VOODOO CIRCLE – More Than One Way Home

Voodoo Circle - More Than One Way HomeI have always stated that originality is somewhat overrated. I mean, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being original, it’s a good thing, but what is important is that you write great songs, that your album sounds good and that you have more than amateur skills as a musician. Ever so often, bands which make it their number one priority to be all original and ground breaking are often bands that couldn’t write a good song under gun point. They are of course, brilliant musicians also, it’s pretty much a must if you wanna perform weird music. Then there are the clones. Now, being a clone is never a good thing. I mean, to show off your influences is one thing, and that’s alright even if you wear them on your sleeves, but if you’re a clone, then that’s what you’re gonna hear all throughout your career no matter how good you are. Just ask Kingdom Come (Led Zeppelin), or Airbourne, Rhino Bucket and Krokus, all of them AC/DC clones. Let’s add one more to the list: Voodoo Circle. The band was formed by guitarist Alex Beyrodt (Sinner, Primal Fear) in 2008 together with bass player  Mat Sinner (Sinner, Primal Fear) and vocalist David Readman (Pink Cream ’69) and has released two albums prior to this one, Alex Beyrodt’s Voodoo Circle (2008) and Broken Heart Syndrome (2011). I must admit that I had never heard of this project before. I was told that if I was into Whitesnake, Deep Purple and Rainbow, which I am, then I would love this band. Well, back to the clone argument. This band sounds so much like Whitesnake that it’s scary. And Readman sounds more like Coverdale than Coverdale himself. Sometimes it’s really hard to tell the difference. This would be all and well if it weren’t for two things. One – they have cloned the wrong Whitesnake era. They sound like the 1987 / Slip Of The Tongue era instead of the great early era. Two – they don’t have ANYTHING at all that is their own – NOTHING! This album could actually be a Whitesnake-album.

But are the songs any good then? Well, yes, many of them are, but when so much is nicked it’s hard to get past that fact, no matter how strong songs you have. Like opener “Graveyard City”, a complete “Bad Boys” / “Kitten’s Got Claws” / “Dogs In The Street” rip off (yes, those songs are pretty much the same), “Tears In The Rain” is a carbon copy of – yes, you might have guessed it – “Crying In The Rain”, “Cry For Love” is a continuation of “The Deeper The Love” which also includes a confused guitar solo that really doesn’t belong anywhere and the title track is “Is This Love”. When you finally find a song that can’t be compared to specific tune, well then they stole the title instead – “Victim Of Love”… With “The Ghost In Your Heart” we get a full on Jon Lord Hammond attack – which is cool and the song itself is more of a Deep Purple pastiche complete with a “Hungry Daze” lick – almost exactly the same as Purple’s and with “Open Your Eyes” they lets us know how the 80’s pop metal version of Rainbow would have sounded had David Coverdale joined them – well, at least it’s nice to find out that all of the album doesn’t sound like a Whitesnake rip off.

Still, I wouldn’t call this album bad, the songs are actually quite good, but when EVERYTHING – and I mean everything here has the sound of Whitesnake’s 1987 – the sound, the melodies, the guitar playing, the arrangements – it’s hard not to wonder what the reason for making an album like this might be. I mean, if I want to listen to Whitesnake, well, then I listen to Whitesnake. Would it hurt to try to do things with at least a little identity – because when it comes to identity, Voodoo Circle has none. It’s an interesting thought where these songs would go if the producer would have guided them away from all the Whitesnake vibes here and tried to add something more personal. That we will never know and as for this album, good songs, good musicians, but way too much of a rip off for a great rating.

Jon Wilmenius (5/10)

Track list:

01. Graveyard City
02. Tears In The Rain
03. Heart Of Babylon
04. Cry For Love
05. Alissa
06. The Ghost In Your Heart
07. Bane Of My Existence
08. More Than One Way Home
09. The Killer In You
10. The Saint And The Sinner
11. Victim Of Love
12. Open Your Eyes

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