Voodoo Six – ‘Make Way For The King’ (Cadiz Music/White Knuckle Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Mark Ashby   
Monday, 02 October 2017 04:00

Voodoo Six - Make Way For The KingThere can be no doubt about it: for the past couple of decades, the British rock and metal scene has been dominated by a handful of bands who, quite justifiably, could be regarded as the closest the genre has to royalty. But (and this is a question which has been debated many times on these pages, not least by erudite young colleague Rich Hobson) it is inevitable that we soon are going to face a dilemma, and it is that of succession. With the likes of Black Sabbath having called it a day, at least in touring terms, earlier this year, Judas Priest rumoured to be about to do this coming one and even Iron Maiden possibly having to face up to their mortality, the discussion naturally will turn as to who is there to fill the boots of these and other generation-spanning legends…

 

By the very title of this, their fourth album, Voodoo Six are very obviously laying down their claim to any throne which may, or may not, be vacated in the near future. Now, there is no doubt that they will face some extremely stiff competition, and they will have to make sure that their armour is strong and their swords sharpened ready for the battle, if they choose to engage. But, maybe they shouldn’t… well, just not quite yet!

 

Let me put the record straight right from the off: ‘Make Way…’ is a good album. A solid rock album. But, it’s not a great one. To be blunt, it lacks that edge that could just have taken it to the next level, made my speakers pop, grab me by the eardrums and force them out my arse, all the while screaming “we are the future and you will fuckin’ listen to us”. Sorry, boys, but my size ten New Rocks just kicked you back into the stereo with a big sticker marked “you need to do better than that” planted squarely in the middle of your foreheads…

 

The big problem with ‘Make Way…’ is that you feel that the band are holding back. Opener ‘Electric’ just fails to ignite the spark that a great rock album should light instantaneously: its mid-tempo groove could have done with a bit of acceleration, a touch of nitro in its engine, to make you sit up and pay attention and go “hey, I wanna hear more”. Instead, they ease back on the throttle. Maybe they are trying to lure us in gently and then unleash a fast ‘n’ furious rock ‘n’ roll assault on us: but, no, that’s not the case, as the title track again promises much but just fails to deliver by fact of its almost lackadaisical approach.

 

 

Don’t get me wrong: as musicians, Voodoo Six are nigh on flawless. New vocalist Nik Taylor-Stoakes has a stunning voice: rich, deep, with a superb range and more than capable or wrenching every ounce of emotion from the material. The problem he has is that, although extremely well written, the songs lack that very emotion that he desires in order to truly produce a performance that would rank up there with the likes of Paul Rodgers in terms of delivering raw fury to match the potential you can feel bubbling under the surface.

 

Yes, there are a few moments where the potential is (nearly) fulfilled… the intro section of ‘Falling Apart’, for example, boils with the dark fury of anything off the first Velvet Revolver album. But, this also highlights a problem with this album: too many styles have been amalgamated and conjoined, resulting in the listener looking here, there and almost everywhere to figure out where ‘Make Way…’ is coming from.

 

I loved ‘Songs To Invade Countries To’. Unfortunately, with its follow up I don’t think we’ll be making way for the new kings of the British rock scene anytime soon.

 

‘Make Way For The King’ is out now. You can buy your copy HERE.

 

www.facebook.com/VoodooSixBand/

 

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