Album Review: Volbeat – Servant Of The Mind

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Album Review: Volbeat - Servant Of The Mind
Reviewed by Tim Finch

Volbeat have long since cemented their position atop of the pack of heavier rock bands, playing high up the billing at the likes of Download Festival and selling out tours across the UK and Europe. So come the end of 2021 we are treated to the bands eight studio album, and the question to be asked is how do they build on their legacy?

As the opening notes of ‘Temple of Ekur’ ring out, we discover what Michael Poulsen and his band of merry men have in store for us next. The song opens the new album ‘Servant of the Mind’ in striking fashion. It has guts, it has rhythm and its catchy as hell! Whilst Poulsen remains the main song writer you can hear hints of Caggiano’s influence on this opening track, aspects of his past career gently layered atop that distinctive Volbeat sound.

‘Wait A Minute My Girl’ completely turns the album on its head, it ups the pace and brings an almost pop punk feel to proceedings. Not resting on their laurels, they mix things up again as we hit track three ‘The Scared Stones’. The opening riff pays tribute to Slayers ‘South of Heaven’, whether intentional or not, there’s that single guitar intro, haunting ringing of cymbals and a dark and gritty feel. The track is much slower than its predecessor and it’s heavy, so heavy as it draws the listener in.

Album Review: Volbeat – Servant Of The Mind

Throughout the album Volbeat prove their song writing prowess, not afraid to mix up styles with the juxtaposition dark, heavy numbers alongside lighter, more upbeat ditties. ‘The Devil Rages On’ highlights their willingness to experiment with sounds. A very distinctive guitar tone, which stands alone from the rest of the album, drives this song forward along with Poulsen’s familiar vocal tones. It draws elements of country, Elvis and traditional heavy metal, throwing them into the pot and conjuring up this magical number.

You often hear albums being referred to as a bands “Black Album”. In ‘Servant of The Mind’ Volbeat certainly have an album that could be classified as such. A record the challenges the listener, mixes things up but most importantly ticks every box to give an album the potential of mass popular appeal.

I started out this review by asking how do Volbeat build upon their legacy. On December 3rd that question is answered. Right at the last minute, Volbeat release an album of the year contender that is sure to make waves of many peoples of year lists along with winning the bands more fans than every before!

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