Volbeat is back and aiming to reach a wider fan base with the new album, “Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies,” released on April 9.
The Danish band is best known for its resistance to conformity, melding sounds ranging from classical rock to death metal. One might feel as though they are in the stands of a Guns & Roses concert while listening to some tracks, and at other times propelled further back in time being charmed by Elvis Presley. While “Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies” embodies the band’s unique style, it seems a bit toned down and geared towards reaching a wider fan base.
The single, “Cape of Our Hero,” is the most polished and somewhat mainstream song Volbeat has produced to date. It is also one of the best songs on the album with regards to content. The single is inspirational with chorus, “You tell me how I can fly away/And believe that all the angels are coming/You bring me down/then I will fly again /And believe that all the angels are coming.” The song’s bridge and hook seem to be a battle through darkness and pain each time returning to the chorus which speaks of an unremitting hope through adversity. “Lonesome Rider,” one of the best songs on the album, is a fun light-hearted track. Volbeat’s singer Michael Poulsen strikingly sounds like Presley on this track, while featured artist Sarah Blackwood’s voice begins to resemble that of pop-singer Ke$ha.
While some may view the band as a more polished and developed through this album, some die-hard fans may be disappointed and see this as the band conforming to mainstream music. Regardless of all opinions, Volbeat clearly developed as a band on this album while ultimately remaining true to its sound.
The Setonian gives this 3 out of 5 stars.
Shaniel Champagnie can be reached at shaniel.champagnie@ student.shu.edu.