"Marie's Sister's Garden"

(Exile On Mainstream 2007)Voodooshock - Marie\'s Sister\'s Garden

Boy, do I love Black Sabbath. As far as I'm concerned, there are two types of bands: Sabbath, and everybody else. Guess who else loves Black Sabbath? Uwe Groebel! Who is that, you ask? Why, Mr. Groebel is the singer/guitarist of Voodooshock, whose second album (in eight years, mind you) sounds like eleven consecutive covers of Sabbath B- and C-sides. Ostensibly a doom album, the curiously titled "Marie's Sister's Garden" is packed with all kinds of riffery and Groebel's Ozzy-esque wail, with varying degrees of success.

The album comes out of the gate strong with the catchy groove of "Please Let All the Truth in Your Heart" and the title track, which sounds as if could be an outtake from "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath." Things start to slide downhill, though, as the album becomes mired in dirges that are either too upbeat and bright for a doom album or songs that are too painfully slow and gloomy. The album is kept from falling completely into the void with up tempo rockers "Truth" and "I Need a Rest." The latter boasts a short, sweet, and biting solo that makes the absence of other such solos fairly conspicuous.

"Marie's Sister's Garden" is generally well-made but too scattershot to offer a cohesive listening experience. The down tempo songs are marred by unremarkable riffs and warbly vocals, while the faster stuff seems out of place amongst the sludge. The album is buoyed, though, by the more quickly paced songs hiding amongst the slow rides, where we find enough catchy riffs and cool vocals to warrant at least one visit to this garden of doom.


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