Saturday, July 8, 2017

VOODOO HIGHWAY - The Ordeal (2017)

VOODOO HIGHWAY - The Ordeal (2017) full

"The Ordeal" is the new, third effort from Italian 5-piece VOODOO HIGHWAY, one of the most interesting bands appeared this decade mixing classic hard rock stuff with a modern edge. The album's title says much about the group's future and if it would be capable to shoot them to higher grounds.

Voodoo Highway grabbed attention since their debut record Broken Uncles Inn (still visiting my player very often today six years on), and their second Showdown again gave me the same buzz. Then the group suffered some line up changes, in "The Ordeal" presenting new guitarist and keyboard player.
In this type of bands the guitar has a very important role, and may change the overall musical orientation.
I was suspecting this after listening to the album's first single "To Ride The Tide" featured in one of our recent Adv Releases sampler. The song showcased a more darker, heavier sound than the heard in the previous albums.

But don't worry, "To Ride The Tide" - which close the new disc - it's the only track with that somber sound, where seems the band explore some new ground. An odd choice for the first advance.
But don't worry, on the "The Ordeal" Voodoo Highway still delivers their palatable blend of classic late Seventies / Eighties hard rock sounds with fine melodies.

Opener "The Deal" is, in my opinion, the finest sample of Voodoo Highway's music. A very Deep Purple-esque song with a strong dose of Black Sabbath and there you have a superb slice of pure and classic hard rock gem. The band add their own spin to the licks and it just keeps getting better from there.

VOODOO HIGHWAY - The Ordeal (2017) inside

"Litha" could easily appear in any '80s Rainbow album. An epic and monstrous hard rock song with great Hammond-like keyboard work, flying guitars and strong lead vocals.
There's a storming hard rocker in “Grace Of The Lord”, you have a bluesy foundation on the catchy "NY Dancer", while "Blue Ride" add lots of groove to the proceedings.

The first advanced track from the album appeared some weeks ago plus the slightly 'stoner' cover artwork of "The Ordeal" worried me a bit at first, but do not be fooled: Voodoo Highway still delivers their really, really well done classic hard rock plenty of melody here.
Where other bands in this genre quickly take the path of musical clichés, Voodoo Highway distinguishes themselves with some nice surprises in the arrangements and the strong songwriting / musicianship.
This is classy stuff, even the album has a 'LP format' with only 8 songs and 30 minute running time.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - The Deal
02 - Litha
03 - NY Dancer
04 - Quietude
05 - The Rule
06 - Blue Ride
07 - Grace Of The Lord
08 - To Ride The Tide

Filippo Cavallini - bass
Federico Di Marco - vocals
Vincenzo Zairo - drums
Massimiliano Sabbadini - Hammond, keyboards
Filippo Romeo - guitars




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