Well, well! Who would have thought that Krokus would ever again get together and produce a new album called Hoodoo! This really was a great surprise back in 2010. And then with such a rocky Heavy Metal piece!
Of course, the Swiss Heavy Metal band Krokus would not be themselves when they would not sound like AC/DC in their Bon Scott heyday. Only this time this style direction is much more pronounced than in former productions.
Now, Mark Storace still has it in him. The old fire still ablaze, albeit a bit quieter than a few years back. Indeed, this whole band of aging rockers still can show a lot of skills to other bands in terms of what good, old Heavy Metal and Hard Rock really ought to sound like. I am not sure, however, that they, in turn, would be able to cope with the more sophisticated sounds that other bands very aptly display.
And it is amazing how they really turned themselves around and produced Hoodoo, with kind of the same line-up that was active back in the ’80s. Displaying the kind of raw metal guitar sound that we love, rocking away at night. Sometimes a bit bluesy, sometimes again rock hard. No keyboards audible, no electronic fancy details in their world of hard rocky bliss. Reminiscent of their far-away productions like Metal Rendez-Vous, which I really like. Albeit that this production here is less inventive and for sure not as good as the aforementioned record.
And it needs to be said. Some of that stuff is a bit repetitive and without surprises. I could almost call myself clairvoyant and write it for them. Now ain’t that something.
All that rocking about comes complete with the usual riffs that we seem to have heard before already. Percussion works are not very inventive either, and bassist Chris von Rohr seriously lacks variation in his tune. But this is nothing new, either.
To top it, they took the AC/DC sound-alike show a bit too far to my taste. So in essence, we get no innovative, but only well-known fare. Good old, corny Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Stuff to rock around the room and not ask too many questions about.
Hoodoo starts super-fast with Drive It In, kind of back to the roots Hard Rock with Metal connotations. Hoodoo Woman kicks it up a notch – still in the same vein – but by far better than the first track.
And then – to my unending dismay – we get to enjoy this terrible re-make of Born to be Wild originally from Steppenwolf (back in 1968). And the original also served as the leading track for the 1969 stellar movie Easy Rider. Guys, this is just gruesome. The original is great, but yours just takes a point off the rating below. Damn!
Well, no doubt the album did only get good, but not great acclaim. The only place it reached the lofty top of the charts is Switzerland. Yet it did not get much of anywhere in the rest of the world. Apart from the Top 100 European Charts at rank 99.
Fortunately, things look a little more lively and in style later with a quite good Rock’n’Roll Handshake followed by Ride into the Sun. A mid-tempo track, but very rocky and good to listen to. One of my favorites. It displays some sort of a Southern Metal flavor in the beginning, taking you down this dirty road with a few nods to Black Sabbath and other pioneers of the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal scene.
The rest are pretty mainstream AC/DC sound-alikes, whereas Dirty Street kind of stands out as one of the rockier ones. The album also finally gains some more steam with Firestar at the very end of the album.
In the end, Hoodoo is a really solid album. Yet, it does lack in variation and – I daresay – speed and oomph that other, former albums like Headhunter so prominently displayed.
Nevertheless, the record is quite neatly produced and good to listen to, if you are not too demanding on sophistication. Or if you are in the mood for some easy, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal to go. Just the thing for a romantic evening, right?
Some friggin’ Hoodoo alright.