Volbeat - Servant Of The Mind (Album Review)
I finally got a chance to check out Volbeat's new album "Servant Of The Mind" that came out earlier this month. Wow! It's so good! Makes me even more excited to see them on tour with Ghost this spring.
The album starts off with a hardhitter "Temple of Ekur", which is laden with references to mythology. I thought that was really cool. It probably went over most people's heads, but I'm all about it! It's also just a bad ass song that's catchy as hell! I love how it ends with an echo of the singer's voice.
After that we get one of the singles, "Wait A Minute My Girl", which has gotten a whole ton of radio play, and for good reason! It's so good! It's a fantastic rock song with some jazz type elements, and it's very melodic and just an overall good radio tune. It's also the shortest song on the album. The key change towards the end was a nice touch as well. I feel like they aren't as often used of an element as they used to be.
Then we get one that totally took me by surprise. "The Sacred Stones" has such a dark sound to it. For a second I'd thought my music player had glitched and started playing Ghost. This song is probably my favorite on the album. It sounds like the lovechild of Ghost, Godsmack, and just a sprinkle of Type O. I'm all about it! It's got some wonderful chugga type repetitive riffs, and a beautifully melodic chorus. Also, that guitar solo is superb! This song really shows how much they've evolved as a band. This definitely isn't "Outlaw Gentlemen" era Volbeat anymore. They're able to pull of a wide range of sounds, and this darker tune is something I didn't realize I needed to hear from them, but I'm sure glad I did. It's fantastic!
I have to pause here for a moment and say I had no intention of going track by track on this one, but I feel like I don't have a choice for the most part. Each song is so different, and yet they're still a cohesive album. My jaw is dropping with the intro of each song. Damn this is a good album.
"Shotgun Blues" is an absolute banger! It's so heavy! It's like listening to a better more talented FFDP. Those riffs are just addictive! Paired with Poulsen's smooth velvety vocals, there's nothing more I could ask for in a song.
"The Devil Rages On" is a really fun one with.... is that a slide guitar? It's definitely very blues influenced, but with some cowboys and tumbleweeds and Elvis-like vocals. It's so cool! Very different from the previous track. The whole "master in the valley" section of the song, is incredible! His voice has definitely gotten even better in the past few years. I'm just totally blown away.
Then we get another a few more headbangers with "Say No More" and "Heaven's Descent". But what would any album be without at least one ballad? "Dagen For" is a beautiful and slightly slower paced song with some female vocals. It's a duet between Stine Bramsen from the group Alphabeat and the Volbeat singer along with some almost power metal sounding guitar work. Such a cool tune!
Another one of note is "Step Into Light", which has some really interesting guitar work, and an almost surf type sound to it. If Satan was catching some big waves, he'd do it listening to this song. "Becoming" has almost an oldschool black metal influence on the riffs, which is something I really liked.
The final couple tracks are both rather short. We get "Return To None" which is one of the heaviest pieces on the album, and we get "Domino", which totally surprised me. His vocals in that one are so much more complex than I've ever heard him do. Holy shit! The last track "Don't Tread on Me" is another heavy hitter, which definitely makes sense. Have to end on a strong note.
This whole album is amazing! For sure one of the best releases of the year! I don't have enough good things to say about it! This band just keeps getting better, and I've been a fan for a few years, and I'm still impressed with their sound. I'm going to have to listen to this one several times. It's fantastic! If you haven't checked it out yet, definitely go give it a listen! ~Gangis
Image credit: Album cover for "Servant Of The Mind" by Volbeat