There’s a lot of amazing entertainment coming out of Scandinavia these days with stunning tv drama’s, and a plethora of dark, Nordic, death, thrash heavy metal, as well as a history of pop over the years, thinking Aha, and Abba are from up that way too. Volbeat are a rock/pop and hard rock group out of Denmark. Not content to be labelled a one trick piny, Volbeat mix the heavy rock, with some rockabilly, rock and roll all fused with the flavours of ‘The king’ and odes to ‘the man in black’.
Its a catchy title, as it envisages a broad spectrum of deals and then fun times with the boogie on down to follow. Other albums by this hard rocking foursome was brought together by Michael Poulson a member of Danish heavy metal outfit Dominus. The band begun their journey in 2001 and have put together albums since then that all have catch phrase titles including: The Strength – The Sounds -The Songs (2005), Rock the Rebel – Metal the Devil (2007), in 2008 Guitar Gangsters and Cadillac Blood, Beyond Hell-Above Heaven (2010) which became the basis of a live set for 2011’s Live From beyond Hell & Above Heaven. The highly rated Outlaw Gentleman and Shady Ladies was released followed in 2016 by the album under review.
Opening the album we get to hear Michael Poulsen sing and play and with some nuances he can sound a little like Eddie Vedder, but the strength of the music playing takes it higher and harder with The Devil’s Bleeding Crown. This was the first single released from the album, the second single in April 2016 was For Evigt (Forever).
There is an appeal for this sort of heavy rock of the ilk Black Sabbath, The Cult, and Deep Purple, The Zoo, and Black Country Communion, albeit they have a decidedly blues component to their sound with the maestro Joe Bonamassa out front on lead. Volbeat packs a punch without the verboseness and padding on their albums that ACDC have had since Back In Black.
Battleship Chains is a rocker, a 12 bar boogie, they mix it up with an up tempo Marie Laveau and give us a does of mysticism and pulsing, crashing guitars with ode to the middle east civilisations with The Gates of Babylon. Let it Burn has a slow intro and then some tasty licks, the rockers Black Rose, and Rebound follow and then the girl-boy song Mary Jane Kelly where the band get to do some backing harmonies. Goodbye Forever has acoustic undertones, and then the album title Seal The deal pumps it all back up and heads off in 12 bar boogie space again.
The album has 15 songs plus a bonus live version of the first single. If you like your music loud, fun, hard and heavy but not enough to give you neck pain from banging then Volbeat will be your thing. It is fun feel good pulsing rhythmic rock. Girds the loins and helps you seal the deal and get on with the boogie. Enjoy!