Voodoo Six - 'Make Way For The King'

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Voodoo Six - 'Make Way For The King'

A cracking slice of hard hitting, traditional Rock.

I can't pretend that the news that singer Luke Purdie had left Voodoo Six some three years ago didn't hit me hard – health issues causing the impressive front-man to step away from the mic and seemingly the music scene completely. Although he wasn't the band's original singer, Purdie managed to make the V6 sound utterly synonymous with his voice, the band's Staccato riffs and brutish heavy British Blues hitting all the harder thanks to his honeyed, if thoroughly uncompromising, tones. Brought in temporarily to fill that void as the band honoured their live commitments, Red Fire Empress man Nik Taylor-Stoakes has stayed the course and, even with those three passing years, is still here as Voodoo Six 'Make Way For The King'. He's also bloody good. Different, but bloody good nonetheless, and along with a slight change in focus from this riff-laden monster of a band, Voodoo Six themselves have seen this as a chance to begin again... a "fresh start" as founder member Tony Newton describes it.

Did Voodoo Six need a fresh start? To be honest, it's a moot point because we have one, so let's deal with it. In essence, not much has changed, the riffs are still short, sharp smashes of power and in Joe Lazarus the band still have one of the most powerful, concise and impressive drum masters the UK can boast. Yet with Taylor-Stoakes possessing a more contemporary vocal blade from which this outfit hit deep into their intended target and a much less obvious interest in the Blues, while no other band could write the guitar barrage that makes up 'Walk A Mile', this is definitely an ever so slightly changed beast.

'Until The End' illustrates it perfectly, a trademark riff quickly choosing a more refined and ever so slightly smoother manner in which to get its message across. The guitar solos from Matt Pearce and Craig Price still sting and the roaming bass bonanzas from Tony Newton still provide a mean and mightily melodic bottom end, it's just that it's all a little more modern and subtle than might have been expected.

All that said, there are few bands capable of the thunderous majesty Voodoo Six provide, and while their fourth album is an adjustment, it's still a cracking slice of hard hitting, traditional Rock. The king is dead, make way for the new king.

Steven Reid

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