Vol. 1: The Awakening Rock Review
For Immediate Release:
One Riff Merchandising
.June 27, 2017
..It’s not often a band comes along and their debut album makes you sit up and take notice. For Voodoo X, this is the case. The Awakening Vol. 1 is a melodic journey, powered by some blistering guitar work, stellar vocals, and great song writing. The album showers the listener in a downpour of melodies, and an attitude to die for. Every song has its rightful place on this album, and it should be in the collection of every hard rock fan.
After a successful solo career through the mid 80’s, Multi instrumentalist and ex-Plasmatics member Jean Beauvoir is energized once again by the prospect of a band environment. The year is 1989. The band, Voodoo X. Accompanied by a larger than life image and an even larger sound, Voodoo X released their debut album that would present them as a musical powerhouse.
Featuring long time friend and collaborator Tommy Lafferty on Lead guitar, Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen on Keys, Ivan Wong on Bass, and Luecke Lake on Drums, the album titled “The Awakening Vol 1” is coming of age. An album that bridges the gap between darkness and light, and leaves no stone unturned when it comes to infectious melodies and an attitude to burn.
From the opening riff of “I’m on Fire” to the acoustics of “Air That I Breathe”, the album titled “The Awakening Vol. 1” leaves the listener in a complete melodic rock trance. Co-produced by Jean and the legendary Max Norman (Ozzy Osbourne / Megadeth), the result is an album that is complete from start to finish, showcasing a mouthful of melodic rock bliss, and an all-round album that has gone on to be a classic in the eyes of the hard rock community.
“I’m on Fire” is furious in its approach, never allowing the listener to rest on their musical laurels. Once the keyboard layers come over the top of that sweltering opening guitar riff, and we hear the brilliant angst of Beauvoir’s vocals for the first time, it’s obvious that this song will be a full on assault to the eardrums for the entire three and a half minutes. This song has attitude. It grabs you by the balls and doesn’t let go. It’s head banging. Its fist pumping, and even though the chorus is simplistic in nature, the layered vocal gives it strength and a depth that generates the light it deserves. The lead guitar work of Tommy Lafferty ruptures from the inside out, exploding through the speaker cones, unleashing a beast within. This song will kick your ass; it’s unrelenting in its punishment. It’s a tirade of madness that no asylum can hold. And it’s one of those openers that will leave you salivating at the thought of what’s to follow.
“Voodoo Queen” opens with a ceremonial intro, and a keyboard backing that gives you the feeling that there’s something uninhabited about this song. What is probably one of Beauvoir’s finest accomplishments in song writing, “Voodoo Queen” leaves no stone unturned in its quest to amplify the voodoo spirit. The opening guitar riff is simple but delivered with a true melodic prowess that gives it volume. When we hear the band hit their mark accompanied by a Jean Beauvoir “Yeah”, its then that the lead guitar work makes this intro so memorable. Slaying into the opening verse, the music cuts back slightly, to allow Jean to tell his story. The words are haunting in their imagery, and as the song builds in momentum with the band running alongside, the pinnacle is finally upon us. Jean bursts out “She’s my Voodoo Queen” through the speakers with a melody that ignites the senses and sends shivers down the spine.
The chorus is God like, delivered from heaven in a wall of angelic vocals, enchanting keyboards, and a blend of harmony rarely heard. Once the lead guitar comes through those melodic walls, the journey doesn’t end there. The melody has you rocking from side to side; in complete sync with the backing track. This is pure class from Jean, taking the lead break this time, and possibly delivering one of his best solos. After a stellar solo, there comes that chorus again, going round and round in your head, stitching itself to every living brain cell, pulsating with every chord, and leaving you in a permanent state of euphoria. The song goes out with those famous ad-libs from Jean, bringing to an end a classic anthem in the making.
“Don’t Bother Me” unleashes some lead guitar theatrics before generating into a monstrous guitar riff that both absorbs and devours everything in its wake. Once the thundering bass line comes in, we are met with a heavier side to the band, devoid of any keyboard. The guitar aerobatics continue into the verses with a battering ram vocal style by Jean. The chorus is a simple one, but the angst in the vocal gives you the feeling of a sinister undertow. Tommy’s guitar solo is mesmerizing in its heaviness, vomiting an aggression not seen within the rest of the album. This song is heavy. It takes no prisoners. It unleashes chains that wrap around you and squeeze you like an anaconda. The venom in Beauvoir’s vocals leaves you paralyzed, yet wanting more of the taste.
You can read more about this album in the full review at the following link: