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Review: Volbeat – Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies (Album)

Danish rockers Volbeat returned with their fifth studio album ‘Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies’ – Read our thoughts here!

Band: Volbeat
Release: Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies
Release Date: Out Now!

Danish rockers Volbeat returned with their fifth studio album ‘Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies‘ in April. New paths have been explored and old ones have been pushed further on this record, but have they done enough to steer clear of predictability? We’re not so sure.

To succeed in the Rock industry, bands now need to showcase something different. Volbeat use the Country/Western elements to flavour their otherwise standard Rock n’ Roll, and that’s clear from the moment the intro ‘Let’s Shake Some Dust‘ kicks in. It’s most apparent on the penultimate track ‘Doc Holliday‘ that is introduced with a banjo before returning to the usual riffage, while the concluding song ‘Our Loved Ones‘ follows the same formula, except replacing a banjo for a harmonica.

Room 24‘, featuring metal icon King Diamond, is another rarity on the album. King Diamond’s input seems to have pushed Volbeat to their heaviest limits, slowing down the tempo and allowing the grungy guitar tone to do all of the work. It’s the kind of style that Volbeat have been threatening to unleash for a while.

It’s a shame these moments are too few and far between, though. The remaining twelve tracks fit the radio-friendly rock mold pretty disappointingly and, unless that’s where your interests lie, it’s quite uninspiring. The addition of ex-Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano hasn’t injected as much venom into the album as it perhaps should have, and Michael Poulsen‘s Hetfield-esque vocals don’t do enough to compensate. There is nothing especially wrong with this, taking the pleasant first single ‘Cape Of Our Hero‘ for example, it’s just that band’s like Nickelback have saturated the territory for long enough as it is.

The rockabilly elements of  Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies make it really, really interesting in places – there’s just not enough of it. Definitely needed more banjo.

6.5/10

Reviewer: Matt Borucki

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