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on April 9, 2013
Danish metal band Volbeat has parted ways with lead guitarist Thomas Bredahl and has also shared that former Anthrax and The Damned Things guitarist Rob Caggiano has officially joined the band. His addition has proved integral to the band's ever evolving sound. Caggiano also served as producer on Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies alongside long-time production partner Jacob Hansen, who produced and mixed the band's prior four albums.

"Half of the album tracks will take you into the world of outlaw gunslinger stories sometime in the 1800s. Some of the characters are true legends, while others are fiction. The listener will hear inspiration from classic spaghetti western movies which gives you a clue to the album title and cover artwork."

"You can hear the influence of the Old West right from the start in "Let's Shake Some Dust," an evocative intro track that features harmonica from acclaimed blues harp player Paul Lamb."

This is definitely the most ambitious set of tracks they've committed to tape, the songwriting is tightly focused, there are lots of hooks, most of them heavy -- thanks, no doubt, to Caggiano's presence. The band shifts from rockabilly to thrash, from death metal to heavy metal to country, and often within the fabric of the same song. Hard rock and vintage heavy metal dominate on cuts like "Pearl Heart," the rifferiffic "The Nameless One," and the ultra-aggressive attack in "The Hangman's Body Count."

"The slow, doomy chug of "Room 24" melds early Black Sabbath, Hetfieldishness, to death metal with King Diamond guesting on vocals." Great pick guys!

"Another surprise is in the cover of Young the Giant's "My Body." Thanks to Poulsen's awesome singing and the blasting guitars, it could pass as a Volbeat anthem."

Former "Creepshow" and now in a Canadian band called "Walk Off The Earth" vocalist Sarah Blackwood sings with Poulsen on "Lonesome Rider," where slap bass rockabilly and hooky '80s metal co-mingle."

"Our Loved Ones" is a really slow heavy song, with a great acoustic harmonica ridden intro with an ultra-vulnerable undertone.

"Doc Holliday" is definitely very heavy, inspired by the famous gunslinger. Volbeat refer to this one as "Our Slayer Song". Metallica infused from head to toe with a very uncharacteristic heavy chorus.

This is the best band to come along in some time, with a new vibe, ultra-heavy, vintage and modern rolled into one. A muscular approach, a cool combination of when blisters meet polish.

This album isn't just the best example of what Volbeat are capable of producing it is heavy metal at its best as well. It's like a "horror outlaw movie" unique, unpredictable and so good it's scary.

Poulsen also offers additional detail on the recordings sharing:

"We are very excited about this album. We feel that we've achieved the goals we set out. The heavy stuff on the album is perhaps more old school heavy riffs than earlier, and the rock songs rock out with tons of melodies and take us into unchartered territory. All that without losing the Volbeat sound that is the cornerstone of our band."

It's everything that Volbeat are all about, but taken even further. It finds the core trio of Michael Poulsen (vocals/guitar), Anders Kjølholm (bass) and Jon Larsen (drums) united with new guitarist Rob Caggiano, a revitalized band, a force to be reckoned with.

5 stars easily, onwards and upwards to superstardom. The New Dream Team Has Arrived....
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on May 26, 2013
One could easily make the argument that in 2013, modern rock radio is reaching the saturation point that we experienced in 1990 or so with Motley Jovi and the rest of their hair band brothers in spandex. Their level of over-exposure on the airwaves and MTV paved the way for the Alt-rock and Grunge revolution of 1991. Bands like Trixter, Tyketto and Lynch Mob came at the tail end of that scene and despite being composed of talented players who wrote solid music, they were lost in the tidal wave that washed away the old guard and transformed local punk rock kids into flannel flying rock icons. So while the industry continues to crank out a seemingly endless chain of KidNickelDusts, clearly what we need to do is to start importing hard rock bands from Denmark who sound like the sonic love child of Metallica and Godsmack, right?

Yes, yes we do.

Volbeat return in 2013 with 'Outlaw Gentleman and Shady Ladies,' the follow-up to their 2010 release 'Beyond Hell/Above Heaven.' Stop for a second and simply take in the fact that less than three years have passed since Volbeat gave us their breakthrough record. That's somewhat remarkable, especially given the fact that the last Tool and Metallica LPs were released when we had a different President. That 'Outlaw' is essentially a non-stop anthem that embraces American hard rock's soaring power chorus' and tidy song structure, while deftly incorporating the darker thematic elements and technical guitar solos typically reserved for heavy metal, effectively separates this band from those whom they clearly draw so much inspiration from.

What's done right here is done really right. The majority of the tracks on 'Outlaw' adhere to a Western theme, complete with galloping drum rolls (Dead But Rising, Black Bart), harmonicas (Let's Shake Some Dust), and even a bit of Banjo (Doc Holliday). What could have come off as kind of gimmicky and inauthentic feels rather like a concept album in which we are offered a glimpse of what the old west would have sounded like had Les Paul and Jim Marshall been born 200 years earlier. The non-traditional instruments are wisely incorporated into some of the album's strongest tracks, as opposed to separating them into experimental dittys of their own; a move that certainly would have made the theme feel like an afterthought rather than a starting point.

Though Volbeat is composed of very competent players, now including Antharx alum Rob Caggiano on lead guitar, it's Michael Poulsen's lead vocals that rightfully take center stage on 'Outlaw'. With the power and presence of David Draiman and Sully Erna coupled with the range, inflection and delivery of James Hetfield, Poulsen sings with commanding authority on every track here. The up-lifting chorus' on 'Pearl Hart' and 'Lola Montez;' the later with its almost Jimmy Eat World-esgue infectious, joyful groove, are turned into absolute power anthems through Poulsen's voice. Even the jock jam cover of Young The Giant's 'My Body' is a guilty pleasure thanks to Poulsen and his ability to sell, "My body tells me no/ But I won't quit 'cause I want more". Lead vocals are shared with King Diamond on 'Room 24', a brilliant and dark piece of metal that finds Poulsen standing shoulder to shoulder with the banshee wail of King Diamond as they trade verses before the song descends into vintage Black Sabbath electric evil. 'Lonesome Rider' features vocals from Sarah Blackwood and is a much lighter track in which Blackwood's voice is somewhat monotone and disengaged in the verses. Pity, as the chorus is positively alive with major chords and an impassioned vocal from Poulsen.

So the take away from this album should be two-fold. One, it's never too soon to follow up a great album with another great album. Two, modern rock is a long, long way from burning itself out. 'Outlaw Gentleman and Shady Ladies' is a compelling reason to turn on your terrestrial radio, call up the DJ (who has been ordered under penalty of death to play Halestorm and Nickelback every hour), and request some Danish hard metal... or heavy rock. Whichever.
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on May 24, 2013
Solid CD if you've been listening to them for awhile. It's a bit different from their previous albums in regards to "how" heavy the songs are, but still enjoyable.

The thing that corks me is that they had extra songs on a Best Buy exclusive release for the same album. I took a star off just for that. Seriously, if you limit extra content to ensure people buy it at an inflated price at another vendor, I lose respect for you. This is why people pirate.
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on June 12, 2013
It is so hard to write this review without using profanities. I was totally on another wavelength in my music listening when I realized that Volbeats new album came out (do I age myself when I say album ? ) and now I have to listen to them all day, maybe for the next few weeks. When their first album came out to me it was love at first listen and every album since has been the same. They are one of my favorite bands and I think they have been able to keep the same fantastic sound with every album even though they have been through different lead guitar players over the years. This is both splendid and groovy at the same time, thanks again Volbeat. If you have not listened to these guys its like Sha Na Na and Slayer did the wild thing and this is their funked up birthchild.
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It's been nearly three years since Volbeat released Beyond Hell / Above Heaven (Extra Track Version), and the Danish band has certainly not been idle. The album was a huge success, thanks in equal parts to extremely catchy and unique metal songs and almost nonstop touring, especially in the US. Now the band is back with their highly anticipated follow-up. Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies is their fifth album overall, and it is the first Volbeat album to feature former Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano, who replaces Thomas Bredahl on lead guitar. Caggiano also produced the album alongside Jacob Hansen.

On Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies (and how great is that title, by the way?), Volbeat's core sound - that unique mix of Metallica, Johnny Cash, Social Distortion and Motorhead - is very much intact. As with Beyond Hell/Above Heaven, there's a major focus on melody and enough radio-friendly rock songs to balance the album's heavier tracks. You can tell right off that "Lola Montez" and "Cape of Our Hero" are this album's "Heaven Nor Hell" and "Fallen," and the surprising but wickedly infectious cover of Young the Giant's "My Body" has the potential to be a huge radio hit.

Beyond the obvious singles, Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies is a very strong album full of songs that are very easy to get into. The band knows exactly where the line should be between heaviness and melody on each song, so you'll get a full-on Metallica thrasher like "Doc Holliday" after a more radio-friendly song like "The Sinner Is You," and a song like "The Hangman's Body Count," which sounds like it could have been written by (or for) Johnny Cash, right after the darker "Room 24" and before "My Body." Not once do you lose interest or start to tune out, and with 14 songs on the album that's no mean feat.

Like previous Volbeat releases, Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies is more or less a concept album. You can enjoy the album without getting into the story, and the songs absolutely stand on their own, but a pass or two through the lyrics does enhance the overall experience, and helps bring this Western ghost story to life. Songs about gunfighters, stage coach robbers, saloon dancers and an undead avenger are given the perfect accompaniment by slide guitar, harp, banjo and double bass, and guest vocals by Sarah Blackwood and King Diamond help add to the conceptual feel of the album. That and it's just extremely cool to hear King Diamond singing with a band he undoubtedly inspired.

It's hard to imagine Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies disappointing many Volbeat fans, unless you're looking for a return to the much heavier The Strength/The Sound/The Songs days. This is a natural progression of Volbeat's sound, and it's just a fantastic experience overall. There are those rare albums that you know on the first listen that the songs you're hearing are going to be part of your life's soundtrack for quite some time, and Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies, like the Volbeat albums before it, is definitely one of those albums. Once you put this one in the player, it's going to be a long time before you're willing to take it out.

Edition Notes: There are multiple versions of Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies available, including digital, CD and vinyl. There is a deluxe CD version that has a second disc featuring four bonus tracks that are well worth hearing. It has the new (and quite heavy) studio song "Ecotone," a harp version of "Lola Montez" that's even better than the album version, a live recording of "7 Shots" (featuring Kreator's Mille Petrozza) and the demo version of "Evelyn" that has Michael Poulsen instead of Barney Greenway handling the growled vocals. For the truly hardcore, there is a deluxe hardcover book edition that comes with an exclusive 45rpm vinyl single.
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I'm new to Volbeat.
The first song I've ever heard was the Kind Diamond contribution on the amazing Room 24.
I liked that song so much I decided to buy the disc.
If you're new to Volbeat the group pretty much encompasses rock, metal, thrash, death metal and some country.
A strange combination to be sure but they pull it off with amazing results.
My favorite songs so far are...

Let's Shake Some Dust.
Nameless One
Dead but Rising
Room 24
My Body...incredible vocals.
Lola Montez
Doc Holiday

All in all I can't help but gush about this group.
Amazing vocals, bass, guitars and drums.
I can't believe they've flown under my radar for this long.
One of 2013's best easily.
If you like music period you'll like this.
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on April 10, 2013
This CD has more variety than previous efforts, which was actually quite necessary. Still rocks just as hard as ever, just includes a wider selection of styles across the 14 songs.

After the first four awesome records in their catalogue, repetition was beginning to creep in, particular at the back end of their CDs.

This starts a little slowly for the band, but, rocks harder and harder as it gains momentum after the first two songs.

Great effort, especially considering the personnel differences. You can only tell that there is some new lead guitar work going on that wasn't there previously.

This should be a breakout year for the band, Volbeat 2013!
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on November 19, 2014
My favorite of all the Volbeat albums .. and I REALLY liked a few of them. Hard, heavy, melodic and memorable.

It is hard to have a truely unique sound anymore, but these guys pull it off. As soon as you hear that guitar, or he starts singing then you know it ..

Just saw them live with Hell Yeah and FFDP ... and these guys embarassed those two bands. Not that the other 2 were bad by any stretch .. these guys are just on another level right now.

Next to Black Stone Cherry this is the best thing out there for me .. cant get enough of them.
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on March 13, 2016
My husband's favorite band lately. I think it's interesting music, and this one is good because of the storytellling aspect. If you're a lover of hard rock and good songwriting, this should be for you.
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on January 9, 2015
If you liked their other albums or are new to the band, get this one! While it is the most accessible album, it is still pure Volbeat, no question.
If you are new to the band, here is what to expect: a fusion of 80s metal riffage ala Metallica/Megadeth combined with Rockabilly and Punk Attitude. The are referred to as "Metalbilly" but I think that is a bit too much of a pigeonhole as they sound unique.
Just get this album!
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