex Beyrodt (Primal Fear/Jorn Lande) found himself in need of a vocalist when David Readman decided to bow out to dedicate all his time to Pink Cream 69, but a chance meeting and performance with singer Herbie Langhans (Avantasia, Sinbreed) at the 2015 Wacken Festival suddenly presented a more than suitable replacement. Langhans powerful, slightly bluesy pipes fit right in here on Raised on Rock, the formula of Voodoo Circle changing not one iota, so expect more Whitesnake/Deep Purple/Rainbow influenced heavy rock long on guitar histrionics, potent vocals, and unforgettable melodies.

Alongside his regular partner in crime Mat Sinner (Primal Fear/Sinner/Jorn Lande) on bass & backing vocals and drummer Francesco Jovino, Beyrodt leads the band through some truly outstanding material here on this latest platter. As I mentioned earlier, the opening cut "Running Away From Love" is an instantly memorable anthem with a killer hook and Beyrodt's sensational John Sykes styled guitar mastery. "Higher Love" has hints of the Scorpions' "The Zoo" with its slow, bluesy groove and talk box, while both "Walk on the Line" and "You Promised Me Heaven" will please any fan of Whitesnake's 1987 as well as Coverdale's brief union with Led Zeppelin legend Jimmy Page. "Just Take My Heart" is a crisp, memorable hard rocker containing hooks that would make any Journey fan proud, and Langhans channels his inner Jorn Lande on the moody "Where is the World We Love", Beyrodt again laying down some smoldering Sykes influenced solos dripping with emotion. The band kicks into high gear on the scorching "Ultimate Sin", a song chock full of crunchy riffs, pounding rhythms, and Langhans' soaring pipes, the singer once again showing what a perfect fit for this band he really is. Next up is a journey into Deep Purple/Rainbow territory on "Unknown Stranger", a raucous rocker fueled by Hammond organ, Blackmore styled guitar work, and Langhans' venomous vocal delivery. Outstanding stuff. The bluesy, epic sounding "Chase Me Away" is another chance for the singer to shine, as well as Beyrodt with a sizzling solo, but the real standout here (among an album full of them!) is the lengthy "Dreamchaser", a wild psychedelic, bluesy hard rocker, Beyrodt mixing Blackmore, Hendrix, and Malmsteen within a sumptuous Deep Purple/Rainbow styled arrangement. The album ends on a bright note with the mix of acoustic pop and melodic metal that is "Love Is An Ocean", a real catchy tune with layers of hook laden lead & backing vocals, and a great organ solo by guest Corvin Bahn, who adds some nice work to much of the album.

Sometimes when established bands lose their vocalist, it can lead to disarray and potential style changes, but Voodoo Circle however haven't lost a step, and perhaps are even stronger in this current incarnation. Raised on Rock is a fun, instantly memorable hard rock/metal album by a red hot group who are keeping their winning streak intact and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Highly recommended!

Track Listing
01 Running_Away_From Love 3:58
02 Higher_Love 4:08
03 Walk_On_The_Line 4:51
04 You_Promised_Me Heaven 4:46
05 Just_Take_My_Heart 3:22
06 Where_Is_The_World We Love 5:10
07 Ultimate_Sin 4:03
09 Unknown_Stranger 3:25
08 Chase_Me_Away 5:22
10 Dreamchaser 6:38
11 Love_Is_An_Ocean 4:50

Added: February 3rd 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 641
Language: english

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