New tunes from Volbeat: the successful Danish rockers are back in the record stores from 3rd December 2021. Their new album is named Servant Of The Mind. Here is my review.
Volbeat – About The Artists
Volbeat is a Danish band, which plays a blend of metal and rock’n’roll. They have been founded in 2001, two founding members are still active – Michael Poulsen (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Jon Larsen (drummer). Nowadays, the band is playing with lead guitarist Rob Caggiano and bassist Kaspar Boye Larsen. Since their very first album release, the band had a quite high popularity. Their debut album The Strength/TheSound/The Songs already reached a double platinum record in their home country. Their second album Rock the Rebel / Metal the Devil already peaked the Danish charts (four times platinum). Both albums also received a golden record in Germany. There are even scattered single charts placement by the Scandinavians.
Their third album Guitar Gansters & Cadillac Blood was the first one, which had chart placements in all major European markets, apart from the United Kingdom. Nowadays, the band is successful globally. Their second last album Seal the Deal & Let’s Boogie (2016) was a chart-topper in seven countries, leading to platinum records in Denmark (5 times), Austria, Germany and Norway. The album was the third-most sold one in Denmark and Austria in that year. Overall, Severant Of The Mind is the band’s eighth studio album.
Volbeat – Servant Of The Mind – Track by Track
For my review, I had the thirteen track “normal” version of the album, which lasts 61 minutes. There is also a deluxe versions with five additional songs and a duration of 1:19 hours.
1. Temple Of Ekur
There has been quite some bad critics on the previous Volbeat album – the more the opener of Servant Of The Mind leads the way to have a better (or: even worse) feeling about their 2021 album. And: it feels good. Good rhythm, great guitar work and a nice performance on the vocal side as well. Could be a good time with the Danes this time again.
2. Wait A Minute My Girl
Volbeat has done quite some rock’n’roll and rockabilly songs in their career. Wait A Minute Girl is undoubtedly the welcome song for the fans of this style. Good song with a nice drive – and the 2:20 minute song is short enough that you don’t run too strongly into the thought that the song is a bit of simple.
3. The Sacred Stones
The first three songs comes with a completely different style – The Sacred Stones is a dark track which is pointing into the heavy metal direction. There are songs on the album which feel a clear focus to please the mainstream radio music editors – this one is for rockers. Not a top track, but good enough for some headbanging after some beers.
4. Shotgun Blues
I just talked about mainstream radio songs – Shotgun Blues is one of these songs (what a shocker they used the track as a single), which aim to generate airplay. The downside of trying to be more popular: the song is not as handy as other songs on the album, it feels to lack character. Michael Poulsen almost feels to be bored while singing this one – do you feel emotions in here?
5. The Devil Rages On
If you would put The Devil Rages On into a genre description, it would likely be something like “dark rockabilly”. The vocals sound a bit like Elvis Presley after a tough night. The chorus is adding some character to the song, which is driven by powerful guitar riffs.
6. Say No More
Say No More is quick and again driven by quick riffs. Likely even one of the above average songs of the album – but it definitively cannot connect to the big songs of the Nordics. Sound a bit like a Metallica tribute band – which just does not make it close enough to their metal idols.
7. Heaven’s Descent
My thoughts about Heaven’s Descent might not be too different from Say No More – at least there is the chorus, which is adding a bit of character. Apart from that, the song is too flat again and feels too artificial.The bridge references the rockabilly sound of the band again – which cannot persuade me as well.
8. Dagen För (feat. Stine Bramsen)
Do you still know the pop band Alphabeat? Stine Bramsen (or, in full: Stine Winther Bramsen Simonsen) has been (and is again) the lead singer of that group. Interesting choice to have her as a guest voice in Dagen För. The single release is actually not in Danish. Her voice becomes more present in the song when most of the you have likely already pressed the skip button on the music player – the track is just too monotonous. Godnat!
9. The Passenger
The verses in The Passengers feel to have even more power than the melodic chorus. Did they mix two songs together here to save space for another song on the album? Too many songs now leave me with question marks in my head. Bad luck, the instrumental work is not bad at all.
10. Step Into Light
Step Into Light has that rockabilly-heavy-rock touch of previous Volbeat songs. However, it still comes with that “Don’t hurt too many listeners” touch. A good song idea, which is finally turned into a too streamlined sound.
The eleventh song is another single release of the album. If you don’t do it good, do it loud – at least that’s how the power-sound of the song feels here and there. Surprisingly, that somehow works out a bit – and places Becoming in the upper half of Servant Of The Mind songs on my list.
The almost five minute Mindlock is another rather pleasing track. I feel that the basis of the song, especially the chorus is really good. Even with some wasted potential, it is a good listen.
13. Lasse’s Birgitta
After the experience of the listening to some of the songs before, I was a bit of afraid of listening to an almost eight minute track at the finale. However, the band is really doing good in here – even Poulsen’s vocal performance feels to be much more motivated than in other songs before. Nice breaks between cool instrumental parts and good storytelling. Good to finish the album with a smile.
Volbeat – Servant Of The Mind – Spotify
Here is the deluxe version of Servant Of The Mind on Spotify:
Volbeat – Servant Of The Mind – My View
Volbeat’s talent and potential has not faded – songs like the closing Lasse’s Birgitta proof that (despite the strange song title). The album opens well, closes well – but comes with too many average and even below average passages in between, unfortunately. If the Danes can keep up the good work of some of the songs they recorded in here and add some more good stuff, their next album can receive a much better rating again.
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