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Volbeat - Beyond Hell / Above Heaven

Beyond Hell /Above Heaven
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 11 September 2010, 3:09 PM

This is the fourth album from this upcoming band from Denmark and having watched them on stage a couple of weeks ago I can simply say things can only go better. VOLBEAT is hard working band that gives 100% in every live performance presenting a -at least- interesting sound that has been more METALLICA sounding or Elvis influenced vocals. These labels are only for the unversed in the secrets of VOLBEAT who have such a personal sound forged in many influences spanning from MISFITS to Johnny Cash.

"Beyond Hell / Above Heaven" is not a concept album and hence is not the continuation of the previous album. As you will learn from the interview METAL TEMPLE did with Jon this album contains some tracks that simply concluded the story told in "Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood". So, no more info here until the interview has been online. So, where are VOLBEAT are heading with this album? Towards success and recognition I would answer without thinking more that 5 seconds. "The Mirror And The Ripper" kicks in with such a catch melody that you will find yourself hitting the 'reply' button again and again even after the first listening. Michael delivers his trademark Johnny Cash meets Danzig under the poster of Elvis vocals while the guitar spit out some excellent riff that will blow your mind away. There is bluesy end in those riffs where I think I heard some slide guitar there making things even more tempting! Whoever is at least familiar to this band then he knows the grooves they can create; "Heaven Nor Hell" is all about this addictive tempo that will make you hum the main melody, tap your foot to the rhythm and even enjoy the newly brought harmonic sounds. Yep, once again VOLBEAT try something different that damn works fine for them.

The previous album faced some scepticism regarding the musical direction that this band might have chosen; how little did the know! VOLBEAT know exactly how to sound heavy as hell and songs like the guitar driven "Who They Are" and "Evelyn" come to prove this with capital letters. The former features some Hetfield sounding vocals and killer rhythm section that gains speed as the song moves forward. But the best comes with the latter song, "Evelyn". In this one we find the ultimate Death Metal voice by no other than Mark "Barney" Greenway from the genre veterans NAPALM DEATH. This is no joke; Poulsen and "Barney" makes an explosive duet that erases all the doubts about VOLBEAT's heaviness in a single brutal stroke. But hold your horses 'cause more surprises are on the way. In "7 Shots" after the banjo sounds comes a guitar lead that cannot go unnoticed for the trained ear. Michael Denner throws a trademark guitar lead that will wake a lot of nice MERCYFUL FATE memories. During the bridge there is the last but not least guest appearance for this album; Mille Petrozza from KREATOR sings with an "Endorama" voice some lines that again surprise the listener for fitting Poulsen's voice that easily.

Apart from the rest of the killer tracks VOLBEAT included the single "A Warrior's Call" that was written for the three world champion Danish boxer Mikkel Kessler and a 'thank you' simply entitled "Thanks". This track is obviously dedicated to all the VOLBEAT fans who have been supporting the band all these years. So, this is the best VOLBEAT album so far and I, a VOLBEAT fan, feel sad that I just watched the band live without the new tracks on the setlist. Heads up, 'cause if this band comes close to your town be sure to get a ticket to enjoy their Rock 'n Roll Metal to the maximum. PS: "A Better Believer" has such killer vocals…

4 Star Rating

  1. The Mirror And The Ripper
  2. Heaven Nor Hell
  3. Who They Are
  4. Fallen
  5. A Better Believer
  6. 7 Shots
  7. A New Day
  8. 16 Dollars
  9. A Warrior's Call
  10. Magic Zone
  11. Evelyn
  12. Being 1
  13. Thanks
Michael Poulsen - Vocals, Guitar
Thomas Bredahl - Guitar
Anders Kjolholm - Bass
Jon Larsen - Drums
Record Label: Vertigo/Universal


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Edited 03 February 2023

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