Worth a listen – especially if you were Raised on Rock in the 80s…
Allan will be joining in with the voodoo that they do on 9 February 2018
It’s always a challenge for any band to replace a vocalist, any many a band has failed to satisfy either the fans or the critics with such a move. Herbie Langhans (best known for Symphonity and Sinbreed) has stepped into the breach and taken on the duties previously held by the iconic David Readman, and this album sees a vocalist known for power metal state his case for keeping the job in the longer term on what is actually Voodoo Circle’s 5th studio album.
The opening track ‘Running Away From Love’ launches an immediate assault, combining the always-impressive guitar work of Alex Beyrodt with a twist on Langhans’ usual metal-oriented work. Indeed, while Langhans brings the power from the metal, there’s more than a touch of the sleazy, bluesy classic rock in there to sit alongside the melodic, bluesy cock-rock guitar work on offer. It’s still very much the Voodoo Circle style, but with a little more bite courtesy of the vocal style.
This becomes more apparent as the album progresses, with ‘Higher Love’ falling back on a simpler, far more bluesy style. With the soaring vocal line and harmonised backing, the drawling guitar lines twisted through a talk-box, and the sparse drum and bassline driving things along in the background, it’s a far more classic rock approach to things. There’s a groove and a swagger in the way the band work together on this that I absolutely love hearing.
Stylistically, the album walks a line somewhere between bluesy classic rock and glammed-up hard metal. Between the ridiculously good guitar work and the gritty vocal delivery, there’s nothing about this that isn’t reaching toward the anthemic and classic. Really, that’s the only fault I’d levy at the album – it’s treading ground that many people will find overly familiar having heard it from the giants of Hard Rock over several decades.
Me, I say that’s not necessarily a bad thing – after all, if it ain’t broke, why are you trying to fix it? And when it sounds this good, I’m really not going to complain that it’s heavily influenced by the 80s rock I grew up listening to and adoring – pinched harmonics, wailing vocals and fat harmonies galore.
Compared to the band’s previous releases, I’d say that this was perhaps a little less bluesy, and a little more sleaze or metal in tonality, and that’s primarily been driven by the songwriting being adapted to the new vocalist’s strengths. As a fan, you’ll either love it or hate it, depending on how strongly you were attached to the vocal stylings that came before. Personally, I would say that Langhans is one hell of a talent, and that the essence of the band is still very much intact, so give him a fair go because he has the potential to take the band even further. And if you’ve never heard of these guys before, then it’s well worth a listen – especially if you were raised on rock in the 80s.
- Running Away From Love
- Higher Love
- Walk On The Line
- You Promised Me Heaven
- Just Take My Heart
- Where Is The World We Love
- Ultimate Sin
- Chase Me Away
- Unknown Stranger
- Love Is An Ocean