Sjak : It’s always very hard for a band to have to replace your singer, as this one in most cases determines the overall sound of the music to a large extent. And if on top of that you have to let people forget about a vocal powerhouse like David Readman, then you have a real problem as Voodoo Circle. His replacement Herbie Langhans is certainly not doing a bad job on this meanwhile fifth full-length studio album ‘Raised On Rock’, but just can’t equal the very high level of Readman. As such he is a good vocalist whose voice fits nicely in the traditional metal with blues influences that Voodoo Circle is creating, but just misses that little bit of extra that David Readman could bring to the table.
In the song material department there’s enough quality to be found on this ‘Raised In Rock’ album and especially the first half of the record is very enjoyable to listen to with songs like the speedy ‘Running Away From Love’, the groovy ‘Walk On The Line’ and ‘Just Take My Heart’, in which guitar player Alex Beyrodt really takes the opportunity to show his capabilities on the six strings. The tracks that you’ll get to hear on the second part of the album have more blues influences and are on average somewhat slower. Despite of the fact that this certainly contributes to the variety aspect, tunes like ‘Chase Me Away’ and ‘Dreamchaser’ are a little less to my liking than the fresher sounding material that is to be found on the first half of the record. The closing song of ‘Raised On Rock’, being the great track ‘Love Is An Ocean’ surely raised the quality level quite a bit again before the album ends.
As said the song material that is offered on ‘Raised On Rock’ is definitely worthwhile listening to, although immediately it needs to be said that the quality level of predecessor ‘Whiskey Fingers’ from 2015 is certainly not reached. Add to this that singer Herbie Langhans doesn’t possess the sheer class of David Readman and it may be obvious that ‘Raised On Rock’ hasn’t become the album that I had hoped for after ‘Whiskey Fingers’. Despite of this Alex Beyrodt and his crew have certainly succeeded in delivering a very decent, but at the same time not very surprising bluesy hard rock album.