A request for this band came in over my main contact form. In thee kind of cases (because I feel the need to tell you my logic in these cases), I find the band on Spotify and listen to the first album I can find of theirs. In this case, we get a live album.
First off, Volbeat themselves. This is a Danish metal band, and the 'start-over' new project for leader Michael Poulsen after his band Dominus. He wanted a more traditional rock sound this time around. This was the result, and in this case there'll be a live spin on their 2010 release.
The crowd is already alive and ready as an epic "Intro" starts up full of strings. It launches almost immediately into "The Mirror And The Ripper," and I have to give credit where it's due - there is for sure an old school rock 'n roll, Elvis feel to the opening verse. It's damn impressive in this arena of music talent, and unexpected to say the least. I can't understand about half of it, especially when the chorus picks up, but the general sound is promising of something that may actually wind up enjoyable. Here's the opening song from the DVD:
Coming up next is "16 Dollars." Again, very old-school rock sound going on, yet with an interesting metal sound underlying it all. Oh shit, they're singing in English! That's fun. God, I could imagine the energy at this show just being incredible. Everyone's got this awesome rock beat to start dancing to, but with the excuse to go absolutely insane because it's a metal show.
"Heaven Nor Hell" launches up next, with a very steady lead in beat and a crowd already singing along. There's this odd element of Offspring I can't help but feel as it turns on, and then shifts into a more Blink 182 sound. Sorry, I know that makes next to know sense. The use of rock styles though is really odd and even odder - works. Maybe it's the instant movement I get into as it goes on, but this music is just fantastic. Every moment is sweet and unexpected from a genre band that clearly doesn't try to stay in the mould.
Then they launch into something that's clearly a crowd favorite, judging by the sound of the screams: "Who They Are." This one takes a much darker tone right from the start. The singing is actually even more fast paced, and the guitar is not showing any single moment of letting up. While it's not going to be up for one of my favorite songs on the album, it is much more fitting for the genre they were initially described in, so I suppose in some weird way it actually is more appropriate album material?
"Evelyn" is finally the stereotypical metal style song we've been looking for on the album. Don't get me wrong - loving the other music, but now I finally believe the bio write up. Low throated screaming for the verses, great intense singing for the choruses. It all makes sense now, sort of.
Next one starts like a folk song to some extent, with the same throaty singing as before - think Johnny Cash combined with KoRn. "Sad Man's Tongue" is sort of what you get. Seriously the melody sounds like an old Cash song, I can't get over humming the real thing in my head. If there was any sort of influence from the cowboy himself, I wouldn't be surprised, and remain truly impressed with just how deep these rock roots and influences go.
"7 Shots" is, again, dark. There's a weird sort of hope in the guitar, but all hell breaks loose just before the one minute mark, with the drums taking off on this awesome rampage and the guitar struggling to do its own thing. The sound works. The drums maintain that though underneath of a shredding electric guitar, and then the voice takes over. Okay, I'm giving you a play-by-play on a song, and that's sort of weird, but that's about all I've got for the movements in this one.
I'm now attempting to listen to the remainder of this album while at work. Let's see how this goes and how many weird looks I wind up getting. First up in the work portion of this listening session is "Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza." Eh, my boss just walked back in. Stand by. Okay, my PA's back. Boss is gone. I feel better about this crazy deep "singing" going on while I work. I have no idea what's going on here lyrically, but I'm not sure if it's due to the style or the words being in another language. Is this what people sound like when they swim in a pool of booze? Maybe that's the root of the title?
"A Warrior's Call" is apparently "fuck, fuck, fuck" - or at least, that's the only line in this whole thing I fully understand. I think the first portion of this album was, while outside of the genre sound, much more along the lines of rock 'n roll the way the singer intended. The rest is more metal. Oh shit, wait, maybe that line was "fight, fight fight." That would make more sense now, wouldn't it?
Did an entirely different singer take lead for this half of the album? "The Garden's Tale" keeps up this same deep throated singing sound, but that's not what was going on earlier. I don't hate it, as the melody on this one is a little clearly and more pleasant than it has been the past few, it's just disorienting when you have it in your head that they'll be screaming otherwise. Whatevs, right? Just taking what we can get here. Also, another song seems to be starting up around the five minute mark, or at least some little interlude, or maybe a continuation. It's got the same slight marching beat as the song did at the start… and there's the utter chaos breakdown - sweet.
"Fallen" moves on further, clearly giving the same good dance rhythm, but heavier on the voice. Like I said, second half of the album is just a little rougher than that first half. More typical, less interesting from the genre standpoint, but not bad at all.
"The Human Instrument" basically seems to get the crowd singing along, er, yelling I suppose. The beat on this one is awesome. It's steady and the head banging has got to be at its best here. Granted, the other language mixed in makes it sound like lots of gibberish, silly little words, but whatever - this crowd seems to get what's going on, and that's what important for the time being. Us here in English-ville can just imagine it and trying to enjoy it for music and insanity's sake.
In an… um… interesting titling, we get "Angelfuck." (Sorry mom, just typing the name of the song.) This one is led in by a bunch of talking to the audience - I think there's something about it being a cover, but I might be wrong. The just of it is a metal song gone haywire. Biggest thing I noticed was that this one was recorded at a different venue - at the House of Blues in Anaheim.
You can sort of hear the differences in venues, this one sounding much smaller, for "Still Counting." Seems like he's calling himself an asshole and counting the rest of them in the room, noticing he's certainly not alone. Sort of a good ol' rock song with some instrumental craziness in-between verses. I sort of like it, I think, even though I may not be listening closely enough to get the whole thing. Eh, give me a break - we just wrapped and I may not be focused entirely.
Added to My Playlist:
- "Maybellene I Hofteholder"
- "16 Dollars"
- "Heaven Nor Hell"
- "I Only Wanna Be With You"
Can we take a second to realize the volume of songs I added to my playlist from this album for a moment? I mean, it's not Yellowcard or Van Morrison album listing, but for this genre and situation, it's a rarity for me to be this interested in this many songs. Says something, in my opinion. And hell, this is my blog, so my opinion matters.