• Youthful spirit - A review of Volbeat's Rewind, Replay, Rebound

    Volbeat - Rewind, Replay, Rebound (2019)

    I wasn't even sure whether I should give Volbeat's new record Rewind, Replay, Rebound a spin. The previous record had consisted of watered-down radio rock music and when I attended a concert of the band the Danish-American quartet went as far as to cover Johnny Cash which really isn't my cup of tea. But then I remembered the band's vivid last live record Let's Boogie! Live from Telia Parken which has also included the excellent dark thrash metal song "The Everlasting" which is included on this new album. So I gave this record a spin and it turned out much better than expected. This record might be Volbeat's best since Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood eleven years ago.

    Things start promisingly with the energetic up-beat ''Last Day Under the Sun'' that immediately puts a smile upon your face. "Pelvis on Fire" is surprisingly fast and heavy and flirts with punk rock and rockabilly influences while the vocals still remind of Elvis Presley. The band also comes around with melancholic half ballads with acoustic guitars like the nostalgic ''When We Were Kids''. In contrast to this, the band offers the extremely short punk rock tune ''Parasite'' where the band breaks new ground. The aforementioned ''The Everlasting'' should please fans of heavier sounds and is both the record's darkest and most complex tune.

    The record features two noteworthy guests. The dynamic, fast and passionate ''Die to Live'' with playful piano sounds features raw additional vocals by Neil Fallon of American hard rock band Fallon who contrasts Michael Poulsen's melodic skills appropriately. The rhythmic ''Cheapside Sloggers'' features additional guitar play by Exodus' Gary Holt in the track's plodding and sinister middle section but his talents is somewhat underused in an overall exchangeable hard rock track.

    In the end, Volbeat's Rewind, Replay, Rebound doesn't offer anything new but is executed with passion and precision. It includes much better songwriting than the three previous studio albums. The record entertains from start to finish and might be a candidate for best hard rock record of the year. Metal fans might not find much to like about this release apart of the sinister ''The Everlasting'' and perhaps the collaboration with Gary Holt on ''Cheapside Sloggers'' but this album might appeal to younger fans of alternative, hard and punk rock music.

    Final rating: 80%

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