Gotta rock ’em all: Danish rock band with unique sound gains success through multiple genres

Gail Finch

Rockabilly, Punk Rock, Rock n’ Roll, or Heavy Metal? Why not all four? Danish rock group Volbeat probably asked the same thing when trying to think of a sound for their band that now has gained worldwide recognition. Despite being mistaken for a Pokémon of the same name by people who’ve never heard of them, the name is actually a mixture of the words “volume” and “beat”.

Hailing from Denmark, Volbeat has gained traction over here in the U.S. and Canada with their unique sound, producing five studio albums since their debut album in 2005. The band’s current line-up of members consists of vocalist and guitarist Michael Poulsen, ex- Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano, and drummer Jon Larsen.

If one were to introduce Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley to any contemporary hard rock, hardcore, heavy metal anything, add a few almost-better-than-the-original covers, and sprinkle in some of that Danish charm, you’d get what we know as Volbeat. Heavily inspired by the talented singers and groups before and around them, the Danish group makes a sound all their own that’s enjoyable to just about any rock fan.

Aside from the obvious Heavy Metal sound that Volbeat has, there’s also somewhat of a folk rock tone within a lot of their later songs. Their earlier work was a lot of Rockabilly mixed with Heavy Metal, including a cover of Dusty Springfield’s “I Only Wanna Be With You”. Johnny Cash is also a big influence, with their most notable cover being “Sad Man’s Tongue” (originally performed by Johnny Cash), and other similar sounding songs in their album line-up.

The trio sounds great in and out of the studio, as their music is explosive and enticing with songs that make audiences want to punch a wall because they feel invigorated and ready to throw down in the best way possible.

One thing to look for in a band is whether or not they hold up to their all their glory in concert, and this group has definitely proved themselves, as Volbeat has done tours not only in Europe, but in North America as well, supporting bands such as Slayer, Megadeath, Metallica, and Anthrax.

Alongside great music and an ever growing fanbase, Volbeat also brings along many interesting characters and themes to their albums, as seen in their albums Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood (2008) and Beyond Heaven/Above Hell (2010) which tie into one another with recurring themes and story that’ll keep fans listening for more.

As a longtime fan, I want to see much more from the band, as they’ve said that they’ll have a new album out sometime this year. With the glimpse that I got at the concert in May of last year, it gives me high hopes that this new album will bring a whole new wave of fans, and that there will be more to come from the listening experience that is the band Volbeat.