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Branded as 'Alex Beyrodt's Voodoo Circle', together with the cheesy cover artwork, it is readily evident who this new band's intended market is, and perhaps even what they will sound like pre-listening. Here we have unambiguous, unpretentious, good-old fashioned 80s style rock-metal, but with a big, contemporary production. And the Silent Force, ex-Sinner virtuosic axeman has gathered a plethora of talent for his new musical venture - vocalist David Redman (Pink Cream 69); bassist Matt Sinner (Sinner, Primal Fear); drummer Mel Gaynor (Simple Minds, Gary Moore, Brian May), and Jimmy Kresic on keyboards. Their self-proclaimed influences of Rainbow, Deep Purple et al are rife throughout, and coupled with Beyrodt's neo-classical flavoured Malmsteen-esque leads score nil points for originality. However, this is far from a criticism as I guess Voodoo Circle's proclivity is not towards compositional innovation, rather a contemporary pastiche of the rock-metal genre's greats. And this they achieve to perfection. Standout tracks? Impossible to say, as each song presents the listener with 'more of the same' give or take occasional scalar variety such as the Phrygian-driven 'Enter My World of Darkness'. Also including a few notable guest appearances including Doogie White (Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen) and Rudi Sarzo (Ozzy, Dio, Whitesnake), Voodoo Circle...or, rather, Alex Beyrodt's Voodoo Circle (less of a ring to the latter I think), will no doubt provide fans of retro-rock/metal with many aural treats. Imagine a modern sounding version of Malmsteen's 'Eclipse' album and that will give you the general idea of what to expect. In fact, the instrumental title track from 'Eclipse', the final cut of the album, is coincidentally very similar in its up tempo parts to the closing instrumental piece of Voodoo Circle's debut effort. Hmmm...coincidence? Here, Beyrodt comes dangerously close to the thin line between pastiche and plagiarism, although I'm sure his intention is for the former. Still, one cannot fault, or fail to be impressed, by the high level of musicianship involved on the album. Entirely unoriginal, although a solid debut release.
AFM Records
Review by Mark Holmes
5th Dec 2008
1) Spewing Lies
2) Desparate Heart
3) Kingdom of the Blind
4) Man and Machine
5) Master of Illusion
6) We'll Never Learn
7) Dream of Eden
8) Heaven Can Wait
9) Angels Will Cry
10) Enter My World of Darkness
11) White Lady Requiem
"...unambiguous, unpretentious, good-old fashioned 80s style rock-metal, but with a big, contemporary production."