Back with their 8th studio album and follow up to 2019’s Rewind, Replay, Rebound, the Danish masters of a hybrid style of rockabilly and heavy metal are about to unleash to the world Servant of the Mind and it is posed to be their finest record to date! This is no small feat for Volbeat given that they have consistently delivered album after sensational album.
Opening with “Temple of Ekur,” a thrash-like, riff-heavy metal headbanger’s daydream. As the tune builds from the opening drum beats into its finger-licking guitar riffs, it becomes clear that this is quintessentially a Volbeat record. This is emphasized further as vocalist Michael Poulsen lets loose his first lyrics. As soon as the chorus drops though, that’s it! Volbeat has you for the remainder of the record!
Following on from this fine opening track is “Wait a Minute My Girl,” which turns the experience up to 11! The tempo is increased, the vocals are more intense, and the tune mixes in more styles than I thought possible! Contained within this insanely enjoyable track are elements of rock, metal, thrash, a touch of jazz, and even ’50s honky-tonk-inspired piano notes. In all honesty, by the conclusion of “Wait a Minute My Girl,” I wouldn’t even care if the rest of the record’s very generous 16 songs were utter garbage. Thankfully, this is not the case, and the remainder of the album maintains the quality of its opening songs.
The third track on offer, “The Sacred Stones,” sees Volbeat channelling their inner Metallica with a thrash-heavy intro whilst the rest of the tune pulls elements of other ’80s giants. It is a chef’s kiss of a song! I have been trying to pick out a selection of additional tracks to pass comment on, but listening to the album in its entirety makes it next to impossible given that every tune has its own charm and identity (each of which deserves recognition) and I’m not convinced anyone would want to read a beat-by-beat diagnosis of an album that clocks in at almost an hour and twenty minutes over 18 tracks.
As if you couldn’t tell from the above, I can only praise Volbeat for providing the world with Servant of the Mind. It really is, in my humble opinion, their best record to date. I’m sure others out there will have their own opinion and, usually, I welcome differing schools of thought when it comes to music. In this instance, however, I am steadfast in my Judgement.
Now, go out and listen to this record. Then, listen to it again!
Servant of the Mind Track Listing:
1. Temple of Ekur
2. Wait A Minute My Girl
3. The Sacred Stones
4. Shotgun Blues
5. The Devil Rages On
6. Say No More
7. Heaven’s Descent
8. Dagen Før (feat. Stine Bramsen)
9. The Passenger
10. Step Into Light
13. Lasse’s Birgitta
14. Return To None (Wolfbrigade cover)
15. Domino (The Cramps/Roy Orbison cover)
16. Shotgun Blues (feat. Dave Matrise from Jungle Rot)
17. Dagen Før (Michael Vox Version)
18. Don’t Tread on Me
Run Time: 1:18:54
Release Date: December 3, 2021
Record Label: EMI Records