VOODOO CIRCLE - Raised On Rock
February 6, 2018, a year ago
Fifth album from guitarist Alex Beyrodt’s Voodoo Circle, or, should it be called Voodoo Primal Fear Circle? being is Alex plays with the German power metallers, joined by bandmates Mat Sinner (Bass), and Francesco Jovino on drums. Herbie Langhans (Avantasia) is the newest addition to the band, replacing David Readman (Pink Cream 69). Whitesnake, Rainbow, and Deep Purple have been the primary influence on this band since the first album, and Alex’s Circle do a great job carrying the torch for such sounds in the present day.
With that… boy, if that riff and delivery to “Running Away From Love” is not lifted from “Bad Boys” off the Snakes 87 album, I don’t know what is. “Higher Love” with a little bluesy Hendrixy leads and a ZZ Topish romp, some talk box on the guitar, is a tasty second tune that catches the ear quickly. Ok, wait…this is getting weird, third tune “Walk On The Line” has a familiar riffage, layout, even the solo section, to “Crying In The Rain”. It’s almost like Alex was listening to the 87 Whitesnake album maybe too much. Kinda cool, or unoriginal? Can’t make up my mind.
Of the first five tunes, “You Promised Me” and “Just Take My Heart” have their own identity. Wait, I spoke too soon, my god listen to those clean guitars and accenting melody for “Where Is The World”, is this “Is This Love” pt.2? Either Alex ran out of creativity, or I just know the 1987 Whitesnake album that well? “Ultimate Sin” (no, not an Ozzy cover), another song that stands on its own. “Unknown Stranger” easily could have fit on a Joe Lynn Turner era Rainbow album. A cool nod to that period of the band. “Chase Me Away” also has a nice Blackmore flair to Alex’s lead work (as does “Dreamchaser”), moody, and when the vocal kicks in with the backing keys Deep Purple instantly came to mind for this ballad.
Raised On Rock is an enjoyable, weird listen. First half is Whitesnake worship, second is Rainbow and Purple. I’m torn if it should been seen as celebratory, or someone should start paying some publishing royalties.