Review by Paul Castles
Release date: 28 July 2014
If you were involved with a self-proclaimed ‘supergroup’ and you suddenly needed to send out an SOS for a new singer then to have that clarion call answered by none other than George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher must feel akin to winning the Euro Lottery. Well that’s pretty much the position that Voodoo Gods founder and driving force Alex von Poschinger found himself in once Nergal decided, understandably after a punishing couple of years, to focus all of his energies on his own brilliant band, Behemoth (read our interview with Alex here).
It’s fair to say that Voodoo Gods haven’t been the most prolific outfit since their formation in 2001 with this debut full length release Anticipation for Blood Levelled in Darkness following on from the 2008 EP Shrunken Head. And of course it’s the first with Corpsegrinder at its ugly head, and once the man with a neck wider than The Thames opens up his humungous lung power on ‘The Termination of God’ you know this is going to be a lot of fun.
Supergroups seem to be growing faster than a baby elephant with the likes of Vallenfyre (Splinters reviewed here) and Twilight of the Gods having made a name for themselves over the past year or so. Voodoo Gods are more established but the premise is the same – the congregation of disparate talents from like-minded groups to deliver a dynamic package, possibly slightly different to their ‘day job’. Its very nature means that sometimes the turnover of band members can spin faster than a roulette wheel but if the dynamics are right then you’re usually guaranteed a winning return. And that is very much the case with this release.
The current line-up has more polish than an army barracks bootroom and from the off Anticipation for Blood Levelled in Darkness has you marching to its tune. After a fairly nondescript intro the ball is not so much set rolling as catapulted through the air with ‘Return of the Rainbown Serpent’. While the Corpsegrinder’s growls would make him an easy pick-out for a blind man at an identity parade, Voodoo Gods are definitely not Cannibal Corpse Mk II.
Of course the sound bristles with aggression and has a pounding heaviness throughout, but the rhythm is more thrash while the opening track also has a brief spiraling solo that you would struggle to find in the extensive back catalog of Cannibal Corpse. The guitar duels are fought out betweenDavid Shankle (ex-Manowar) and Hiro (ex-Decapitated) with the pounding bass injections from Jean Baudin (ex-Nuclear Rabbits). The chugging moves into overdrive on ‘Cetewayo’ while the wordy (full title below) ‘Endeavours of a Syphilitic Missionary’ does have a more grinding death metal edge.
‘Renaissance of Retribution’ is a riveting riff party with Alex’s machinegun drumming moving into overdrive to keep up before it reaches the end of its crescendo crushing journey. Longest track ‘Wrath of the Invisible Children’ begins with George barking away like a stray dog with a bite to match. Closing number ‘Article 246’ sees Alex indulge on the bongos. He’s quite right to do so as the jungle drums are definitely sending out good vibes for Voodoo Gods.
7 out of 10
- Return of the Rainbown Serpent
- The Termination of God
- The Astral Dawn-Devotion to the Great Nebula
- Endeavours of a Syphilitic Missionary and his Death – Dawn of the Voodoo Ostinati
- Renaissance of Retribution
- Wrath of the Invisible Children
- Article 246