"First Spell" (Sleaszy Rider; 2022)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


France's Voodoo Angel deliver a satisfying slab of modern hard rock on "First Spell."

First and foremost, Voodoo Angel are fans of rock'n'roll. In interviews, they've called themselves "rock addicts." And the music on "First Spell" proves that. The band's enthusiasm is the high point of this album. Their energy and love for the music just shines through this recording, and you can hear it on every track.

For the most part, "First Spell" is a collection of solid rock tracks with the tempo and power of, say L.A. Guns or Kiss (both of whom the band cites as influences). The album opens with "Wake Me When It's Done," which starts with a short, bluesy riff and then quickly morphs into driving rocker. And the album closes with the Deep Purple-like "Somebody to Thrill Me," another sturdy rock song. And the songs in-between are "in-between" more than just in sequencing. There are other pretty hard rocking tunes, there are some that are just a little slower (i.e., "Crazy") and at least a couple that are pure rock ballads. For example, "Your Reflexion" is to Voodoo Angel what "Hard Luck Woman" is to Kiss. Where the Kiss song could have originally been sung by Rod Stewart, "Your Reflection" could have been sung by Billy Idol (another influence, per the band). It's got shades of "Eyes Without a Face" all over it. For that matter, so does "Home Sweet Home," and that's not a bad thing.

Overall, "First Spell" isn't as hard and heavy as most of the things the aforementioned L.A. Guns and Kiss have recorded, but it's ten tracks that will hold your attention throughout. If you're looking for something along those lines, you'll find yourself caught in "First Spell." If you're looking for Motorhead or Slayer ... well, look somewhere else.

For more information, check out https://www.facebook.com/voodangel.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2022 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.