Friday, June 8, 2018
By Eric Mackinnon
At times metal bands can become enslaved to a type and style of music which is more cookie cutter than innovative. With songs that are as stale as a soggy week-old Wotsit you find down the back of the couch.
It is at times like these when Volbeat smack you dead in the teeth with a welcome wall of distinctive, melodic and thoroughly unique metal-billy.
Volbeat are the band Elvis Pressley would have fronted had he hooked up with metal guitarists on a three-day bender with a pair of punk rockers.
Frontman Michael Poulsen's love of 1950's era music is obvious in Volbeat but the Danish band perfectly and seamlessly infuse the vintage hooks with a punk vibe, hard rocking n' roll with the whole Volbeat house built upon the foundations of soul shuddering metal riffs of Slayer proportions.
Download Festival regulars, and undoubtedly, Download favourites, Volbeat for me are one of a handful of bands which are strapped to the rock n' roll rocket and are heading for headliner status sooner rather than later.
The likes of Avenged Sevenfold and Biffy Clyro have climbed the long and winding road to achieve Download Festival top-dog status as headliners and for me, Volbeat are en-route to join them as part of the new class.
Volbet have it all for me.
Muscular and meaty guitar riffs? Check. Melodic? Check. Hints of punk, rockabilly and metal? Check, check check.
The worlds finest Elvis-metal band will be on Download's Main Stage this June where they will, as always, serve the rock revellers crammed into Donington Park a platter of hard hitting tracks on a bed of ear-splitting, ass-kicking riffs, draped over some nectar sweet choruses.
Volbeat play music to thrill the masses. Internationally they have become a stadium rocking, festival headlining act and similar status is surely to follow here in the UK.
Frontman Michael Poulsen, who is fondly nick named 'Little Elvis' by Metallica main man – and rabid Volbeat fan – James Hetfield, is the kind of frontman who demands you attention, cranking out riffs to rival anyone in the rock world, yet spinning yarns and telling tales with his thoughtful and interesting lyrics and song subjects.
In the past few years Poulsen and co penning musical ditties on subjects from Mary Jane Kelly, who was Jack The Ripper's final victim, Marie Laveau, an American voodoo priestess, Lola Montez, a famous dancer, actress and lecturer.
Volbeat have six notches on their album gun with 2013’s ‘Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies,’ earning them the accolade of being the first Danish act to crack the U.S. Top Ten since dance group Aqua in 1997.
The album also earned a Grammy nod in 'Best Metal performance' for their track 'Room 24' which featured a guest vocal by Danish metal legend King Diamond.
This summer's Download Festival is already shaping up to be the best in years but despite all the big hitters on the bill, all the much-fancied young upstarts and established acts, my money is on Volbeat to steal the show.
Mark my words they will pull in a huge crowd for their set and there will the thousands, and thousands, lining the hallowed grassy knoll at the main stage will embark on the world's biggest ever Elvis-metal singalong.
See you there. Horns at the ready.