Volbeat – Beyond Heaven Above Hell

Things are going very well for this Danish band. A support tour with Metallica and three critically acclaimed records under their belt, I’m sure many bands would kill for that. Anyway, the guys are back with their fourth album, entitled Beyond Heaven Above Hell. Let’s see what it’s made of.

The first couple of tracks are vintage Volbeat and could have easily been included on any of the previous Volbeat records. The Metallica-meets-Johnny Cash approach still works like a charm on The Mirror And The Ripper, Heaven Nor Hell and Who They Are.

After this rather safe start the real fun for me starts with the second half of the record when Michael Poulsen and Co start toying around with different influences from hardcore (Social Distortion), rockabilly and a bit of certain Southern rock/blues for good measure. It certainly adds a lot of spice to songs like 7 Shots, 16 Dollars and Evelyn. The last song even contains some growled guest vocals by Barney Greenway of Napalm Death fame.

This album also has its share of lighter songs, which have enough hit potential on mainstream rock radio. Compositions like Being 1, A New Day and A Better Believer are prime examples of that.

The production of Beyond Heaven Above Hell is as usual expertly handled by Jacob Hansen, giving the album just the attitude and edge it needs. Nice!

This record is a well balanced collection of great songs that should easily please every Volbeat fan, and I’m sure it will gain them a lot of new fans as well. It didn’t have the same impact on me as Rock The Rebel/Metal The Devil, but it’s still a very rewarding effort. Good stuff!

written by Raymond Westland

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