VOODOO CIRCLE – Broken Heart Syndrome [Ltd Digipak +1]
“Broken Heart Syndrome” is the second album from VOODOO CIRCLE, the brainchild of German guitar hero Alex Beyrodt (Silent Force / Primal Fear / Sinner), joined by his former Sinner & Primal Fear colleague Mat Sinner on bass, whilst vocal duties are taken care of by David Readman (Pink Cream 69, Khymera).
The mission of this super group is simple: to evoke the spirit of the late ’70s / early ’80s classic hard rock acts it holds dear to its heart, such as Deep Purple and Rainbow, with an updated touch.
Beyrodt clearly is heavily influenced by Ritchie Blackmore and this legacy shines throughout this album. The guitar work is top notch, and although his style is reminiscent of the ex Deep Purple legend, he isn’t a mere Ritchie clone and has enough of his own style to stamp on each track.
Jimmy Kresic provides some good keyboard work throughout the album, with organ and synth sounds giving some of the tracks a Jon Lord feel to them, adding a touch of that authentic 70’s rock sound into the mix.
Drummer Markus Kullmann consistently provides the kind of solid and powerful performance the album needs, and Mat Sinner, you know, he’s a guarantee at the bass / harmony vocals.
One influence that you can’t fail to notice on this album is not Blackmore himself, but one of his former acquaintances: Mr. David Coverdale. This is largely down to the vocal style of David Readman here, whose rich, powerful and bluesy voice is at times a dead ringer for that of Coverdale.
Indeed, a fair chunk of this album does sound very much in the vein of first half of the ’80s Whitesnake, or Snakecharmer. Tracks like the hard rocking opener “No Solution Blues”, “King Of Your Dreams” and “Don’t Take My Heart” all bare the stamp of the ‘Snake, and that’s no bad thing folks.
In fact it could be argued that if the current incarnation of Whitesnake came up with material of this quality, they would be hailed as a real return to form.
One of the highlights of the album is the powerful and soulful “Devil’s Daughter”, where once again the spectre of Coverdale looms, but this time in the guise of his time in Deep Purple. The track has a very strong flavor of the material on the ‘Come Taste The Band’ album, with ‘You Keep On Moving’ springing to mind.
Definitely an invitation for Coverdale / Hughes era Purple fans… to come taste this band.
“Broken Heart Syndrome” is an album strong on dynamics. There’s plenty of hard rocking moments and plenty of melodic bluesy ones, but there’s also some quality laid back, softer moments too. “Blind Man” – another highlight – is a good illustration of this; a bluesy ballad with some very fine Hendrix inspired guitar work, along the lines of ‘Angel’.
Meanwhile, the awesome “When Destiny Calls” and “The Heavens Are Burning”, both evoke the spirit of Blackmore’s Rainbow / Joe Lynn Turner era, and I love it
The same can be said for “I’m In Heaven”, which has an almost AOR feel to it.
Voodoo Circle has made a great job successfully getting back the sound of classic ’70s rock on some tracks, however the most part of “Broken Heart Syndrome” is more evocative of the earlier ’80s in style, with Whitesnake and Rainbow being obvious reference points. The title track itself is more akin to Deep Purple’s ‘Perfect Strangers’ than ‘Machine Head’ for example.
This album is a terrific bluesy traditional hard rock little gem, the performances are consistently strong throughout and the production is top class. If, in a parallel universe, Ritchie Blackmore had ended up joining Whitesnake, it may not have sounded a million miles away from this.
For 0dayrox, among the ‘Best Of’ album list of the year when released.
01 – No Solution Blues
02 – King Of Your Dreams
03 – Devil’s Daughter
04 – This Could Be Paradise
05 – Broken Heart Syndrome
06 – When Destiny Calls
07 – Blind Man
08 – Heal My Pain
09 – The Heavens Are Burning
10 – Don’t Take My Heart
11 – I’m In Heaven
12 – Wings Of The Fury
13 – Strangers Lost In Time
David Readman – Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
Alex Beyrodt – Guitars
Mat Sinner – Bass, Backing Vocals
Jimmy Kresic – Keyboards
Markus Kullmann – Drums
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