Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Voodoo Hill

Wild Seed of Mother Earth

Review by Gary Hill

First, I have to state the obvious - outside of a handful of guys, Rob Halford and Geoff Tate come to mind, Glenn Hughes has the best voice in hard rock and metal - the man is incredible! So, anything Hughes sings on gets some points just for his appearance. That said, Voodoo Hill doesn't really need any kind of Hughes bonus - these guys (and this album) are very good. While I wouldn't count this one amongst the top five or ten CD's of the year - that's more because of the strength of some of the competition than about this disc. One thing this one definitely has going for it is variety. So many releases in this genre (looking back to '80's metal) seem to basically only have one or two sounds and by the time you get through the album you feel like you've listened to that one song over and over and over ad infinitum. Well, you won't have that problem with this one. For the most part every song has its own unique identity, and when they do repeat they manage to work in a bridge or instrumental break that gives a totally unique character to the cut. All in all this is a great album. For fans of '80's metal and arena rock, this is one you really should check out.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Make Believe
This bursts in super heavy, then shifts to a prog metal type mode before modulating into a classic '80's metal approach. It feels a bit like something from Dio of that decade mixed with Deep Purple and Whitesnake. The ultra heavy does return later just before a neoclassically tinged prog metal jam takes it into new territory. These guys don't waste any time showing that they truly rock. A frantic and noisy outro finishes it off.
Dying to Live
A classic sounding crunch riff takes this and the band jump into something that feels like it could have fit on Sabbath's Born Again CD - heavy, gritty and oh so tasty. The bridge feels more like Deep Purple. It drops later to a weird almost ambient excursion for a nice change up. The movement upward from there is a killer. Then it turns to almost death metal ferocity for a short time before returning to the song proper.
Still Evergreen
This feels like a little heavier take on Deep Purple. It's another smoker, and three songs in everything has its own unique identity. This has a killer frantic jam in its midst that turns very neo-prog as it carries forward. This shifts to ultra heavy plodding sludge for a short outro.
Atmosphere
Another that comes in heavy, this has a major blues metal leaning and a super tasty riff based arrangement. It definitely has its ultra heavy moments.
Wild Seed of Mother Earth
They drop it way back to a dark and mysterious sounding ballad like section. After staying there for a time they pull it gradually up into something that feels very prog-like. It turns later into a texture more like the proggy side of Zep for a time, then returns to a newly energized take on the main themes. The guitar solo here is especially tasty.
My Eyes Don't See It
This is pretty much a straight-ahead rocker in the vein of early Van Halen and Montrose.
Can't Stop Falling
The first sign of stagnation, this is another strong one in the mode of a modern take on '80's metal, but it's a bit like some of the other stuff here. Still, a cool feedbacky mellower segment leads into a dramatic mode with Eastern elements and some killer jamming to give this one an individual character.
Nothing Stays the Same
Parts of this cut are in a mellower balladic mode while the chorus is anthemic classic hard rock. It's not bad, but one of the weaker ones on show here.
Soul Protector
The early vocals here are weird with a processed echo, it's kind of cool, but I can't say I really like it. The main song has more traditional vocals with a nice riff, but when you add up that weird vocal, the overall sameness of the cut and an over the top chorus, this one would turn out to be the loser on the disc. Still, a chunky instrumental break saves it from total worthlessness.
She Cast No Shadow
At less than 4 minutes this is the shortest cut on the disc (most run in the 4 to 5 minute range). It is a really strong one, though. It comes in with a heavy flourish that feels almost prog. They move it into a fairly straightforward arrangement, but Hughes puts in his best showing on the disc and arrangement is near perfection. This is actually my favorite cut on the disc and includes some tasty instrumental work and intriguing changes.
16 Guns
Coming in with one of the faster riffs on the disc, they eventually drop it back to a more ballad like approach, but the heavier groove returns later in this alternating arrangement. This is another strong one and a great disc closer. The tasty instrumental break is a smoker.
 
More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Non-Prog
Progressive Rock
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2019 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com