Volbeat’s Michael Poulsen Names the Band He Feels ‘Completed’ Death Metal
While there's been debate about which act should be credited with the start of death metal, for Volbeat frontman Michael Poulsen, there's just one act that he feels "completed" the genre. That would be the Chuck Schuldiner-led band Death.
The singer, who is currently promoting his new death metal band Asinhell, shared his thoughts on Death in a broader discussion with the Loaded Radio Podcast on his three favorite death metal albums. And for the record, one of his choices there is Death's Spiritual Healing.
"When I heard Spiritual Healing … Of course, before that, I did hear [Death's debut album] Scream Bloody Gore and [Death's second album] Leprosy, but something happened with Spiritual Healing," said Poulsen when making his pick. "You could suddenly hear the mighty talent of [Death mastermind] Chuck Schuldiner. You can hear the progress. It was like he took — not only did he take the death metal style to a certain level...."
Picking up his thought but taking it a different direction, he then addressed Death's place in the history of death metal, noting, "You know, there will always be that discussion: was it Possessed that started death metal or was it Chuck Schuldiner who started death metal? But I think to do it fair, I will say that Possessed planted the seed of death metal, but Chuck Schuldiner became the tree. So he kind of completed it somehow."
Then elaborating on his love of Death, he added, "Scream Bloody Gore' was a great album. And the lyrics were more gory, and they're fun. And pretty much the same on Leprosy. On Leprosy, you could actually start to hear that Chuck was getting into structure when it comes to how he was writing his songs. But on Spiritual Healing suddenly there was more structure and the subject of his lyrics was just something you haven't heard about before in death metal. Suddenly it was relevant subjects, what was going on in American society, just what was going on in the world. And it makes you think, 'What the fuck is going on here?' And just the whole cover artwork. But I also think the songwriting was so solid. And I've also gotta give a lot of credit to [guitarist] James Murphy since he also wrote some material for that album and great solos. For me, that was just the essence of how I wanted death metal to sound like. When that record came out, it was like, 'Wow.'"
What else made Poulsen's cut for his favorite death metal albums? Check out the full podcast below.
Michael Poulsen Returns to His Death Metal Roots
Before Michael Poulsen commanded the rock radio airwaves with Volbeat, he started his career playing something much heavier as a member of Dominus. With Volbeat taking a well-deserved break before starting in with their next record, that's allowed him the time to revisit his death metal roots with the new band Asinhell.
The group, rounded out with singer Marc Grewe and drummer Martin Toft Hansen, recently released their Impii Hora debut album, and Poulsen recently shared that the band will tour in 2024. Keep an eye out for Asinhell dropping some crushing death metal on the road in 2024.
Volbeat / Asinhell's Michael Poulsen Speaks With the Loaded Radio Podcast
Best Death Metal Album of Each Year Since 1985
Gallery Credit: Loudwire Staff