Some bands will forever be criminally underrated. InMe have put out top quality time after time but never seemed to hit the big time, Hang The Bastard are calling it a day before they had chance to and Volbeat. The Danish metallers are bloody huge all over Europe, headlining festivals right across the continent, but it just hasn’t fallen into place for them in the UK. It’s not like they’re struggling, but wouldn't Download 2017 look so much better with Volbeat atop it instead of the seemingly inevitable Bring Me The Horizon mime-along? Anyway, I digress, Volbeat have a new album and I'm here to tell you what the craic is.
Since Outlaw Gentleman & Shady Ladies was released in 2013 bands with histories stretching far beyond that of Volbeat's have released new material to the disappointment of their adoring fans. Surely Volbeat couldn't be about to do the same, could they? Well, early April 2016 saw the release of a new single in the form of The Devil's Bleeding Crown and immediately it put those worries to bed. Seal The Deal & Let's Boogie was on the horizon and the opening track was a beast filled with traditional Volbeat riffs and Michael Poulson’s bellowing vocals.
Marie Laveau and For Evigt complete the opening trio of tracks and create a strong and familiar opening 12 minutes. If they’re aiming to win over new fans, this will do it if they’ve never heard Volbeat before, but those who have heard and dismissed them will probably not be won over here, that comes later in the album. The Gates Of Babylon follows and feels like it’s stretching Poulson’s vocals more than usual. Let It Burn feels like it takes a trip back to the 80s with a solo that reeks of shredders gone by and a borderline power metal feel to it’s centre, before it returns to the true Volbeat roots. Black Rose takes influence from hair metal and gets just so goddam catchy during the chorus you won’t be able to untap your feet and singalong (if you can work out what Poulson’s actually singing). Rounding off a trilogy of almost foreign territory for the Danes is Rebound, a track that feels like it could quite easily be a Green Day cover.
The addition of a bit of acoustic guitar in Goodbye Tomorrow is a welcome touch and with a choral contribution towards the end it contributes to delivering one of the highlights of the album and a track that could easily be knocked out as an acoustic track live (speaking of which…an acoustic Volbeat album would be pretty awesome!). The true highlight of Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie is the…almost…title track Seal The Deal. It’s accompanying video should see it paraded as the lead single in the way it deserves. Everything about the track screams ‘greatest band of our generation’, from the catchy as hell riff to yet another chorus you really just have to sing along to. A couple of killer solos and you can just feel the euphoria that will be created when it’s bashed out live. Seal The Deal is set to become your new favourite song.
Starting the descent towards the end of Volbeat’s 6th studio album is a cover of The Georgia Satellite’s Battleship Chains. It’s a song that made it on to pretty much every rock compilation ever created and as expected Volbeat improve on it in every way. It’s not as good as Only Wanna Be With You, but it’s a good effort and deserves it’s place here and perhaps as part of a cover medley mid set? Closing out the album are You Will Know, The Loa’s Crossroad and the English language version of For Evigt, The Bliss. You Will Know slows the album down but contains the solo of the album and The Loa’s Crossroad is as strong a closing track as you’ll ever find on an album and obviously there’s bagpipes.
And that’s that. Another Volbeat album is ours and it is certainly up there with the best they’ve ever put out. For the most part it is standard Volbeat, but tracks like For Evigt, Seal The Deal and Goodbye Tomorrow set it up as one of the great albums of the year, in a year with just so much competition. If this album doesn’t push them onwards in the UK then it’s well and truly everyone else’s loss. See you down the front at their next tour, I’ll the guy boogie-ing .