Volbeat has recorded an album that seamlessly brings together all of the band's influences and reshapes them into something gleaming and new. "Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies" is a record that's rich with stories and characters woven throughout its lyrics. Some are real - like the noble lady outlaw Pearl Hart, who held up a stagecoach to buy medicine for her dying mother, or Lola Montez, the erotic dancer with her infamous 'Spider Dance,' or Black Bart, the gentleman highwayman who wrote poems for the people he robbed. Others are entirely fictional. "The Nameless One" is a cautionary tale of dabbling in the dark arts, featuring the mysterious and sinister character of the title. Elsewhere, "Room 24," featuring King Diamond, was inspired by a terrifying experience in a hotel room somewhere in the heart of America. You can hear the influence of the Old West right from the start in "Let's Shake Some Dust," an evocative intro track that features harmonica from acclaimed blues harp player Paul Lamb. You can hear it again in the rampaging "Black Bart," which Poulsen describes as "our country-Motörhead song," and in the banjos that pepper the chorus of the hard-as-steel "Doc Holliday," a tribute to the legendary lawman and associate of the Wyatt Earp gang. But Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies is no country & western record. If it was a car, it would be a 1973 Stutz Blackhawk with monster truck wheels - vintage and modern, stylish and muscular. You can hear echoes of classic 50s rock'n'roll in the soaring "Pearl Hart," and the live classic-in-waiting "Lola Montez." The band's metal roots come to the fore via the heavy riffage of "Dead But Rising" and "The Nameless One," while the ghostly "The Lonesome Rider" – which finds Michael duetting with Sarah Blackwood of Canadian band Walk Off The Earth like a modern day Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash - beats with a rockabilly heart. Elsewhere, they bring some greased-back energy to "My Body," a cover of the hit song by US pop-punk outfit Young The Giant, while the brooding album closer "Our Loved Ones" is the nearest thing they've ever written to a ballad. Poulsen offers, "When I was growing up, my dad and mother played a lot of old records - Elvis, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry. I love that stuff - it's a drug somehow. My own record collection growing up was metal. But I listen to a lot of different styles of music. If something moves you, I don't care what it is." The track "Room 24" features a massive coup for Volbeat with the guest appearance from King Diamond, the legendary front man of Danish metal pioneers Mercyful Fate, and one of Poulsen's musical idols. He reveals, "I'm a huge fan of Mercyful Fate and King Diamond. Having King on the record is a huge privilege. Normally, it's not something he does. He wrote his own lines, and it is half my lyrics and half his. It's a weird, scary story, and he's the perfect person for it."