Voodoo Circle // More Than One Way Home
Rating: 3.5/5.0 — More super than blooper.
Label: AFM Records
Websites: facebook.com/voodoocircle | www.voodoocircle.de
Release Dates: EU: 2013.03.26 | US: 03.26.2013

VoodooWhat do Alex Beyrodt (Primal Fear, Sinner, Silent Force), David Readman (Pink Cream 69), Mat Sinner (Primal Fear, Sinner), Jimmy Kresic (Liquid One, Steve Lukather) and Markus Kullmann (Dezperadoz) all have in common? A rather nice little, old timey, Deep Purple, Whitesnake and Rainbow colored hard rock supergroup by the name of Voodoo Circle, that’s what! I had no damn idea what I was getting myself into when I raided this off the promo list. Tagged as power metal, I suspected my selection would lack the maggot infested blackened corpses that usually scream out to me. But what I didn’t see coming was the album I expected from Jorn when I reviewed Symphonic. Feeling that expectation rise just a little huh? Much to my chagrin I see that More Than One Way Home is German band, Voodoo Circle‘s third full-length release and despite enjoying a bit of Silent Force from time to time, I had no idea guitar wizard, Alex Beyrodt, even had this side project on the go – better get my A into G and check it out!

This passionate and hook filled album kicks off with the track “Graveyard City.” And for the first minute or so I wasn’t particularly moved by Readman’s vocals, the Jorn fangirl in me thought “meh, Jorn would have done this better,” a short-lived thought I must add! Readman’s smooth yet gritty, bluesy  smoky, whisky-drenched vocals come into themselves from “Tears In The Rain” and by the time you get to tracks like “Heart Of Babylon”, “Cry For Love” and the intensity of “Bane Of My Existance,”,he’s hitting home. He has no trouble belting out the high notes and delivering lyrics dripping with just the right level of Whitesnake cheesiness that have me throwing this album onto repeat play on more instances than I should probably admit to [Fangirl alert!!Steel Druhm].

Alex Beyrodt delivers the same level of skill he’s known for in Silent Force and the warm, rich, velvety guitar riffs compliment and add to the intensity of Readman’s vocal style. Each songvoodoo-circle-2011 on this album has a little piece of Beyrodt tucked away in it somewhere, from larger-than-life “The Killer In You”, the grittiness of “The Ghost In Your Heart”, the chunky “Bane Of My Existence,” to the intense, hanging sustain of “More than One Way Home.” You can’t help but picture Beyrodt’s wizardly fingers skipping across the fretboard of his Les Paul. Beyrodt’s big finish is on “Open Your Eyes,” and it’s a passionate, adrenaline filled, riff-driven hard rock number sure to be a crowd-pleaser! Other notable performances include the tastefully, never over the top keyboard skills of Jimmy Kresic (check out the rich, weirdly gospel sounding “Cry For Love”) and the dynamic combination of Markus Kullman (on drums) and Mat Sinner (on bass) who bring the cohesive feeling home.

As with their earlier albums Beyrodt has opted for a clean but not too polished mix. There’s still enough of the old timey Whitesnake worship in play and taking a page out of Jorn’s notebook, Beyrodt keeps the vocals and guitars at the forefront of the listening experience.

On the whole this album’s full of bring-the-house-down, good fun moments and my favourite tracks can, under duress be narrowed down to “Cry For Love”, “Alissa”, “More Than One Way Home” and of course the boisterously good-natured “Open Your Eyes’. When compared to Voodoo Circle’s earlier releases, the tracks on More Than One Way Home stick like crazy glue, but don’t discount that Voodoo Circle have essentially just rehashed what Whitesnake and Jorn already have out in the market. So in reality More Than One Way Home is not really adding anything new to the genre of hard rock or to your music library for that matter – still, it’s good natured fun, and if you’re any kind of Jorn fan you should check it out!

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