The album Broken Uncle’s Inn when released two years ago set Voodoo Highway apart from many other similarly clad heavy melodic rock bands, its acclaimed appearance drawing excited responses from fans, media, and notable exponents of the genre such as former Rainbow/Black Sabbath/Gary Moore bassist Craig Gruber. It was a thrilling and hungry release which ignited strong interest of people beyond the confines of classic rock. The Italian quintet now returns with the follow-up and it has to be said that Showdown takes all the great things on the debut to greater accomplished heights. Again it offers so much to lure in and keep the passions of the widest appetites alive just this time with even more devious craft and magnetic enterprise.
Founded in 2010, Voodoo Highway has been showered with eager recognition, even being called “the new Deep Purple”. Their stage presence and destructive stage tendencies has left a trail of acclaim across Italy and their sounds the same throughout the radio veining of Europe, South America, USA, and Japan, with Broken Uncle’s Inn the focal point until now. Showdown is another big step forward, one which again can be argued is not setting new boundaries for classic rock but undoubtedly is invigorating it with a heart and energy it has debatably been long missing.
Released via Dust On The Tracks Records, the new album stands proud as it storms the ear with opener This Is Rock’n’roll, Wankers!, riffs rhythms, keys, and vocals rousing up the senses with anthemic might and infectious melodic temptation. It is exactly what its title declares, a riotous brawl of middle finger poised rock with flames of precise fiery guitar enterprise and equally transfixing organ weaves within a bruising yet passion igniting confrontation. The track has a swagger and balls to the wall intensity which recruits limbs and voice for a full engagement, a triumphant and irresistible start to the release.
The following Fly To The Rising Sun with its heavy bulging basslines and thumping riffs continues the compelling call of the album whilst Midnight Hour builds on the already impressive start by soaking the ear in seventies cloaked melodic persuasion and an imagination capturing intensive groove flanked by the ever growling bass of Filippo Cavallini. It is an excellent piece of familiarity entwined within inventive mystique and compelling aural adventure, the guitar of Matteo Bizzarri, as throughout the album, continually changing the face of the song whilst the drums of Vincent Zairo snap the head back on a well-used neck with a firm and hypnotic provocation or beckoning, usually both simultaneously.
Both Could You Love Me and Wastin’ Miles secure thoughts and hunger with their accomplished bodies, the keys of Alessandro Duo’ especially making enticing suggestions in the first though he again is never less than mesmeric across all tracks, and the continuing to impress vocals of Federico Di Marco driving the heart of each song with masterful expression and passion. Neither reaches the heights of those before or of the following pair of Church Of Clay and Mountain High, but never have less than a strong grip on attention and the ability to satisfy. The first of their successors is the biggest highlight of the album, the song from resonating heady bass prods and ambience stirring guitars stalking and ravaging the senses with greedy riffs and predatory rhythm whilst keys and vocals light the surface with melodic blazes which smoulder and burn alternately. Playing with and upon thoughts and emotions, the track paints a colour rich picture with the lyrical and melodic narrative whilst the sounds soundtrack its arrival with skill and contagious imagination. Mountain High follows with similar intent, its sinews making a target of the ear whilst the keys and sonic endeavour eases the scarring. As with most tracks its touch is easy and from a familiar well but it just adds a warmer addictive hook to be caught upon whilst the ingenious extras like the gothic occult rock like wash of the keys in this song throwing an wonderful unexpected spanner in the works of assumption.
From this point in many ways the rest of the album does lack the same punch and attention gripping strength already attained but certainly tracks such as the insatiable Cold White Love and A Spark From The Sacred Fire only give full pleasure and high octane fuelled adventure. Completed by the very decent Prince Of Moonlight and two bonus tracks in the shape of Till It Bleeds and the ever brilliant Broken Uncles Inn, you have an album sure to exhaust the passions of all melodic rock fans. Showdown is an excellent storm of rock n roll which from within the art work wrap of graphic designer Storm Thorgerson, brings an impossible to resist rampage to the year, the claws of Voodoo Highway digging deeper than ever.
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from