Alex Beyrodt’s VOODOO CIRCLE – Locked & Loaded (2021)
“Locked & Loaded” is the upcoming new album from German classic hard rockers VOODOO CIRCLE, always commanded by Primal Fear/Sinner guitarist Alex Beyrodt, and now with the great David Readman (Pink Cream 69) back on lead vocals (he departed after the release of their 2015 album Whiskey Fingers) and original drummer Markus Kullmann (ex Glenn Hughes, among others).
Mixed and mastered by expert Jacob Hansen, “Locked & Loaded” is plenty of classic Seventies / Eighties classic bluesy vigorous hard rock in the vein of pre-MTV Whitesnake and Hendrix-like riffs, all wrapped by a bright production.
The soulful vocals of Readman stand out on the opening rocker “Flesh & Bone.” The Hammond organ tones in the background give the track a Deep Purple vibe, but also Whitesnake’s charm.
The ear-candy introduction to “Wasting Time” (plus tinkling bells throughout) may be a Led moment, but the lyrics are more classic Coverdale (“Bless me Father, for I have sinned”). Readman channels his best David Coverdale impression and it’s quite flattering. Voodoo Circle’s vocal harmonies are on point during the chorus section and the progressive elements give it that last bit of zing. Beyrodt and drummer Markus Kullmann duke it out during the break. If this song came out as a single in 1987 it would have been a hit.
“Magic Woman Chile” is a tap of the cap to Led Zeppelin. It’s bluesy, gritty, and seductive. Beyrodt nearly sets his ax on fire during his solos.
There’s more swagger coming from the voice of Readman on “Devil With an Angel Smile”, while the rest of the band is laying down an intoxicating groove while they lament about that one girl we’ve all seemed to have encountered that turns out to be a train wreck.
“Eyes Full of Tears” is the hard rock ballad, and it’s Voodoo Circle’s version of “Is This Love” by Whitesnake with a little late Seventies feeling. “Trouble in the Moonlight” has elements of all the great blues-based Rock bands mentioned prior, but stands out as pure Voodoo Circle. Then “The Song is For You” is straight up blues with emotional guitar bends and runs.
”Locked & Loaded” is jam packed with the great classic bluesy hard rock sound you grew up with. Classic era Whitesnake fans will rejoice with this album, as well as listeners of quality timeless rock made with steel & wood.
01 – Flesh & Bone
02 – Wasting Time
03 – Magic Woman Chile
04 – Locked & Loaded
05 – Devil with an Angel Smile
06 – Straight for the Heart
07 – Eyes Full of Tears
08 – Devil’s Cross
09 – Trouble in the Moonlight
10 – This Song Is For You
11 – Children of the Revolution
Alex Beyrodt – guitar, vocals
David Readman – lead vocals
Mat Sinner – bass, vocals
Markus Kullmann – drums
Corvin Bahn – keyboards
Melissa Bonny – backing vocals