I used to consider Denmark’s Volbeat the best kept secret in rock, but now that they’ve been mentioned in Rolling Stone and were tapped to open Metallica’s latest tour, I guess the secret is out. That’s a great thing, because Volbeat is a band that deserves to be heard by just about anyone that is in to hard rock and metal.
How to describe Volbeat’s sound? They’ve used the term “Elvis Metal”, and I guess that fits. If Mike Ness (of Social Distortion), Glenn Danzig and Lemmy started a band, it would probably sound something like Volbeat’s blend of rockabilly, metal and punk-infused hard rock. Seriously, listening to Volbeat’s latest CD Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood is like spinning Danzig II: Lucifuge and Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell simultaneously while Ace of Spades is playing in the next room. Huge guitar riffing, ridiculously catchy, rockabilly-inspired melodies and Michael Poulsen’s powerful, distinctive Elvis-inspired vocals make this an incredible listening experience, and one that is all but guaranteed to have you cranking up the volume and wanting to move.
Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood is a flawless hard rock/metal album. The covers of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonely I Could Cry” and Jimmy Work’s “Makin’ Believe” (based on Social Distortion’s version) are obvious highlights, but every single song on this album is an unforgettable, 5-star recording. This is easily one of the top releases of 2009, and it’s the kind of album that makes you wonder if the cliché about a band “saving rock & roll” might be true after all.
I usually close my reviews with a recommendation, and in this case that’s easy to do. If you like hard rock, metal, or any point in between, buy this album right away.
PS – I was able to catch Volbeat live earlier this year (when they were supporting/outperforming Nightwish) and can confirm that they are just as insanely awesome live as they are on disc. If you have the opportunity to catch one of their shows, do not pass it by.