Prior to the formation of Volbeat, singer and guitarist Michael Poulsen played death metal in the Danish band Dominus and, in a new interview, he declared his intentions to one day return to the extreme style of music that kickstarted his career.
“It’s going to happen one day; I just don’t know when,” Poulsen told Finland’s Chaoszine. “It’s going to be at a time when I feel it’s the right time where I’m just inspired to do that. I don’t know when… I have so many great friends in the death metal community, and I’ve been talking to a lot of them. I just know it’s going to happen. I just don’t know when.”
Dominus was formed in 1991 and split up in 2000 after releasing four albums, all which foreshadowed the direction Volbeat would head in, but in different ways. The group’s first two records — 1995’s View to the Dim and 1996’s The First 9 — were largely rooted in the classic death metal style and increasingly reliant on groove riffs, one of the hallmarks of the eventual Volbeat sound.
Their last two records — 1997’s Vol.Beat and 2000’s Godfallos — branched out from the stylistic trappings of early death metal and Poulsen’s fierce, low growls were discarded as he instead began to adopt a thrashy, clean-ish vocal approach and the band’s riffs leaned more toward bobbing grooves with a rock flair.
Volbeat was founded a year after Dominus broke up and took their name from the latter’s aforementioned 1997 record, the one of the four Dominus albums that mostly closely resembles Volbeat’s hard rock/groove metal/rockabilly sensibilities.
Still, Poulsen has never forgotten where he came from and has still managed to maintain connections to the world of extreme metal.
Napalm Death’s Barney Greenway guested on the Beyond Hell / Above Heaven track “Evilyn” and, at a 2016 show in Sweden, Volbeat were joined onstage by Entombed legend L-G Petrov (who died earlier this year at age 49) and Grave guitarist Mika Lagrén for a live performance of that song.
There’s even a song (“Becoming”) dedicated to Petrov on the group’s new album, Servant of the Mind, which comes out tomorrow (Dec. 3).
“When we wrote the song, it had that Entombed feeling in the opening riff so we kind of called it our Entombed song… it very quickly just became a kind of a tribute to Entombed because we’ve been listening to Entombed since Left Hand Path,” explained Poulsen.
He went on to note to kinship he had with the death metal icon and continued, “L-G has been a great friend for many years and I had a lot of good times with L-G just hanging out and talking and just having a lot of fun. Also, [we had] very good conversations about life and everything, so when we released the song, the fans could obviously hear that we were inspired by Entombed and we thought, ‘Let’s dedicate this to L-G,’ [and thought] that this would be a gift for him. We felt that was a nice gesture to dedicate this song to him.”
It’s likely fans will get to hear “Becoming” and other Servant of the Mind tracks when Volbeat embark on a co-headlining U.S. tour with Ghost and special guest Twin Temple in late January. See those tour dates here.