Copenhagen’s hard rockers Volbeat released their seventh record August 2, 2019.
The band found commercial success around the world with their unique fusion of heavy metal music with rockabilly style.
In Denmark they have sold millions of records hitting gold with every release. Topping charts at home and abroad in Germany, UK, New Zealand, and the US.
This latest collection will surely hit your ears with pleasing sounds if you are familiar with heavy metal music of the eighties or rockabilly music of the fifties and sixties.
Their current line-up consists of vocalist and guitarist Michael Poulsen, guitarist Rob Caggiano, drummer Jon Larsen and bassist Kaspar Boye Larsen.
The 14 songs comprise a life cycle that depending on your age will make you feel happy. The first section recalls or rewinds to carefree days of childhood.
Opening with ‘Last Day Under the Sun’, the opening riff reminded me of Billy Squier’s sound in 1984. The lyrics ask questions about life. Then reassures if your path is not happy it will improve. A new day will come.
This reflects strongly on metal music mainly being about youth. And today we, the metal listeners have grown up. But it’s okay. The music can still uplift in times of being blue.
‘Pelvis On Fire’ is a metal meets Elvis groove with mid-tempo thrash swagger that is a delight.
‘Rewind The Exit’ is a power ballad that defies the usual cliche of past glory. It declares the middle age understanding of self as a new start.
‘Die To Live’ is a fresh burst of psychobilly (punk and rockabilly) fun. Complete with Jerry Lee Lewis style piano and sax! A rollicking kicker that takes you on a fun trip.
Guest vocals by Neil Fallon of Clutch delivers vocals that ride in between Elvis Presley and Joey Ramone with fine tuned dexterity.
‘When We Were Kids’ is remembrance of youth’s promise of eternal life. What makes Volbeat fun to listen to are the mix of genres like thrash with pop.
This track includes a Metallica like progression you will groove with despite the initial shock that it goes there at all. The thrash speed is slowed to mid-tempo riffing that captivates its listener.
Back into psychobilly for ‘Sorry Sack Of Bones’ which like all the previous tracks has harmonies and great riff lines. It’s like The Misfits meet Billy Idol.
The Replay theme follows with ‘Cloud 9’. Total recall of memories of love features a tight arrangement that despite familiar guitar lines will leave you smiling.
‘Cheapside Sloggers’ features Exodus guitarist, Gary Holt. He delivers a Thin Lizzy style riff. This collides with a section that recalls Black Sabbath at their best. It slides gracefully back into power harmonies that deliver a feel good punch.
‘Maybe I Believe’ uses nineties sounding guitars with power pop vocals to create a track that sticks with you.
We rebound back to our present state with a 37 second track called ‘Parasite’. This was the lead off single. Teasing fans with such a short track was attention getting.
‘Leviathan’, a bouncy hard rocker with progressive roots in seventies rock like King Crimson and ELP. Very catchy melodies are a Volbeat staple. The chorus is power metal at its best.
The descriptions of a sea monster’s rise over stormy conditions are seemingly recycled lyrics from a past era. Yet it works really well here.
‘The Awakening Of Bonnie Parker’ is heavy with a spoken word section that recalls when rock rolled. This leads into the album’s final two songs, ‘The Everlasting’ and ‘7:24’.
Chugging along we get groove, thrash, and even death metal style deliveries combined with melody.
The record takes a few listens to absorb all the divergent sounds. If you take the time to listen close you will be rewarded.
Making the past sound present is Volbeat’s untangible quality. Fine tuned musicanship is on display here. You can Rewind, Replay, and Rebound if you so choose. No sign of middle age metal crisis in this effort.
Volbeat are 0n tour in America opening for Slipknot.
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