A newcomer to the NWOCR scene, I found out about King Voodoo from a good friend of mine, the late Tina Sherwood. They were part of the Forge Music Group at one point and Craig has raved about them a lot over the last year. Their debut album, Hex City, dropped yesterday, and we just had to check it out! So, take a break from our Call of the Wild content and see what we think to the album!
Opener ‘Believe in You’ explodes into a huge, heavy and great riff. However, as the vocals come in I have to say I found my first (and probably only) main issue. The vocals are so loud. The lyrics and delivery themselves are great, especially when the harmonies come in in the back. It just kinda drowns out the rest of the music a bit, which is a shame as the riffing and drumming is solid. The highlight of the track for me was the absolutely insane guitar soloing. It was honestly nice to hear an extended solo in a modern track, and it fit everything so perfect. I’m not at all jealous of their talent… But yes, a fantastic sludgy opening track! The distorted vocals on the outro behind the riff gave me heavy Velvet Revolver vibes, I loved it!
‘Whiskey Drive’ opens on another great, if slightly muddily produced riff. These guys are very biker metal in the best way. I love the brief yet massively catchy chorus in the track. All the backing vocals add so much depth and an almost anthemic vibe to it. The slowed up bridge was awesome, and leads to another PHENOMENAL guitar solo.
‘Sleep’ fades in with a version of its chorus which was a really interesting arrangement. It worked too, adding to the impact of the huge riff and gave us a great prelude of things to come. The drums through the verse are fantastic, keeping the high pace even with the guitars and bass stripping back. It’s a chuggy track, almost metalcore, which I’m a big fan of. It also all builds into a huge, open chorus. I also really enjoyed the minute or so of electro/techno at the end. It was completely different to anything else and I wasn’t expecting it at all. It was somewhere between Muse and Gorillaz, and I loved it. This track easily makes the playlist!
We get a slower open to ‘Left Alone’, it having an almost more punk feel to it. In fact, with the guitar riff and low vocals over the top, it reminds me a little of ‘Alice, What’s the Matter?’. The structure is pretty similar too as it builds into a bigger chorus before dropping back down for the verses. The higher notes in the second verse were fantastic too, I’d love to hear more of them from the frontman! We of course get another fantastic guitar solo too, fittingly a little slower than the ones before it. It’s another killer track!
Next we reach the ballad track of the album, ‘Yesterday’s Gone’. Opening on a beautiful acoustic guitar, a piano comes in pad out the sound perfectly. The vocals fit amazingly over the top, and the drum and bass coming in behind it all after the first few lines were an excellent choice. It stays pretty stripped back throughout as well, which I also think was the right choice. The harmonies and backing vocals are used to full effect, and the lead guitars being used to accentuate some of the vocal lines was great. Of course the actual solo was amazing again as well, as is practically a given with this band by now. What an amazing track, and another that makes our playlist!
‘Not Your Enemy’ heavies things back up perfectly with another sludgy riff. It, ‘Time to Party’ and ‘Sweet Voodoo’ all feel pretty similar. It’s not a bad thing; this late into the album you’re bound to get things that sound a little alike. All three are still great tracks, too!
‘Sweet Loneliness’ is another slower track. The strings to open were great, and the riff itself feels massive, open and decidedly epic. The epicness continues throughout, it almost feeling kinda power metally. It goes well with the slower pace, and it a fantastic choice of song for this point in the album. It’s another huge highlight of the album for me personally. Then ‘Sins of Diablo’ closes the album in perfectly heavy fashion. I love the melodies going on in it, sounding almost evil over the big riffs. The high harmonies in the choruses are a lot of fun, too. And I LOVE a band that closes on their heaviest track. Another one for the playlist!
Overall: This was great! Production issues aside, there is a hell of a lot to love about this album. The riffs are stomping, the vocals and melodies are great and the soloing is outstanding. If anything too, the band sound like this would somehow be even better live. I’m hoping that they come around my area soon because I’d love to see these tracks in a live setting. They have a bright future ahead of them with talent and songwriting of this calibre.
The Score: 8/10