Release Date: May 3, 2011
Voodoo Circle’s sophomore album, Broken Heart Syndrome was already released in Europe back in February. America will get their shot at it next week. If, like, me, you some how missed their eponymous debut album, one listen to this one will undoubtedly have you searching to get your ears on that one as well.
The brainchild neo-classical guitar shredder Alex Beyrodt (Silent Force), Voodoo Circle boasts some of Europe’s most notable talents, including bassist Mat Sinner (Sinner, Primal Fear) and David Readman (Pink Cream 69). Keyboardist Jimmy Kresic and drummer Markus Kullman also add their own not inconsiderable talents to the project.
Beyrodt may be fairly unknown in the states but in Japan in Europe he is considered among the ranks of his own heroes, Malmsteen and Blackmore.
After Silent Force released their 2007 album, Walk The Earth, Beyrodt began ro reassess his musical goals and directions, and decided it was time to get back to a more traditional approach to rock and roll.
“The great bands of the 70’s achieved their best ideas by extensive jam sessions and had the ability to express something really strong with their music. Nowadays it seems that both this way of creating music and the ability got lost. Now Voodoo Circle is my way to follow this ideal. Back to the vintage sounds, back to extensive, passionate jam sessions of great musicians and sweaty live gigs that are nothing but pure delight in playing.” —Alex Beyrodt
On Broken Heart Syndrome, Voodoo Circle once again tap into neo-classical performances with an inspired bluesy edge. Think Rainbow meets Whitesnake, with a solid dose of Yngwie Malmsteen. David Readman’s voice on this record so reminded me of classic David Coverdale, that at first I checked to see that I hadn’t accidentally slipped in their new album, Forevermore.
If you long for the yesteryears of these bands, you’re going to love Voodoo Circle, and Broken Heart Syndrome. From the opening riffs of “No Solution Blues” you’ll be enthralled with how fresh yet familiar these guys feel. Emulation and homage without artistic theft. They have truly gotten back to the roots of that classic metal sound so many of us older rockers grew up with.
In fact, the band’s sound, though classic and old school is arguably more powerful and spirited than new material being released by the bands they have been influenced by.
On “King Of Your Dreams” you can really hear that classic Rainbow vibe, especially in Beyrodt’s guitar work.
“This Could Be Paradise” plays out with a riff and feel reminiscent of the best of Malmsteen’s work, including the soloing and fills.
The album goes on and on like this, track after track full of excellent songwriting and explosive performances. An hour’s worth of re-energized old school hard rock in the mold of our genre’s exalted idols.
The album was produced by Beyrodt and mixed by Dennis Ward (Krokus, Pink Cream 69). Unlike their debut record, the band chose to bypass all the big name cameo performances and focus on a real 5-piece blueprint.
If you love Dio, Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen, and that vintage 70’s sound, then you must own this album.