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Music / Volbeat

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Volbeat (not to be confused with the Pokémon of the same name) is a popular metal band from Copenhagen, Denmark. Their name is a pormanteau of the words "volume" and "beat", both commonly used musical terms. They were formed in 2001 by former death metal singer Michael Poulsen. Fed up with his genre, he and a few former members of his band Dominus decided to create another musical ensemble. And thus, Volbeat was born. They have a very basic beginning, but Volbeat are not your typical modern metal band.

Since they emerged with their debut album The Strength/The Sound/The Songs in 2005, they have become acclaimed by both metalheads and mainstream music critics for their highly eclectic, inimitable sound, which is not only unusual, but odd even for Genre-Busting. Their music can best be described as Groove Metal with clean vocals only, with influences from Hard Rock, Rockabilly, Hardcore Punk, Rock & Roll, Alternative Rock, Country Music, and even Schlager. Yes, Schlager, as in German-styled pop music. To call them unique would be an understatement. But they still have managed to gain a large fanbase from all sorts of crowds, have had their songs played on contemporary hard rock radio stations, and haven't even managed to attract a Hatedom yet....

Wait, we're getting off track a bit.

Anyways, after winning numerous awards in their home country of Denmark for their first album, they recorded Rock the Rebel/Metal the Devil two years later in 2007, which gained them even more praise. They still hadn't quite reached their success yet. This deal was sealed with their next album Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood. With this album, Volbeat went platinum in their native nation, received an "Album of the Month" award from 5 magazines, won "Best Album of 2008" from Metal Hammer Germany and Italy, and on top of all that, the album's lead single "Still Counting" reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks List, making them one of the only metal acts ever to accomplish this feat. The metal scene began catching on to their infectious sound as well, according to their 2010 album Beyond Hell/Above Heaven, which features guest appearances from Mille Petrozza of Kreator, guitarist Michael Denner of King Diamond, and Mark "Barney" Greenway of Napalm Death. And speaking of King Diamond, Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies even features a song with the man himself.

In other words, Volbeat remains, and probably will for years to come. With 5 albums to their name in only 8 years of releasing music, acclaim by the boatload all across the globe, crossover appeal, incredibly distinct sound, and infectious melodies, they may achieve legendary status someday. Who knows?

Current Members:

  • Michael Poulsen: Lead vocals, rhythm guitar (2001-present)
  • Jon Larsen: Drums (2001-present)
  • Kaspar Boye Larsen: Bass guitar (2016-present)

Former Members:

  • Teddy Vang: Lead guitar (2001-2002)
  • Franz Gottschalk: Lead guitar (2002-2006)
  • Thomas Bredahl: Lead guitar (2006-2011)
  • Hank Shermann: Lead guitar (2011-2013)
  • Anders Kjølholm: Bass guitar, backing vocals (2001-2015)
  • Rob Caggiano: Lead guitar (2013-2023)

Counting all the tropes in the room...

  • And I Must Scream: "Room 24", which Michael Poulsen wrote about a terrible experience with sleep paralysis.
  • Genre-Busting: Dear God but are Volbeat the masters of it, almost to Devin Townsend levels.
  • Genre Mashup: They've been described as everything from "Elvis metal" to "cowboy metal" to "the love child of Metallica, Slayer, and Johnny Cash."
  • Horrible History Metal: Surprisingly often, they'll have a song about a historical figure, usually titled for them (e.g. "Marie Laveau"), most notably on Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies where they do so nearly every other track ("Doc Holliday", "Lola Montez", "Black Bart", and "Pearl Hart").
  • Miniscule Rocking: "Parasite" lasts just 38 seconds.
  • Rated M for Manly: A natural result of any fusion of rockabilly and thrash metal. Special mention goes to one of their signature songs, "A Warrior's Call", which was specifically composed to be the entry theme of famed Danish boxer Mikkel Kessler.
  • Revolving Door Band: They spent many years unable to keep a lead guitarist if their lives depended on it. Finally came to an end with Rob Caggiano, who joined in 2013 and stuck for ten years.
  • Signature Style: What other band combines Groove Metal with Rockabilly influences?
  • Special Guest: Quite a few, with notable ones being Mille Petrozza, Barney Greenway, King Diamond, Danko Jones, Gary Holt, Neil Fallon, and Dave Matrise.