Released: 2011, AFM
I really enjoyed the last Voodoo Circle album. It’s blend of melody, Metal and guitar showmanship really caught my ear. It was with great anticipation that I listened to Voodoo Circle’ new album, BROKEN HEART SYNDROME. Whatever album founder and visionary Alex Beyrodt came up next with would be hard to top the legendary debut that was loaded with guest stars and overflowing with talent and charisma. I hadn’t read any preliminary press about the album so I was expected more of the same great music as heard on the debut. As it turns out this is another great album, but it is to my ears radically different.
Alex has taken a step back in time and embraced his 70’s muse and delivered a quintessential 70’s Hard Rock/Metal album. Once the shock wore off, and it took a few spins to wear off, I assure you, I really stared to embrace this classy, elegant album. It just goes to show what dangers can lie in having pre-conceived notions going into an album. In fact, I almost didn’t like it at first. I was so taken aback that it took some time to readjust my perceptions of what the band could be.
The cover art matches the simplicity of the hour-long album that is loaded with class. Imagine a nice blend of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s bands like Deep Purple, Blue Murder, Ten and all over-arched by a classic Whitesnake sound and delivery. Lyrically, Voodoo Circle stay the course with more song about Heaven, Heart, Destiny, Angels, Paradise and so on. Not much in the way of ‘Metal’ anthems. I don’t think this band is the forum for that, Alex can save that for Silent Force.
David Readman gives a stellar vocal performance. I’ve always enjoyed his work in his various bands and guest appearances but he really effortlessly takes it to a new level. Alex plays and solos fluidly and harmoniously blending solos well into the songs, leaving behind (but not entirely) his Malmsteen-isms of the debut. There are hints of Hammond scattered about the songs, adding a nice texture to already regal sounding compositions.
BROKEN HEART BLUES is the best Whitesnake album David Coverdale never wrote. Hell, play the new Whitesnake album, FOERVERMORE, and this back to back and I’ll wager you have a hard time choosing between the two. I’ve never heard Germans sound so British!