I told myself when I started this blog that I wasn’t going to talk much about music. Not compared to the tangled mess that was my old blog. That thing included music reviews (albums on Fridays, songs on Mondays), MMA results and musings, miscellaneous rants, promotions for my book… It was kind of disorganized. I’d been wanting to make this more of an author blog, but as people who have been following this thus far have seen, it’s kind of fallen off that track. So why not? Let’s talk music.
When I write, or edit, or just work in general, I put music on. I’m a rocker, so it’s a lot of rock and/or metal. One of my favorite bands over the last few years has been Volbeat: a band I refer to as either “The Danish Elvis”, or “Metalbilly” (a combination of metal and rockabilly). They were pretty unique when I discovered them back in 2009-2010 or so, but then I got a hold of their latest album: “Seal the Deal and Let’s Boogie”.
People who follow my Facebook know how I felt about the single, “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown”, back when it first came out on YouTube as a lyric video. For those out of the loop, or don’t follow me on Facebook, or both… Well, my opinion was mixed. at best, I was optimistic that this was just a bad single off what’d prove to be a good album. Stone Sour did it all the time up until “The House of Gold And Bones”, and I’m sure you could name other bands that have done the same.
One commenter out of the six or seven that decided to comment on my thoughts perpetuated the age old saying of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fuck with it”. There is something to be said for that, but at the same time, nothing ventured, nothing gained. When bands decide not to leave their comfort zone, they become dull, repetitive, and annoying as fuck. I refer you to AC/DC: the biggest offender on my personal list. And after listening to this album all the way through… Yeah, these guys have confirmed my greatest fear.
I’ll be honest here, “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” has slowly but surely grown on me after a couple listens. Still, it’s really nothing all that great.
As for everything else on the album… Ugh. I don’t think I’ve ever been this bored listening to a Volbeat album. I feel like I’ve heard all this before. In fact, track 3 (“Salvation”, I think it’s called) sounds suspiciously like “Lola Montez” from their 2013 album “Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies”. When talking about “The Unforgiven II”, James Hetfield had once said something to the effect of “Yeah, it’s basically “The Unforgiven” in a different key, but hey, technically you can’t rip YOURSELF off, right?” Two problems emerge from that statement.
First off, “The Unforgiven II” was both awesome, and a continuation of “the “Unforgiven” storyarc. I’m willing to give it a pass based on the latter for sure. The former is just a matter of opinion.
Second, yes, it’s very possible to rip yourself off. It’s not quite as bad as ripping someone else off, but when you do something like that, it speaks volumes of how monumentally lazy you are, or have gotten.
It’s become very clear to me that Volbeat have hit their peak in 2013. This album is looking like the point in their career where they decided to coast, and it shows.
This is actually kind of depressing. Volbeat have been one of my top-five for the last six or seven years now, but this album may’ve very well squashed them down to number six. The only good news that results in this squashing is that now Wage War has a spot in my top five (all be it at number 5 right now, and literally anything could knock it back out). It’s actually depressing to hear something like this.
Honestly, I would only recommend this album if you absolutely have to have every single thing Volbeat’s ever written. At absolute most positive, I’d suggest passing this one over, and sticking with literally anything else they’ve done.