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Ha! Voodoo Six… a blast from the past! I remember first encountering them at Bloodstock Open Air in 2007 where they performed on the main stage to a sparse crowd. Fortunate for them, I guess, as my overriding memory of their set was their then frontman, Henry Rundell, singing drastically out of tune. I mean, the man couldn’t even sing ‘Happy Birthday’ in tune (a nice gesture nonetheless, though, for whoever’s big day it was). Judas Priest latecomer, Richie Faulkner, was their axeman back then, and he impressed (always destined for bigger and better, I recall thinking, and I wasn’t wrong), and the rest of the band made up the numbers to deliver a distinctly derivative dose of clichéd 80s rock/metal.

However, what I really remember them for is an act of social media insincerity that followed (social media… insincere?… surely not!). A message of discontent I received via MySpace from a band member who thought my review unfair, subsequently followed by a deletion from their MySpace “friends”. Six months later, I received a friend request from Voodoo Six via MySpace. Insincere, forgiving or forgetful? Who knows. What I do know, though, is that Rundell is long gone, they had Bruce Forsyth’s grandson singing for a while (“nice to see you, to see you nice”), and have suffered several other personnel changes, with only bassist Tony Newton and guitarist Matt Pearce remaining from their original lineup.

So, what of Voodoo Six in 2020? Thoroughly anachronistic are my first impressions, looking at the cover art. Ditto upon first listen… and second listen… and so on. In danger of repeating myself: clichéd 80s rock/metal. However, their latest frontman, Nik Taylor-Stoakes, can, at least, sing in tune. Not the greatest of voices, but he can carry a song with a decent vocal line. And songs are actually not too bad at all, all delivered through some great musicianship. Through all the 80s rock idioms, there’s a nice amount of melancholy that’s been added to the compositional pot; a smattering of strings (even if they do sound a tad thin in the mix, they’re a nice addition); and some folk-esque undertones here and there. Overall, a decent enough retro rock record, but this is hardly major league stuff. Look to the band’s ex-guitarist Faulkner for top tier metal.
Explorer 1
Review by Mark Holmes
16th October 2020
1) The Traveller
2) Gone Forever
3) Liar and a Thief
4) Inherit My Shadow
5) Last To Know
6) Lost
7) Never Beyond Repair
8) Brake
9) Control
10) One of Us
"...a decent enough retro rock record, but this is hardly major league stuff."