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Voodooshock : Marie's Sister's Garden

Voodooshock is the vehicle that allows Uwe Groebel to explore the doom scene of the past and you may have heard his name before. He was the frontman for Naevus, one of the best heavy rock bands on the Rise Above roster. Unfortunately, after one album showcasing just a small sampling of the talent they possessed, the band split up. Uwe then went on to form Voodooshock. 'Marie’s Sister’s Garden' is the band’s third recording and with it they have established themselves among the leading old school doom bands.

The album kicks off with 'Please Let All Truth In Your Heart' and with it the band shows us their intentions; heavy guitars, solid rhythm section and a sense of melody that goes back before the time of 'Sabbath to acts like Steppenwolf and the bands of the San Francisco scene of the late '60s. 'Marie's Sister's Garden', which gives us the title of the album, further explores that formula but with a slightly heavier sound. 'Funeral Farewell', which comes next, is one of the heavier songs I've heard lately. The song shouts from afar the band's love of early 'Sabbath, Pentagram and Saint Vitus and it does it very well. Uwe’s past in Naevus is obvious on 'Feeding Flames With Letters' and his vocals steal the show here. 'Truth' is a short up-tempo song that will be a big hit in their live shows. 'Custom-Made But Sacrificed', besides winning the prize for the weirdest title on the album, also shows us that the band has the ability to surpass its mentors. All of the things that Cathedral tried hard to accomplish on their last few albums are effortlessly present here. 'Miserable Mercy' vaguely reminds me of Electric Wizard but with far better vocals. The song is proof that funeral doom is not something played only by people that can't tune their guitars. 'Warm Knives Cut Deeper' contains elements of Naevus combined with a bluesy attitude which then segues into 'I Need a Rest'. This song will be fantastic in their live shows and is simply perfect. 'Diamond Queen' sounds like a ballad in the style of Pentagram and while it has its qualities, it didn’t work for me. Unfortunately we’ve come to the last song on the album and in my opinion the best one. For some reason, 'You Don’t Need to Fear Death' brought to mind the Satanico Pandemonium's dance scene from the film From Dusk ‘Till Dawn. This song is on an entirely different level and for just this song alone they get a perfect ten from me.

The band admits that their goal is to explore the music of the pioneering bands that founded this music, but they successfully avoid the danger of falling into the trap of just copying their mentors. Voodooshock have taken the best elements of these bands and created their own masterpiece. The album is a gift to all of us that are nostalgic for the past and is a perfect map to newcomers that want to explore the roots of the genre. I'll stop writing now and go back to see how many times a CD can be played before the laser melts it. I forgot to mention that the drummer Claus-Peter Hamisch and bassist Ingmar Petersen are members of Beehoover.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Please Let All Truth In Your Heart
2. Marie’s Sister’s Garden
3. Funeral Farewell
4. Feeding Flames With Letters
5. Truth
6. Custom Made But Sacrificed
7. Miserable Mercy
8 .Warm Knives Cut Deeper
9. I Need A Rest
10. Diamond Queen
11.You Don’t Need To Fear Death

Duration : Approx. 55 minutes

Visit the Voodooshock bandpage.

Reviewed on 07-04-2009 by Dimitris Plastiras
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