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Voodoo Circle - "Whiskey Fingers" (CD)

Voodoo Circle - "Whiskey Fingers" CD cover image

"Whiskey Fingers" track listing:

1. Trapped in Paradise
2. Heartbreaking Woman
3. Watch and Wait (I Got My Eye on You)
4. Medicine Man
5. The Day the Walls Came Down
6. Heart of Stone
7. Straight Shooter
8. The Rhythm of My Heart
9. Devil Takes Me Down
10. 5 O'Clock
11. Been Said and Done

Reviewed by on February 7, 2016

"Voodoo Circle channels the best elements of classic rock, blues rock and hard rock and relies on the strength of its core musicianship."

It was a U.S. debut performance, live in Atlanta. The “guilty pleasure” choice of 2014 by ProgPower USA promoter Glenn Harveston was in fact one of the bands your author was waiting to see for a very long time. I remember clicking away at my camera in the pit and after the first song I subconsciously yelled “NOW THAT’S BABYMAKIN’ MUSIC!” No doubt that little statement took hold of at least the first two rows of the crowd, as declaring “pregnancy by sound” was directed at vocalist David Readman. Two years later, Voodoo Circle is back with one of 2015’s best hard rock albums “Whisky Fingers.” After spinning the spectrum of heavy music over the course of 12 hours, this album is the 10PM Jack Daniels nightcap after a very long day.

If you were living under a rock for the last seven years, Voodoo Circle was created by Primal Fear guitarist Alex Beyrodt. Joining him is Primal Fear/Level 10/Silent Force band mate Mat Sinner on bass, Level10/Silent Force bandmate Alessandro Del Vecchio on keyboards, drummer Tim Husung, and the brilliant David Readman (Pink Cream 69) on vocals. With so much history, it seems Voodoo Circle might just be the guilty pleasure for all of these guys. Steeped in Whitesnake with a heavy dose of Led Zeppelin, this German quintet might just best all of them with a modern sound and fresher song ideas.

“Whiskey Fingers” marks the fourth release and right on par with the previous, but stellar, “More Than One Way Home.” Classic rock ideas in 2015 might seem like a stale offering, but if any of that era sparks any interest, you will find it challenging to keep silent when “Whiskey Fingers” is on your player. The ideas may not be new, but that’s the point. This bluesy hard rock screams Whitesnake, but in many ways it is superior. Voodoo Circle may just very well be the Led Zeppelin of the modern era, though I’m confident those who “get the Led out” would disagree.

If real rock ‘n’ roll with a hard edge isn’t your thing…you probably want to avoid this one. However, if intriguing songwriting and blusey Whitsnake-ish hard rock tickles your fancy – you can do a whole lot worse. In fact, in a crowded field of hard rockin’ bands that includes Eclipse, Bonfire, House of Lords, Black Star Riders and The Answer – you would be hard pressed to find a better release in 2015. Songs like the “Saints & Sinners” era Whitesnake inspired “Watch And Wait, I Got My Eye On You,” the hard charging straight up “Medicine Man,” the mid-paced blues rock of “The Rhythm of My Heart,” the lighthearted rocker “5 O’Clock” (with a ring of Deep Purple’s “Woman From Tokyo”) and the brilliant ballad “The Day the Walls Came Down,” showcase a cast of some of the finest musicians at their best. Anchored by Readman’s soothing and impregnating voice, Voodoo Circle has an arsenal that few bands can match.

“Whiskey Fingers” isn’t meant to offer you a new and innovative form of music. Voodoo Circle channels the best elements of classic rock, blues rock and hard rock and relies on the strength of its core musicianship. The band is more than just a “guilty pleasure,” but now a reliable and driving force in the scene. I’ve found that many times topping the night off with a little Voodoo Circle has the same effect as sipping some Mackmyra Moment single malt.

Highs: Bad ass blues rock/hard rock inspired by Whitsnake and Zeppelin with some of the world's best musicians.

Lows: This album doesn't present anything new and innovating, but it wasn't intending to.

Bottom line: "Whiskey Fingers" should be sipped and savored in late nights after long days.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)