Sunset On The Golden Age

Written by: PP on 25/08/2014 23:21:44

For anyone who thought pirate metallers Alestorm were going to be a joke that would've expired soon after their debut album, here they stand in 2014 still sailing the stormy seas with tales of wenches, rum, ale, and buried treasure in the form of their fourth album "Sunset On The Golden Age". Indeed, they show up every couple of years with another array of cannon fodder from the high seas, and continue to play wicked good live performances with consistency matched only by few elite folk and power metal band out there. Folk metal, pirate metal, gimmick metal. Call it what you want, but the purveyors of pillage and booze are here to stay, screaming YARRR from the top of their lungs while delivering infectiously catchy sing along songs that are key in demonstrating that no, not all metal needs to be serious or have particularly much depth to it to be good.

Case in point: "1741 (The Battle Of Cartagena)" even includes 8 bit style Nintendo melodies as its rollicking intro melody before it's time for some fast-paced folk metal with killer riffs and quintessentially Alestormian pirate metal keyboard melodies leading the charge. Lead single "Drink" is every bit as simple as its title suggests: "We are here to drink your beer / And steal your rum at a point of a gun / Your alcohol to us will fall [...] Drink! (x15)", but it'll guaranteed be the next beer-fueled drinking anthem at rock venues across the world for the next few years or so. Similarly, "Wooden Leg!" has an insane tempo and an infectiously catchy chorus that recalls the best material by Turisas, even if its lyrical content is almost completely devoid of depth. "Surf Squid Warfare" is another highlight track with a solid chorus and an even better lead melody, where guitars playfully duel against the keytar/keyboard melodies, much like they do throughout the album.

There are a few missteps on the album as well. "Hangover" is a little too cheesy and woo-hoo pop melody oriented to work even on an Alestorm album. "Magnetic North" isn't exactly spectacular either, and "Mead From Hell" is just about OK but not much more. It's fairly obvious that "Sunset On The Golden Age" is no match to either "Black Sails At Midnight" nor "Back Through Time", and there's a reason for it. Throughout the record, we're dealing with less obviously pirate-ish melodies than, for example, "Keelhauled" or "Shipwrecked" from the old days. The lyrical content is obviously still neck-deep in pirate themes, and that's fine because we wouldn't want it any other way. Just the overall vibe on the album is that while it's a good and a fun party album overall, it's missing the larger-than-life pirate moments that made us fall in love with the band in the first place. Go see them live, though, because that's where the real fun happens.


Download: Drink, 1741 (The Battle Of Cartagena), Surf Squid Warfare, Wooden Leg!
For the fans of: Turisas, Ensiferum, Korpiklaani, Swashbuckle
Listen: Facebook

Release date 01.08.2014
Napalm Records

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