Album review: VOODOO CIRCLE – Locked & Loaded

VOODDO CIRCLE - Locked & Loaded

AFM Records [Release date 15.01.21]

Locked & Loaded is Voodoo Circle’s love letter to Led Zeppelin and Whitesnake.

We should all be delighted that Alex Beyrodt got the band back together again. The classic line up, we mean. The team that recorded Broken Heart Syndrome in 2011. Beyrodt, Mat Sinner, David Readman and Markus Kullman. The one where all the pieces fit.

And they’re having fun, enjoying every moment. Even the video trailer – snakes, skulls and scantily dressed women – is old school. It’s infectious. It’s lit up with a kind of knowing intensity. The kind that takes form in the studio, when really great musicians work with other really great musicians.

And before you realise, it reaches out from behind the tongue in cheek posturing and throwing of heavy metal/hard rock shapes, to tattoo some indelible hard rock lightning onto our subconscious.

‘Devil With An Angel Smile’ folds in some densely packed, T Ride type vocal chanting into the perfect commerciality of Whitesnake styled hard rock. The title track belies it’s cliched title by peppering Beyrodt’s ironclad riffolla with hip hop vocal rhythms, and it works a treat.

And it’s so entertaining. The songwriting is strong – ‘Wasting Time’ and ‘Flesh And Blood’ are as good as anything Beyrodt has previously written – and the performances are superb – vocalist, David Readman clearly had carte blanche to project his spot-on Coverdale-isms. His tongue is so firmly in his cheek on the superb ballad, ‘Eyes Full Of Tears’ that you can see it from outer space. And yet, derivative or not, the song’s brooding and intense sense of drama goes beyond pastiche, carried by Readman’s chest swelling self belief, transforming it into an unquestionable album higlight.

Beyrodt brought in Jacob Hansen, the Danish “Godfather Of Sound” to mix and master the album. Hansen captures the analogue warmth and indeed the underrated sonic clarity of many hard rock recordings of the genre’s heyday. Like other masters of the trade, he knows that you do nothing for show and everything for effect. ****

Review by Brian McGowan


The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 20 December., imbued with a festive flavour to raise the spirits

More about Josh:

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 UNRULY CHILD Our Glass House (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SERGEANT STEEL Truck Tales (Boyz Tyme Records)
14:00-16:00 DAN REED Liftoff (Zero Entertainment)

Power Plays w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BLACK SPIDERS – Good Times (Dark Riders Records/Cargo Records)
GRAVITY MACHINE Standing Stones (Zyse Records)
EMPIIRES Love Or Hate (TLG Entertainment/INgrooves)
RAY FENWICK Tam Tam (Singsong Music)
DEAD REYNOLDS Voices (The Fort)
LAYLA ZOE Don’t Wanna Help Anyone (indie)

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