Voodoo Six became into being after a collaboration between bassist Tony Newton and guitarist Richie Faulkner – the latter now far better known as KK Downing’s replacement in Judas Priest. These two gathered a group of musicians around themselves and recorded their debut album ‘Feed My Soul’ in 2006. Shortly after that Faulkner left. Various other line-up changes through the years leave only Newton and second guitarist Matt Pearce around to be part of this recording. I suppose that would make Pearce technically speaking, first guitarist, but not having the various solos on the album separately credited I’m not sure who, between Pearce and guitarist Tommy Gentry, is taking the lead role. Suffice it to say there are some very tasty solos on this album, so well done whoever is responsible.

I first discovered Voodoo Six with the release of their second album ‘First Hit For Free’ and also bought their next two ‘Fluke?’ and the brilliantly titled ‘Songs To Invade Countries To’, but somehow their last album sneaked under my radar. The question really is, does this release make me feel as if I need that album ‘Make Way For The King’, owing to that fact that it was vocalist Nik Taylor-Stoakes first with the band, and this is his sophomore recording. I will reveal all later.

This is, first and foremost, a hard rock album, full of hooks and catchy chorus lines. The rhythm section of Newton and drummer Joe Lazarus drive this album like a rock juggernaut, laying waste all before them, the rest of the band seeming to hang on for dear life on some tracks. “Liar and Thief” kicks serious ass, as do “Never Beyond Repair” and “Inherit My Shadow”. Some nice tonal changes occur during “Last To Know” and “Control”. Now and again I felt the band lost their way a little on – ironically enough – “Lost” and both “Brake” and “One Of Us” were a little weak to these ears. Overall, though this is by no means a duffer of an album. Will it send me into the back catalogue for album number five? The order has been placed.

Voodoo Six – Simulation Game is out now via Explorer 1 Records