Voodoo Hill - Waterfall // Frontiers - 9/10
In recent years we have seen Glenn Hughes rise to the top of the industry yet again, with the band’s 'California Breed' and 'Black Country Communion' that ripped through the scene leaving an unbelievable lasting impact. Unfortunately, both projects fell to an early demise, much to the dismay of a dedicated fan-base, cultivated and amassed by stunning career spanning more than fifty years. Glenn is back with skilled Italian axeman, Dario Mollo, for the third helping of 'Voodoo Hill' a project that seemed long gone, but in traditional form, they're doing great things... again!
Made up of soft melodic tracks contrasting with heavy, hard rock impacts, this album is remarkably easy to listen to, offering complete diversity in style. The entirety of the album has been developed from foundation to completion, seamlessly, lacing each track with its own flair and draws-ins, and the wealth of experience between these artists is evident in the outcome of this album, though there are a selection of songs that had me captivated from the intros alone.
Album opener 'All That Remains' is one of these tracks. From the gates, it's huge in sound, and gives Hughes' vocals breathing room to reach his usual heights in pitch and to exercise his superb vibrato. It's expected from GH at this point, but it's still sickeningly impressive. With Mollo's fitting and thrilling guitar accompaniment alongside 'The Voice of Rock', you can't really complain.
Slightly heavier on the musicianship front, though quite reminiscent of the debut release from California Breed, is track two, 'The Well'. Packed with everything you'd want and expect from this pairing, it's quite something. Before there's any injustice served, let me explain my California Breed reference... When California Breed news hit the press, I was eager for a new Glenn Hughes release. Being a younger, possibly less clued-up listener to the 'standard' Hughes devotee, hearing these classic voices of the genre, but on albums devised and created during my time, is something I'm grateful for. California Breed was almost everything I love about music, and like all albums that appeal to me, it offered heaps of stylistic diversions and got me hooked from the very first spin of each track, with it's distorted, crunchy riffs and chuggs, and prominent lyrics throughout. 'Waterfall' does exactly what Cali Breed did for me as an avid music fan, but taken it a step further, fitting exactly to my idea of faultless rock ‘n’ roll. It's important that this album isn't written off as a Cali Breed clone, because it's really something that deserves recognition as an album that's been strongly stamped by Mollo's input, rather than being a failed replica of a now defunct band.
All tracks on this album could be positively dissected and broken down with emphatic explanations of why they're mighty, but I'll save you the excitement of some tracks for when you have album in hands - it's only fair, right?! With saying that, I could write about this music for a lifetime, and there are some tracks that have me in awe, overwhelming amounts.
Title track 'Waterfall' is one of the most simplistic, beautiful songs that have hit my speakers this year. Again, it made a similar impact to that of California Breed's 'All Falls Down'. Every album needs this emotional lyric and melody break-down, and on this particular album, it falls in exactly the right place.
Progressing from strength to strength, Voodoo Hill's third release never falls short of high expectations, with 'Karma Go' and 'Eldorado' packing a hefty punch, and 'Evil Thing' being considerably disparate to the bulk of this album. These three tracks are contenders to be amongst the stronger outputs of Hughes in the past few years.
This production and overall lyrical and musical content of 'Waterfall' is colossal, due to inimitable craftsmanship and passion that can't be denied, and I want to shout it to the world!
Reviewer: Christiane Robinson