Jacob Zinn :: journalist + photographer

Volbeat’s fourth album beyond and above expectations

The RunnerOnline Edition: August 17, 2011

Beyond Hell/Above Heaven (2010)

Track Listing

  1. The Mirror and the Ripper
  2. Heaven Nor Hell
  3. Who They Are
  4. Fallen
  5. A Better Believer
  6. 7 Shots
  7. A New Day
  8. 16 Dollars
  9. A Warrior’s Call
  10. Magic Zone
  11. Evelyn
  12. Being 1
  13. Thanks

Denmark’s Volbeat have been gaining critical acclaim across Europe, and with the success of their latest record, they’ve proven why.

With each album more platinum than the last, last year’s Beyond Hell/Above Heaven is arguably their most well-received album. It opens with blazing power chords of “The Mirror and the Ripper,” and carries that balls-to-the-wall energy through “Heaven Nor Hell,” the third single off of the disc.

Volbeat bring heavy tones and pounding double-kick to tracks like “Who They Are” and “A Warrior’s Call,” but contrast that with punkish elements in “A Better Believer” and slower, palm-muted alternative in “Fallen.”

Their sound is reminiscent of Aerosmith (blues), Metallica (heavy metal), Johnny Cash (country), Social Distortion (punk) and Deep Purple (hard rock), but the combination of genres is unlike that of any other group.

Lead singer Michael Poulsen belts out rich, baritone vocals while still managing to get through the condensed, nearly indecipherable lyrics of “16 Dollars” and “Being 1.”

Other interesting tracks include “7 Shots” (which starts with a country vibe and descends into ‘80s metal) and “Evelyn” (which features the guttural vocals of Barney from Napalm Death and shows a strong death metal influence).

The album closes with “Thanks,” a tribute to the fans who have supported them and gotten them to where they are, and where they’re going.

Volbeat brings their mix of metal, rock and punk to the Commodore Ballroom—for the second time this year—on August 25 with special guests Anchored. Tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster for $40.50.

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