|Voodoo Circle - ‘More Than One Way Home’ (AFM Records)|
|Written by Jim Rowland|
|Wednesday, 20 February 2013 04:00|
Back at the start of 2011, when I reviewed ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’, the second album from Alex Beyrodt’s Voodoo Circle, I noted that although the band stated they wanted to capture the spirit of classic seventies rock such as Deep Purple and Rainbow, they came across as more rooted in rock of the 80’s, principally Whitesnake. Well with this new album ‘More than One Way Home’, I’m getting a feeling of déjà vu, because the band’s website is still stating they want to evoke the spirit of seventies rock, and with this one they are sounding even more rooted in the eighties, and even more like Whitesnake circa ’87 and beyond.
Just taking a look at some of the song titles here evokes more than a passing resemblance to Whitesnake and that’s before we even get to the music. ‘Tears In The Rain’ (‘Cryin’ in the Rain’), ‘Heart Of Babylon’ (‘Child Of Babylon’), ‘The Saint and the Sinner’ (‘Saints An’ Sinners’), ‘Victim Of Love’ (er..’Victim Of Love’), and the similarity certainly doesn’t end there. Take your pick from any of those above tracks, from the pounding slow blues of ‘Tears In the Rain’ to the heavier riffing of ‘Heart Of Babylon’, as well as the likes of ‘Cry For Love’ and ‘More than One Way Home’ and, coupled with the fact that vocalist David Readman (Pink Cream 69) sounds more like David Coverdale than the man himself can manage these days, and this is all going beyond influence and bordering on pastiche.
Opening cut ‘Graveyard City’ and ‘Bane Of My Existence’ both have crunchy metal riffing that introduces a flavour of Dio into the mix, albeit still with that Whitesnake influence. Elsewhere, ‘The Ghost In Your Heart’ does have a bit of a Blackmore/Purple vibe to it, but once again it’s the eighties incarnation circa ‘Perfect Strangers’ that springs to mind, and in fact sections of this sound dangerously close to that album’s title track. Finally, ‘Open Your Eyes’, which sounds like it may be a live bonus track, does rock out properly with the vibe of classic Rainbow, but in all honesty, it’s too little too late.
The album is finely produced, expertly performed, and it is undeniable that Alex Beyrodt and David Readman are very talented individuals, and if you’re a fan of David Coverdale’s ‘Poodlesnake’ era then you may well dig it, but ‘More Than One Way Home’ for me is severely lacking in any originality.