Live Reviews


O2 Academy Islington, London

Saturday 21st May 2022

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Tonight is one of those rare occasions where you get to catch a big band in a smaller venue; this intimate show helping Volbeat to celebrate their latest album, ‘Servant of the Mind’.

Sold out instantly, it’s not a surprise to see the queue worming its way around the shopping centre that the O2 Academy Islington is held within.

Once inside, fans are already packed in like sardines before support act Benediction take to the stage. Once they do they are entrusted with a whole 45 minutes, which is handy given their lengthy back catalogue.

During this time, the band do their best to entertain and warm up the baying, crammed and sweaty crowd. By the end, they’ve done enough to earn themselves a solid round of applause.

Clearly though those in attendance are here for Volbeat and the band are given a heroes welcomes as they arrive on the stage. Diving straight into ‘The Devil’s Bleeding Crown’ and ‘Pelvis on Fire’, it doesn’t take them long to have the audience on a string.

Volbeat are a phenomenal live act with the addition of Rob Caggiano in 2013 really helping to take them to the next level. Newest member, bassist, Kaspar Boye Larsen is also now fully established and watching them move around the stage along with Michael Poulsen, you can’t help but feel the band has achieved optimum status.

Volbeat – ‘Wait A Minute My Girl’

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The setlist tonight is a good career-spanning mix, but with an understandable focus on ‘Servant of the Mind’. ‘Wait A Minute My Girl’, ‘Temple of Ekur’, ‘Shotgun Blues’ and ‘Say No More’ all help to showcase another quality release from the group.

There are naturally huge responses to the likes of ‘Lola Montez’, ‘Sad Man’s Tongue’, ‘Dead but Rising’ and ‘Black Rose’. But really the entire time the band is on stage, the audience are lapping it up.

As we said at the start, it’s really great when you get to witness a big band in intimate surrounds and tonight has a special feel to it. A memorable night for fans is finally ended with a rousing rendition of ‘Still Counting’.

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Album Reviews


Servant of the Mind

Volbeat – ‘Servant of the Mind’

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Volbeat find themselves at an interesting point in their career, well, as far as the UK is concerned. Of course the band is huge in Europe, but where do they fit in over here?

They’ve steadily worked their way up festival bills and played larger and larger venues, but will they reach the arena filling, festival headlining status they enjoy elsewhere? They felt on the cusp prior to the release of 2019’s ‘Rewind, Replay, Rebound’ but a slightly lacklustre response to that album and a global pandemic stifled their progress somewhat.

Now, they return with their latest album, ‘Servant of the Mind’, with another chance to make that leap. Whilst ‘Rewind, Replay, Rebound’ wasn’t a momentum killer of an album that many bands in the rock scene have suffered from in recent years, it also didn’t propel them any further. So the ultimate question now is can ‘Servant of the Mind’?

Listen to ‘Wait a Minute My Girl’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist

If the early singles, ‘Wait a Minute My Girl’ and ‘Dagen Før’, were anything to go by then that answer would be yes! The album jumps straight in with ‘Temple Of Ekur’, ‘Wait a Minute My Girl’ and ‘The Sacred Stones’ setting the tone for the next sixty plus minutes of music.

Another single ‘Shotgun Blues’, ‘The Devil Rages On’ and ‘Say No More’ all then act to reassure that yes, this is Volbeat at their very best. The thrashing swagger of the guitar work that launched their career is front and centre in all its glory, and the songwriting is able to latch on to create some new classics for the bands arsenal.

Volbeat – ‘Shotgun Blues’

Always a force to be reckoned with live, these tracks will instantly enshrine themselves as fan favourites when the band next take to the stage.

This album certainly finds the band at their relentless best and even as it reaches its latter stages there is plenty to retain your interest. The deluxe version of the album will set you back some 80 minutes of your life, but it’s time well spent.

On the evidence of this album, Volbeat will be pushing themselves further up those festival bills and any lingering doubts can now be dispelled. How could we ever have doubted this band!

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