without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
The Strength/The Sound/The Songs is probably best described as a compilation album of all of Volbeat’s previous demos, strung together to produce their first official debut album. Does this affect the quality of the music and bring this debut to the level of a multiple-album band that releases a bullshit compilation album of demo material, singles, unreleased material, and/or re-recorded material? Fuck no! This is a strong debut and a great way to introduce a collection of impressive tracks that never made a decent release in Europe or the states.
Everything from the catchy as all hell Caroline Leaving and Say Your Number to the ballsy Rebel Monster and Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza to the mellow (yet heavy) Soulsweeper and the Dusty Springfield cover of I Only Wanna Be With You, gives the album diversity, groove, and melody. What can I say? This is a fun fucking album. I can say for sure that this is Volbeat’s most fun album due to its mish-mash of great tunes that don’t follow a concept or order any further than the organization of the complete album. Again, while the succeeding Volbeat albums are great for their concepts and structure, Volbeat’s debut is the best example of an all-out album with enough diversity – and the right amount of “sameness” – to give it completeness.
As on succeeding albums, Michael Poulsen’s vocals are clean and powerful – in the realm of Elvis Presley meets Johnny Cash (more prominent on the sophomore release) meets Danzig. However, Poulsen gives his range and style a flavor that encompasses the aforementioned vocalists, but in a way that makes it his own. He has beautiful range and power that drags his simple – yet effective – riffs and song structures into a realm of great, catchy, powerful, fun songwriting. A feat – in my opinion – that he was capable of doing with Dominus but in a COMPLETELY different way that when you listen to Dominus’s The First 9 or Volbeat album (yes, this is where Poulsen got the band name), you will be shocked to discover that it’s the same fucking vocalist/guitar player/song writer.
Beyond the vocals, the riffs are simple and groovy, with the perfect touch of accompaniment to the vocals. Volbeat’s style is a perfect balance of heaviness and acoustic melody, intertwined with heavy, thrashy riffs and 1950’s bebop. While Volbeat perfected some of these styles and riffs on succeeding albums, the initial characteristics and attitude of what they would become drench this album. Speaking of accompaniment, the bass fits in beautifully with the music; giving it that extra “umph” when needed and rhythm when asked. And while the drums are really nothing special, without them the songs would not be as good. I love the drums on this album and every Volbeat album that followed; a nice balance, yet placed far enough in the forefront to make a lasting impression. In a way, the drums are as simple as anything AC/DC or Metallica would achieve – and as with these two bands – without their drive, groove, and strength, the chances are their songs would be no better than mediocre.
So, if you’re in the mood for something not quite metal, but with the spirit and energy of something that is; with the groove of 50’s rock-n-roll, Elvis’s belting (yet incoherent vocals), and a heaviness to put most “heavy” rock bands to shame; Volbeat is your ticket. While not as elaborate, diverse, and strong as some of the succeeding albums in Volbeat’s catalog, The Strength/The Sound/The Songs symbolizes all that Volbeat stands for and what they achieved in 2005 and beyond: strength, sound, and songs.
Volbeat was a band that I liked, but they never really stood out in my mind. That all changed upon seing them live at Rock the Range in Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada. Excluding the Nostalgic performance put on by Alice in Chains, Volbeat was easily the best performance. The instrumentation was nothing short of incredible and Volbeat mainman Michael Poulsen had the crowd in the palm of his hand, and chanting I, I, I with my demon horns in the air along with 2 000 other people was a surreal experience to say the least! Now onto the album...
The Sound, the Strength, the Songs could not be a more appropriate title for this album because that is exactly what it is. It crosses a wide variety of genres from hard rock, to rockabilly, to heavy metal. Someone asked me to describe their sound and the best way i can is by saying to combine Metallica (Load era) with Clutch.
The first three songs kick the album off at a driving pace that you just simply cannot help to head bang along too. It then picks up speed with the hard hitting Rebel Monster (which is very fun to mosh too by the way). We then come to the Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza and upon hearing that you simply just want to party and sing along to one of the catchiest courses of the decade.
We then come to one of my favourite tracks, Always Wu. it is on this song where the rockabilly elements shine through in the riff and Poulsen's vocal patterns and yet another course that you just can't help but sing along too. The riffs are a bit slower in speed , but not in quality as we come up to Say your number and the ballad-esque Soulweeper (this song takes on a whole new dimension seeing guys grab their girls and sway and singing along).
The album picks up speed once more with the Fire Song and then we are treated with yet another catchy rockabilly styled song, Danny and Lucy. The song caroline comes charging in to build the momentem for the final push of the album and Alienized continues.
suddenly the mood of the album changes once again with the song, I Only want to be With You. This song is unique because it serves two purposes: The first is that it has a very memorable riff, the kind where you want to throw your horns in the air and the second, is that it is a song that you can sing to your special someone. The album closes with the eerie intro and subsequent crushing riff and strong course of Everything's Still Fine and finally, one of the best build-ups to a closing album track in Healing Subconsciously.
Overall this is one of those albums that has truly something for everyone. It crosses many genres. It can appeal to a wide range of people from casual fans, to hardcore fans and everyone in between. It has riffs for guitar enthusiasts and slow songs for the ladies. I am utterly shocked that no one has reviewed this album yet and pleased to be the first. Volbeat truly demonstrates just how powerful the the strength of the sound of these songs really is.