Volbeat: Some kind of Elvis metal

Volbeat are something of unique band within the world of Heavy Metal music, well they are in my opinion.

Formed in 2001 in Copenhagen, lead singer Michael Poulsen had been the vocalist in the Death Metal band Dominus but after 4 albums he decided he wanted to break away from the scene and so he pulled together the first incarnation of Volbeat.

After being signed to Rebel Monster Records after an early demo sold well, they went on to release their first album The Strength/The Sounds/The Songs in 2005. The album was especially well received in their home country of Denmark and they became well known for their great live shows – something that continues to this day.

While the musicianship of Volbeat is excellent it is Michael Poulsens vocals that really give the band their unique sound. Musically, on the first three albums at least the tracks feature heavy crushing guitars with powerful drums and a really solid mix (acoustics are occasionally heard too).

It’s Michael’s voice though is something else, from the first track on The Strength/The Sounds/The Songs “Caroline Leaving” you’re hooked. It’s somewhere between Elvis Presley and James Hetfield for me, powerful and resonating, but it has that certain pronunciation style that I think  echoes the King; not surprising as Michael doesn’t hide the fact he’s an Elvis fan.

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Some highlights on that first album are Pool of Booze Booze Booza, Alienized, Healing Subconsciously and their cover of I Only Want to be With You, originally made famous by Dusty Springfield. On the Live From Hell/Beyond Heaven album he dedicated the track to his wife Lina.

Official Video for I Only Wanna Be With You – Released by MLG

Written by Mike Hawker and Ivor Raymonde

Their next album Rock The Rebel/Metal The Devil took them to the next level, sticking to a similar formula sonically (no bad thing here), the album features some stone cold classics including the Johnny Cash inspired “Sad Man’s Tongue” and the radio friendly “Radio Girl”. Sad Man’s Tongue is at it happens a favourite track of my Mums, once again showing she has impeccable musical taste.

Their third album Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood was the first album of theirs I listened to. From the atmospheric opening track which really evokes the desolate parts of American Mid West, the album again shows a band who know’s their sound but is still evolving in a good direction. This album has Still Counting, a live staple and a great sing a long track although I must say my favourite is the brilliantly titled Hallelujah Goat 🙂

The band continues to go from strength to strength with their next two albums. Their sound is changing slightly to be a little wider and a little less super tight from a production stand point.  Both albums feature some great guest appearances including – Michael Denner from Merciful Fate/King Diamond on “7 Shots”, Mark “Barney” Greenway of Napalm Death on “Evelyn” and Miland “Millie”Petroza of Kreator also on “7 Shots”.

Their last album Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies  released in 2013 took another step towards that country metal vibe and this one featured King Diamond himself on the track “Room 24”. A brilliant album receiving good reviews from critics the band heavily toured the album and continued to build a name for themselves especially in the US.

With a new album on the way in June this year “Seal the Deal and Let’s Boogie”, I can’t wait to hear where they go next!

Official Video for Sad Man’s Tongue – Released by MLG

Written and Composed by Michael Poulsen

Official Video for Mary Ann’s Place (feat. Pernille Rosendahl of The Storm)- Released by MLG

Written and Composed by Michael Poulsen

Visit the official Volbeat site for more news – http://www.volbeat.dk/en/

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