Alestorm

Black Sails At Midnight

Written by: PP on 02/06/2009 09:49:58

YARRR! Lets take to the high seas, pillage the villages, plunder the treasure caves, rape the wenches, and drink a shitload of rum in the process. If you don't know Alestorm yet, then that's my introduction. They play 'True Scottish Pirate Metal', and they sound precisely like you'd imagine from that description. The vocalist sounds like the dude from Flogging Molly, and in fact if Flogging Molly went pirate instead of celtic and begun playing metal, Alestorm is almost certainly how they'd sound like. Overall too the record "Black Sails At Midnight" is just like Flogging Molly in that whenever you put it on you know you're in for an exceptionally fun ride. The songs are incredibly catchy, giving the record lots and lots of repeat-listen value, and did I mention yet that the vocalist really sounds like pirating runs in his family? How the band receives so much hate is beyond me!

Best songs on the record are easy to spot. "Keelhauled", for instance, begins with speedy, danceable harmonica/violin combination that feels like it was taken straight from one of the parties in Pirates Of The Caribbean, while "Wolves Of The Sea" charms the listener with its "With a hii hii hoo and a hii hii hey!" chants. Granted, otherwise these songs stick to the traditional rumbling power metal formula with colossal riffs and soundscape, but the pirate-themed victory keyboard samples just add that much to the songs together with the occasional YARRRs of the vocalist. Occasionally the band dives out to other genres, the title track for instance is more melodeath than power metal, bringing "Hate Crew Deathroll" and "Are You Dead Yet?"-era Children of Bodom to mind, but mostly this is all about power metal with a strong pirate theme.

If you don't like this, then I'm sure you must hate having fun in general, because that's what more or less every song on this record is about. They are fun drinking songs perfect for elevating your party to the next level. The haters all keep saying that if the pirate theme was removed then Alestorm wouldn't have anything left going for them. Well no shit Sherlocks, if we take away the vocalist who sounds like Captain Blackbeard himself, the pirate themed keyboards and the overall pirate atmosphere, of course we wouldn't have anything but a bland power metal band. But the thing is, with all these peculiarities being a part of their music, the stale genre receives a breath of fresh air and now actually sounds fun, original and interesting. How many other pirate metal bands do you know exactly? The joke is seriously not on these guys, they call themselves 'true Scottish pirate metal', a fitting parody of the 'true Norwegian black metal' kvlt thing (makes the latter kind of laughable, doesn't it?). You don't have to take Alestorm so seriously, because based on the songs on "Black Sails At Midnight" (or their Myspace bio), they don't take themselves seriously either. This record is all about having fun while listening to music, and for that it must be commended.

8

Download: Keelhauled, Wolves Of The Sea, No Quarter, Pirate Song
For the fans of: Pirates, Turisas, Ensiferum, Korpiklaani, Tyr, Wintersun
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.06.2009
Napalm Records

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