8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This is real heavy rock and roll,
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This review is from: Guitar Gangsters and Cadillac Blood (Audio CD)
By "real", I mean authentic, not "real heavy", although it certainly is. Volbeat have pulled off a musical challenge that maybe only the Michale Graves-era Misfits came close to accomplishing, and that is the ultra heavy metal aggressiveness of today's hardest outfits, including support from Metallica crossed with the songwriting skills of the rock and roll greats of the fifties and sixties.
The weapon that makes this such a volatile mix is singer Michael Poulsen, who possesses one of the great voices out there today. His voice is vintage rock and roll, and gives the songs huge hooks, something most heavy outfits seem to be incapable of. It's guitars forged in the fires of Slayer and Motorhead with thrash precision zapped back in time to sock hops, cruisers, drive-ins, and the hard life of street characters. If Elvis or Gene Vincent had had these kind of guitars in their day, there's no telling how violent the reaction from the rock and roll haters of the day would have been!
But Volbeat aren't a retro act, nor are they a novelty. "Guitar Gangsters and Cadillac Blood", like their predecessors, is a gem with fantastic songwriting and a cover of Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" that has to be heard to be believed.
Plus, there's a bit more lead guitar this time around, although still a bit sparse. That's okay, but I'd personally dig some hellacious lead work that recalled real rock and roll ala Brian Setzer. The Volbeats stand in musical no man's land, bridging the gap between metal and rock and roll, where it all began in the first place. Metal outfits would do well to study these guys and see how real vocals can add so much dimension, and how real songs, not just exercises in concussions, are written.