LUCEED - Voodoo Pop

Luceed - Voodoo Pop

13 songs
44:27 minutes
***** ***
(self-released)

Bandpage

Usually I donít write reviews of "old" albums like Voodoo Pop which came out already over a year ago, but considering that there are not that many articles about this album to be found online, I decided to make an exception, as Luceed are in my opinion one of the more important bands from Luxembourg, especially historically speaking.

Band leader Oliver Made has been a part of the Luxembourgish underground music scene for more than twenty years. I even remember seeing him as a member of a proto-dEFDUMp, before he turned to more occult sounds in the mid-Nineties. And yet it all started already in the late Eighties with Pronoian Made, Luxembourgís first gothic metal band, who became popular even outside the borders with their dark music, until the band decided to quit it in 2004. Soon enough, vocalist/guitarist Oliver and bass player Luc founded Luceed, and since then released a full length and two EPs (if the Internet sources are to be trusted). The second longplayer Voodoo Pop came out last year, and I have to admit that while there are still parallels to their previous band, Luceed have evolved into a more mature direction.

The music is still dark and full of mysticism, and there is plenty of anti-Christian imagery that will warm their heart of every gothic rock fan, but it is undeniable that Voodoo Pop is actually pop music, enriched with elements ranging from post punk to gothic rock, and frankly, otherwise things would be somewhat weird.

Whereas Pronoian Made often relied on a drum machine, Luceed are real live musicians, although the synth parts are sampled, but that isnít really a problem in the context of the album. Everything sounds as if it came from the Eighties and/or the Nineties, at times Luceed come across as a more accessible Sisters Of Mercy, and when things turn really pop, I can even see some probably unintentional parallels to German indie pop band Liquido.

There is a lot of pop appeal that might even attract fans of less commercial music, and that might be the reason why Luceed are still mostly shunned by many radio stations, but listening to a track like Skull & Stones leaves no doubt that these are experienced songwriters who can come up with sometimes truly grand melodies. Oliver Madeís voice is full of incantatory gravitas, showing his gothic roots, but over the years he has managed to find his own niche. A nice surprise comes with the concluding Revelation 23, a totally unexpected piece of glam metal that sounds like a diabolical version of W.A.S.P.

While alternative gothic pop rock may not be my field of expertise, even I have to admit that Luceed did a tremendous job on Voodoo Pop. Never staying too long with an idea within a song, they rather dish up over a dozen tracks that hardly ever make it over four minutes. And it is this attitude that emphasises their pop side, while the quartet makes sure to never give up their darker gothic side. Itís great to hear that the veterans still have it after all those years.

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