It’s a well documented fact that rock music has roots in the blues; you can’t really step into rock without running into the staples of the genre. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Guns N’ Roses, Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and more all lapped up the sounds of B.B. King and Muddy Waters like milk in their early careers. Blues rock is still prevalent today, with bands like The Black Keys and The White Stripes taking massive influences from early blues acts. But where’s blues metal in all of this? We always think of blues rock, but not much more. Guns N’ Roses arguably footed the line between hard rock and metal, and some bands today – Elder comes to mind, as do many bands from the recent trend of throwback and “occult” metal (Graveyard, Witchcraft) – have some minor hints of blues. However, we never really think of/see metal bands adding a significant chunk of Muddy Waters to their music.
I believe that Electric Hoodoo, and their self-titled album, are an important stepping stone on the path to that blues metal sound. While they aren’t entirely metal, they are about as heavy as you’re going to get at the moment with a band so inspired by the blues.
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What makes Electric Hoodoo so interesting is how seamlessly they bring in blues to their music without completely alienating the traditional hard rock formula. There’re no obvious twelve bar blues formulas going on in this album (despite the cover of the traditional spiritual song “Wade In the Water” on it) yet the band sounds like they’re channeling the spirit of Muddy Waters (specifically, his Electric Mud era) with their fuzzy guitars and use of harmonica.
Will there be real blues metal? Definitely. There probably are bands that are doing it right now, and we just haven’t heard it. Nonetheless, though, Electric Hoodoo make some kickass music that’s worth listening to.