Last year, I came across a a really unqiue band while watching the Revolver Golden God awards. At 1st I was like “Huh? This is different”. By the end of their set, I was blown away at how original their sound was. It’s like talking a dash of Elvis, a table spoon of Johnny Cash, a sprinkle of the Misfits/Danzig, 1 cup of Metalica, and blending it all togather. Recently, they’ve been getting major radio play in my area. Volbeat is the name of the band. They are an outlaw country, and rockabiliy influenced heavy metal/hard rock band from Copenhagen. They’re from Denmark, yet they have a very a American sound. It kind of reminds me of Thin Lizzy. Thin Lizzy were from Ireland, but had an American rock sound, as well.
So, I picked up Their latest album “Beyond Hell Above Heaven”, and it was one of the most diverse sounding metal/rock albums I’ve heard in a long time. It features guest appearnces from two of my favorite guys in extreme metal, which are Barney Greenway of Napalm Death, and Mille Petrozza of Kreator.
Here’s a track by track review of that album:
“The Mirror And The Ripper”: The album opens up a song that brings a pefect blend of southern rock, and metal. The lyrics have some soutern rock cliches. You know, drinking booze, driving cars, etc. But, it also ties in some heavy metal influences, with a guy battling death(the reaper), demons, and all that good stuff. It’s a great mood setter for the ablum.
“Heaven Nor Hell” is more of a hard rock song, rather than a metal one. They guitar riffs are very simple, but effective. It’s got some folk rock style storytelling in the lyrics. Ireally like the song. It also features some harmonica solos.
“Who They Are”: They metal has returned! This song is basically metal, metal, metal, and more metal. They’re isn’t much southern rock influence to it, until the chorus hits. The riffs are thrashy, the vocals are a bit darker then the other 2 songs before it. The lyrics are also pretty dark. It’s about a ritual. It displays the diversity I talked about earlier.
“Fallen”: This one is one of the singles on the album, and it’s gotten some good amount of air play on one of the local rock stations. It’s another rock oreinted song. The lyrics move away from the story telling style from the past 3 songs, to a more emotional style.
“A Better Believer”: I like listening to this song when I’m driving. The music just gives off that vibe. It’s also good to listen to when you’re just sitting back, and relaxing.
“7 Shots”: One of my favorites on the album. The song starts with a banjo. That’s right, a banjo! But, that’s just one of the reason’s this song is awesome. It features guitar solos from Ex-Mercyful Fate/King Diamond guitarist Michael Denner, and guest vocals from Mille Petrozza of Kreator(which happens to be one of my favorite bands!). Another song that mixes thrashy metal with southern rock, and outlaw country elements.
“A New Day”: Probably one of the best hard rock oriented songs in the album, IMO. It’s slower in pace, and a bit on the soft side. But like “A Btter Believer”, it’s a good song to relax to. Especially, after the heaviness of “7 Shots”. The song is also a a good song to listen to when you’re driving, as well.
“16 Dollars”: Wait a minute….There seems to be a pattern here. Metal song, rock song, metal song, rock song, rock song, metal song, rock song, metal song, rock song, rock song… This song it a lot different from the other rock songs, in that it’s almost straight rockabliliy. This is where the Elvis inluence comes in. Rockabiliy isn’t normaly my thing, but I really dig this song. I find myself bobbing my head through out the whole song, every time I listen to it.
“A Warrior’s Call” gets A LOT of radio play in my area, but I’m not complaining. It’s a great song. It actually was written for, Danish boxer, Mikkel Kessler. It starts out with a slow intro, and it kicks in with “LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!” DUN DADUNDUNDADUN. It’s a mixture of their hard rock sound, and their metal sound. It’s the type of song that gets your blood pumping.
“Magic Zone” is a very upbeat love song. The lyrics talk about how life is never so bad it’s worth dying for, but he would die to save his woman. Awww how romantic….. XD. Like the rockabiliy style, super upbeat songs aren’t usually the type I listen to, but I do like this song for the most part.
“Evelyn”: The 1st time I heard this song when I got the album, I was like “WHAT THE FUCK!?…..this is AWESOME!” It’s a complete swerve from the normal Volbeat style. The 1st thing you will notice is extremely heavy guitar riff, and the loud ROAR!!! of Napalm Death growler Barney Greenway. This was another markout moment for me, since I love Napalm Death. I never thought thrashy extreme metal would get paired with southern rock, and sound good.
“Being 1”: Here’s another upbeat love song. But, unlike the other love songs they have done, this one seems like a filler. But, it’s not bad.
“Thanks” is a song that pays tribute to their fans, and all their support. Also, about being in a rock band. Obviously, it’s upbeat, and full of joy. I think I’ve already said this, but songs that are full of joy are usually the last songs I would listen to. But, this song just makes you wants to throw your fist in the air, and sing along.. It’s a perfect song to close the album.
Overall: 4.5 hollow bodied guitars out of 5.
“The Mirror And The Ripper”:
“Who They Are”