Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies
I’ve heard Volbeat‘s name being thrown around for quite some time now, but never really thought of checking them out until a friend brought them up a couple of months back, telling me to check their performance at Wacken 2012 out. Since it was professionally filmed footage of their entire set, I thought “why the hell not?” and got instantly hooked on their groovy yet heavy music.
So here we are with Volbeat‘s new album, Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies, and I have to say there is not a single moment where I don’t find myself enjoying the stuff that the band has placed on the album. The album Intro quickly gives a quick hint to the band’s country/Southern tendencies, and the acoustic guitars and the harp all give a nice buildup in the album. And as soon as Pearl Hart begins, it is one non-stop groovy journey for the listener, as the familiar and charismatic voice of Michael Poulson (the very thing that attracted me to Volbeat in the first place) comes on the audio.
The stuff that is on Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies see the band further polishing their style, with the big riffs and hooks being extremely radio-friendly, yet maintaining the heaviness and intensity that makes them such a charming act, with songs like Cape of Our Hero. Also, as usual the band has managed to bring in a rather wide range of influences on the album, ranging from the usual country influences, to rock and roll to early Metallica-styled thrash metal, like on the heavy riffs on the intro of Dead but Rising. Along with that there are the also rather subtle displays of technicality, in particular the drumming of Jon who manages to switch styles with complete ease.
There is also a whole host of guest musicians that are present on the album, and perhaps the most prominent one is King Diamond on Room 24, lending his vocals to what is already an excellent album. It is also here where the band displays their ability to write any form of music at all, with the sections with King Diamond‘s vocals being rather suitable for his classic brand of heavy metal, reminding me of my first encounter with Abigail, easily sending chills down my back. Sarah Blackwood’s vocal contributions on Lonesome Rider also adds some nice sex appeal as well, with her vocals being extremely enchanting, and with songs like that on the album, it ensures that one’s ride will never really be lonesome.