CD REVIEWS ISSUE 15 Page 2
By Bob Nalbandian
Rock The Rebel/Metal The Devil
Volbeat are Denmark's latest metal sensation. In fact, the word sensation may be an understatement as this latest CD (the band's official second release) has already reached beyond platinum sales in Denmark. Combining a unique blend of Viking metal and rockabilly (it sounds weird but it really is quite remarkable) Volbeat are destined to follow the footsteps of eccentric Euro-metal bands like Rammstein in achieving global success. Vocalist/guitarist Michael Poulsen (formerly of the popular Danish band Dominus) is the key player in Volbeat's innovative sound. The first couple tracks, "The Human Instrument" and "Mr. & Mrs. Ness," hit you like a two-ton hammer. The hypnotic and ultra-bombastic drum beats and rhythm riffs trigger you into air-guitar madness. Poulsen's commanding vocals are overly prominent but somehow accentuate the pummeling musical beats perfectly. Traces of Hetfield (Load era) become increasingly evident throughout this disc but also show strong influence from Glenn Danzig (particularly on the Misfits like ditty "A Moment Forever") as well as Social Distortion and even Helmet with hints of classic NWOBHM thrown in for good measure. While other songs like "The Garden Tale" have a bit of a Celtic-punk feel very similar to Flogging Molly and (the first single) "Sad Man's Tongue" has a southern-fried '60s psychobilly feel reminding me a bit of the Aussie band Spiderbait (who did a killer rendition of Ram Jam's "Black Betty").
Other noteworthy tracks are the pulverizing "River Queen" and the closer "Boa." The production from Jacob Hansen is unsurpassed, suiting Volbeat's pounding rhythmic sound perfectly. It doesn't get much heavier than this production-wise! In fact I even went back to check out Volbeat's amazing debut, The Strength/The Sound/The Songs, which is equally as brilliant and even heavier (sound-wise) than this follow-up. Volbeat are unquestionably a unique and overwhelmingly powerful metal band that has a very bright future ahead of them.
Upon receiving this CD I thought to myself, "good grief...not another hardcore metal band," as the name and logo looks and sounds rather extreme. But much to my surprise Bushwhack play a rather soothing and eclectic brand of instrumental rock. In fact, the opening track "In Solitude" will instantly send you into tranquility. Like Enigma meets Deep Forest, it sounds impressive but isn't at all what I'd expect from a hard rock band with the name Bushwhack! That is until "The Greatest Wall" kicks in. Wow, this is cool! An interesting blend of classic, orchestral hard-rock highlighted by a plush string section that instantly brought back fond memories of incredible UFO epics like "Love to Love" and "Looking Out For #1" but I also couldn't help being reminded of old NFL highlights from the '70s (an incredibly powerful symphonic soundtrack for those not familiar). The CD varies in direction from here on out, from loungy, subtle melodies to funky, fusion-jams and strapping metal riffs. Other classic cuts include "Sea Of Tranquility," "Sever The Sky," "Sirens," and the deeply intriguing "Mariachi Massacre." Definitely one of the more interesting instrumental CDs I've heard. Highly recommend for fans of instru-metal/fusion.
Shockwaves CD REVIEWS ISSUE 15 Page 3