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Volbeat: Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood

The return of the Danish band Volbeat with their latest CD offering, Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood (Mascot Records) is another miss by this misguided band with a ghost throated lead vocalist.

Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood is not only a ridiculously named CD title but it is also 14 tracks of over the top Glenn Danzig ghostly delivered vocals with James Hetfield-isms all over the place. The album offers nothing in terms of guitar heroics that one might think they were in store with a title such as this. More so, the music contained within is quite quirky and misguided at best. From the '50's Buddy Holly era trite of "Mabellene I Hofteholder" to the post Punk, Blink 182 flavored "Back To Prom" this so called Metal band is making no sense and travelling into a territory sure to alienate many fans for sure. Throw in those ghastly, ghost of an excuse vocals and this is a recipe for a train wreck.

However there is always something good to report and the songs "Mary Ann's Place" and "Find That Soul" would be the case here. "Mary Ann's Place" shows some serious signs of great songwriting and "Find That Soul", along with "Hallelujah Goat" are the 2 full on Metal tracks on the CD.

Me, I have a hard time getting past the Casper the Friendly ghost vocal delivery and most of this CD, musically, does nothing to make me any more of a fan. Volbeat are all over the place with some Country tinged music, along with the 50's and post Punk garbage that I already mentioned. Volbeat needs to make up their minds into what direction that they want to go in. The last CD was a terrible era Metallica copycat disc and Guitars Gangsters & Cadillac Blood seems to long for being a Blink 182 or Green Day Punk record. All of this coupled with those horrible vocals and with maybe 3 tracks worth listening to more than once out of 14, this is not a recommended CD. A good Metal release this is not.

Track Listing

  1. End Of The Road
  2. Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood
  3. Back To Prom
  4. Mary Ann's Place
  5. Hallelujah Goat
  6. Maybellene I Hofteholder
  7. We
  8. Still Counting
  9. Light A Way
  10. Wild Rover Of Hell
  11. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
  12. Broken Man And The Dawn
  13. Find That Soul
  14. Making Believe

Added: November 30th 2009
Reviewer: Butch Jones
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 4136
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Volbeat: Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood
Posted by Scott Ward, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-11-30 06:29:43
My Score:

Inspired by such diverse music styles as Elvis, Johnny Cash and Metallica, Volbeat has managed to come up with a blending of them all that will appeal to those that can remember these stars in their heyday as well as those that only know of them from history. As someone who grew up with the earlier singers and then cut his teeth on the later, it is a welcome to hear a band that realizes where their roots are and can use that legacy to make something new and also a whole lot of fun.

One thing all their heroes have in common is they are American. I would have to say that really rubbed off because this Danish band is more American sounding than a lot of the bands from here that are trying to sound European. From the swamp rock instrumental intro to the pure rock and roll of the title track, these guys crack out pure rockabilly/metal that puts many of our nations bands to shame.

Another aspect that works well is how they carry a theme from their last release and use it here and according to rumor will still carry over to their next CD. Reoccurring characters is getting to be their trademark. When the song is about one of these characters thinking of his true love back in the 50's, you get great heavy metal with a 50's tinge called "Back To Prom". This also holds true with the tale of a stalker called "Maybellene I Hofteholder". Both of these tunes will have you doing your headbanging with saddle shoes on! Yes, it does have some similarities to Green Day but only in passing as these guys capture the spirit of the time much better. A lot of that has to do with the very old style vocal delivery of Michael Poulsen. He uses this most effectively on a song like "Light A Way" with its almost do-wop metal sound. He is very effective in this format.

They also give you a little bit of county with total metal remakes of Hank William's "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" and "Making Believe" by Michigan's own Jimmy Work. Both work well in the context of what they are doing on this disc. It is not a perfect record by any means and a lot will be turned off by the different styles they pull in but give it a try. You might just be surprised by these guys that were asked by Metallica to support them on their current tour. They bring it hard when warranted but also can give you something that is truly unique in this world of bands that try to pigeonhole their sound into such a tight box that they never dare to take a chance and explore anything outside of it.

» Reader Comments:

Volbeat: Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood
Posted by Prog-a-licious on 2011-01-03 23:32:59
My Score:

What does "ghost-throated" even mean? lol Their new cd is incredible, too!

Volbeat: Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood
Posted by Kim on 2010-10-10 00:16:03
My Score:

Awesome band. Finally a metal band, that isnt stuck with limited musical abilities, and limited message. in this bands lyrics, we dont all have to die....

Volbeat is a metal band with a
theyre getting HUGE at the moment, and every drop of sweat, they have been sharing on the stages all over the world, is beeing paid back from the fans.

6/6 to their new album from me.

Volbeat: Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood
Posted by Gord Kellington on 2009-09-08 23:01:12
My Score:

being a heavy metal fan for 32 years, I get a kick out of these so called experts. You know that heavy metal with a melodic feel is always the best. From the punk side ( Offspring ) to the metal side ( Metallica/Godsmack ) is what this band reminds me of. Back in the '80's one of the best heavy metal albums of all time is Anthrax's Spreading The Disease....listen to those vocals, no cookie monster there !
Volbeat is unique and crosses musical preferences, enjoy !

Volbeat: Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood
Posted by Jeff Gonsalves on 2009-03-10 02:45:32
My Score:

Butch, it's obvious you dislike this band's vocals, so I'm not sure why you keep reviewing them. The singer's voice is not going to change. I'm also not sure why this band is being reviewed on a progressive music site. This is NOT progressive rock. What I find with Volbeat is catchy, melodic rockabilly/metal that is influenced by different genres of music. I don't call that being "all over the place". I call that progression in music, especially from the first album. The songs are unique and varied enough but still contain the Volbeat stamp. If all the songs sounded the same, this music would indeed get very old. I happen to love the singer's voice, which is a hybrid of Johnny Cash, Elvis, and James Hetfield (!). His delivery is soulful yet menacing. It's difficult to find a poor tune in the batch. Butch is certainly entitled to his opinion, but I wanted to balance this out a little. One and a half stars means the CD is pretty horrible. After many listens, I would rate it as one of my favorites of last year. I hope other listeners give this band a chance.

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