Steamy, sweaty, and imposingly heavier than a stampede of overweight buffalo, the sound of US rockers Voodoo Sex Cult is one uncompromising rampage. It also as proven by the band’s debut album A Year And A Day, makes for one exhaustingly appetising and thrilling incitement for ears, body, and passions. From a potent but steady start, the release proceeds to expand and rumble with bullish tenacity and ferocious energy, emerging as one insatiably compelling and enjoyable brawl of intimidating rock ‘n’ roll. It is fair to say that the album is not bulging with striking originality or pushing boundaries but such its passionate devilry and arsenal of demanding rhythms, storming riffs, and fierce grooves, it is hardly an issue once inside its voracious enterprise. Providing a thick swamp of hard and southern rock entwined with similarly heavy doses of heavy metal and grunge, the Arizona quintet’s sound and album is simply a creatively salacious fury to greedily devour.
Announcing themselves as, “The Rev, the Preachers Son, The Redneck, The Castilian, and The Survivalist, five guys that share one common goal, one common passion; to create their own distinct sound of rock and roll, and share it with the world”, Voodoo Sex Cult from band name and bio alone makes for an intriguing proposition which their album swiftly backs up. Unleashing Cuttin Loose as their first riot on the album, the band flings robust riffs and imposing rhythms at ears from the off. The opener bustles into life with firm aggression but soon relaxes into a classic rock stroll driven by the punchy beats of Doyle Meredith and the great slightly grizzled tones of vocalist Royce Taghon. It is a potent start to the album but not one to ignite the passions, though certainly the craft and invention of guitarists Tim Hills and Peter Avalos captivates whilst the throaty bass endeavour of Chris Burgess raises a keen appetite. It is a safe way to open the album in many ways, setting down an appealing marker before pushing limits and imagination across the release.
The following Voodoo Rising emerges from a magnetic and restrained coaxing of guitar punctuated by dramatic rhythms. It is a slow and sultry entrance which easily catches the imagination ready for the exertion of energy and intensity which soon follows with a blues whisper in its air and sonic intrigue to its creative expression. The track is an easy-going yet forceful encounter continuing the firm and strong start of the album before making way for the similarly structured and flavoured Break It On Down. There is a distinct character to the heart of the song though, its gait and tone individual as vocals roar with craft and passion whilst grooves and riffs along with striking rhythms weave a mesh of heavyweight rock ‘n’ roll. There are few surprises on the songs to this point, but the riveting move into vocal and bass alone here is a tasty twist giving the track greater substance and persuasion.
From the more than decent 40 Days, the album hits a new lofty plateau starting with Down And Dirty, a track growing outward from a start of fiercely jabbing beats, throaty bass predation, and a slow wail of guitar. It is a menacing and gripping start which only accentuates its pressure and stature once riffs bulge alongside a southern bred groove and the bass delivers its own broody twang. Ridden by the increasingly enjoyable gravel toned vocals of Taghon, the track is an intensive smoulder of sultry heavy rock and predatory melodic expression, the first pinnacle of the album, though it is soon surpassed by Broken. Short but spicy grooves embrace ears from the start, their lure instantly matched and pushed further by the dark tones of Burgess’ bass and the similarly heavier delivery of Taghon. Like a mix of Clutch and Hellyeah with a touch of Black Tusk, the track growls and flirtatiously swerves with imposing intent and heated charm. It is an enthralling canvas which the band then turns inside out to reach even greater heights; a passage of unpredictable and startling invention seeing the track moving from a contagious stomp through a low guttural musical groan to a fiery and agitated climax merging in all the goodness the song started out on. It is a glorious proposition taking best on album honours.
Both the humid tone and energy of Fade Away and the intensive lure of Dead Season keep ears and emotions tightly involved, the first a crawling croon loaded with infectious low key melodies and stormy expression led by the varied roar of Taghon, and the second whilst moving with a similar gait, entwining dark and heavy provocation with raw grunge fuelled endeavour led by again impassioned vocals. Essences of Stone Temple Pilots make hints as the song prowls, blooms, and ruptures with attention gripping sonic enterprise and primal intensity. It is another mighty peak to the album with a seriously lingering potency that though not equalled by either Home or Legacy is emulated in their ability to leave a meaningful persuasion in their wake. The first of the pair bounces on a blend of blues and hard rock, with a just as healthy hint of funk and classic rock in its easy going rock ‘n’ roll revelry whilst its successor returns to the dark-side in sonic provocation and bass antagonism under a flame of acidic grooving and dusty vocals. Both songs feed the greedy appetite ignited earlier by the album whilst emotions are by this point bloated with satisfaction.
A Year And A Day uncages further major highlights in its home stretch, firstly with the brilliant Vsc-17. Riffs and bass stalking straight away chews upon and ignites the imagination whilst the crisp beats of Meredith sculpts enticing bait ready for the increasingly addictive invention coursing through the song. It is a beast of an incitement and temptation, the album’s most unique offering revealing more of the potency and expressive songwriting within the band.
Closing with the voraciously infectious and anthemically aggressive Sinking Slowly and finally the inimitable provocation of Black Jesus, with blistering grooves and searing melodies across its cantankerous stride menacingly tantalising, A Year And A Day is a brute of a treat and unrelentingly thrilling. Voodoo Sex Cult has not cast a spell of originality and major surprises with their debut but certainly has unleashed a tempestuous hex of riffs and grooves to feast heartily and persistently upon, a more than good enough reason to embrace their first outburst.
A Year And A Day is available now @ http://voodoosexcult.com/shop/
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