‘Make Way For The King’ is Voodoo Six's fifth studio album and the first to feature new vocalist Nik Taylor-Stoakes. The rest of the current line-up, after a few changes over the years, consists of guitarists Matt Pearce and Craig Price, Tony Newton on bass and drummer Joe Lazarus. The album was produced by Tom Fletcher, whose previous credits are a bit of a mixed bag and include Ozzy Osbourne, Yes and Toto.
Voodoo Six have built a reputation as a fine live act, supporting Iron Maiden and Steve Harris' British Lion, and making numerous appearances at Download and Sonisphere. I must admit that I haven't heard any of the band's previous work so am not in a position to compare Taylor-Stokes with his predecessor, vocalist Luke Purdie, or, indeed, to compare the new material with the old, although I might have to rectify that!
The album kicks off with 'Electric', a powerful, driving, anthemic track with Taylor-Stoakes vocal style reminiscent of Eddie Vedder. Indeed, there are a few grunge influences apparent, with the intro to the title track sounding like Mindfunk and similarities to Stone Temple Pilots discernible on 'Falling Apart' and 'Until The End'.
'Electric' very much sets out the stall for the majority of the rest of the album stylistically and the bulk of the tracks that follow are in the same mould, with a certain groove and up tempo rhythm underpinning the band's approach. The standout tracks with this feel are the aforementioned 'Falling Apart' and 'Until The End'.
However, it's two tracks that step outside the template for the rest of the album that, for me, are the real highlights. Both 'Amen', which clocks in at just under 8 minutes, and 'The Choking' , whilst not exactly ballads, are of a slower tempo than their companions. In fact, 'The Choking' is the best track on this release - a slow burner that builds to a stunning crescendo and features a strong vocal performance, some excellent guitar work and nicely understated use of keyboards that enhance the delivery of the track.
All in all, this is a very solid release with a strong production and a number of high quality compositions. The individual performances are all of a commendable standard and Taylor-Stoakes should be especially pleased with his debut performance.
White Knuckle Records
MAKE WAY FOR THE KING
Review by Dave Uphill
8th Sept 2017
2) Make Way for the King
3) Let Me Walk
4) Falling Apart
5) Riot; 6) Amen
7) Until the End
8) Release the Hounds
9) The Choking
10) Walk a Mile
12) Swept Aside
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...a very solid release with a strong production and a number of high quality compositions."