Back in 2006, a band by the name of Voodoo Six released an album titled Feed My Soul. This record was later revamped as First Hit For Free and the band should have had much more exposure and success on the back of that superb debut. (A certain Ritchie Faulkner was a member at that time.) The current band are back with a bang however and they’ve managed to recreate the debut’s craft and depth with a slightly updated edge. There’s a bit more blues in the background courtesy of Matt Pearce after his Mutinous side project which was incidentally my album of 2019.
Onto this new album, Simulation Game, the opener ‘The Traveller’ leaves you in no doubt… a powerful riff and lead intro before the main song kicks in with melody and pace. ‘Liar and a Thief’ is even heavier but without a loss of quality. ‘Last To Know’ starts out like a 16th Century band that somehow found amplification early and develops into yet another heavy, catchy as a catchy thing song.
‘Never Beyond Repair’ is the obligatory ballad but with a depth rarely seen in this sort of song. ‘Brake’ is a clever and fascinating mix of opposites as weight and a lightness of touch combine into a modern classic. ‘Inherit My Shadow’ is my current favourite – partly because of the intriguing title but also for the powerhouse riff and the way the band vary the tempo and weight in a way that only Judas Priest used to. The album comes to a close with ‘One Of Us’ and here we get a build-up with intuitive bass, drums, guitars and keys before the start/stop rhythm of the main riff takes hold in every sense.
My advice would be to ignore all of the faux rock bands feted by the media and go for solid riffs and melodies partnered with first-class musicianship and an inventiveness that will entertain throughout. This is heavy rock that has its roots in the British bands of the 70s but is fresh and light years ahead of the current competition.
VOODOO SIX’s Simulation Game will be released 6 March 2020 via Explorer1 Music.