Voodoo Circle - 2011 - Broken Heart Syndrome
1. No Solution Blues
2. King Of Your Dreams
3. Devil's Daughter
4. This Could Be Paradise
5. Broken Heart Syndrome
6. When Destiny Calls
7. Blind Man
8. Heal My Pain
9. The Heavens Are Burning
10. Don't Take My Heart
11. I'm In Heaven
12. Wings Of The Fury
13. Strangers Lost In Time (Bonus Track)
Broken Heart Syndrome is the second album from Voodoo Circle, the brainchild of German guitar hero Alex Beyrodt (Silent Force/Primal Fear/Sinner), joined by his former Sinner & Primal Fear colleague Mat Sinner on bass, whilst vocal duties are taken care of by David Readman (Pink Cream 69, Khymera).
His mission is simple: to evoke the spirit of the late 70's/earlier 80's classic hard rock acts he holds dear to his heart, such as Deep Purple and Rainbow.
Beyrodt is clearly heavily influenced by Ritchie Blackmore and this legacy shines throughout this album.
The guitar work is top notch, and although his style is reminiscent of Blackmore, he isn't a mere Ritchie clone, and has enough of his own style to stamp on each track.
One influence that you can't fail to notice on this album is not Blackmore himself, but one of his former acquaintances: Mr. David Coverdale.
This is largely down to the vocal style of David Readman, whose rich, powerful and bluesy voice is at times a dead ringer for that of Coverdale.
A fair chunk of this album does sound very much in the vein of Whitesnake. Tracks like the hard rocking opener "No Solution Blues", "King Of Your Dreams" and "Don't Take My Heart" all bear the stamp of the 'Snake, but that's no bad thing.
In fact, it could be argued that if the current incarnation of Whitesnake came up with material of this quality, they would be hailed as a real return to form.
One of the highlights of the album is the powerful and soulful "Devil's Daughter", where once again the spectre of Coverdale looms, but this time in the guise of his time in Deep Purple. The track has a very strong flavour of the material on the Come Taste The Band album, with "You Keep On Moving" springing to mind. Definitely an invitation for Coverdale/Hughes era Purple fans to come taste this band.
Broken Heart Syndrome is an album strong on dynamics. There's plenty of hard rocking moments and plenty of bluesy moments, but there's also some quality laid back softer moments.
"Blind Man" -another highlight- is a good illustration of this; a bluesy ballad with some very fine Hendrix-inspired guitar work, along the lines of "Angel".
Meanwhile, the awesome "When Destiny Calls" and "The Heavens Are Burning", both evoke the spirit of Blackmore's Rainbow/Joe Lynn Turner era.
The same can be said for "I'm In Heaven", which has an almost AOR feel to it.
Jimmy Kresic provides some good keyboard work throughout the album, with organ and synth sounds giving some of the tracks a Jon Lord feel, adding a touch of that authentic 70's rock sound into the mix.
Drummer Markus Kullmann consistently provides the kind of solid and powerful performance the album needs.
Although Voodoo Circle has made a great job in successfully getting back the sound of classic '70s rock on some tracks, the biggest part of "Broken Heart Syndrome" is more evocative of the earlier 80's in style, with Whitesnake and Rainbow being obvious reference points.
This album is a very fine, bluesy hard rock gem, the performances are consistently strong throughout and the production is top class.
If, in a parallel universe, Ritchie Blackmore had ended up joining Whitesnake, it may not have sounded a million miles away from this.
David Readman - Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
Alex Beyrodt - Guitars
Mat Sinner - Bass, Backing Vocals
Jimmy Kresic - Keyboards
Markus Kullmann - Drums
Last Updated (Tuesday, 01 March 2011 18:51)