To celebrate my 33rd birthday, I decided to have a Pirate Party. The idea was simple. Everyone dresses like a pirate, everyone talks like a pirate, everyone drinks like a pirate.
But I had a twist!
Each pirate needed a backstory and a pirate name, and we had to give a short presentation about our backstory slash name. We were then to call each other by our pirate name all night, those not adhering to the rule with the punishment of having to drink. Because why not, right?
I must say – I looked fabulous! And everyone else really went all out to dress up, and get in the spirit of the party. I really do have the most amazing friends…
And because it was my party, and because it was a pirate party, I turned to my trusty Apple Music to find all the Pirate Metal I could. I ended up with 7 or 8 hours worth of Pirate Metal or Pirate Alternative themed music. And hidden amongst these 8 hours was an album from a band I had never in my life heard of before. In fact, Apple Music recommended them to me to add to my playlist!
Now they have a very generic name – which makes searching for them almost impossible, but dear reader, I now present to you – The Privateer.
The album in question is The Goldsteen Lay. And as far as I can gather, it is a concept album (which means it tells a story) about pirates searching for treasure (original I know, but hear me out) and they come upon a cursed island which is bad news for them.
The album’s instrumental intro begins with the sound of waves, violins, a cello (maybe) and angelic voices in harmony. If the call of the sea had a sound – this would be it. It reminds me of the beginning to a Pirates of the Caribbean movie (back when they were good) – you are starting off on this adventure and you’re excited about all the possibilities. The sea is mysterious, big and calling to you. And you don’t quite yet know what awaits.
And what does await you is the pounding drums, clean vocals fading into growling and a harmonic chorus of the first song – Where Fables Are Made. This song has everything I love about metal in it – epic guitar solos, double bass, growling, cleaning singing, violins, a great story and a stupidly catchy tune. Just listening to it now makes me want to go off and have an adventure.
If that isn’t the point of pirate metal, then what is? The flow of the song is just incredible – its probably one of the best ways to spend 4 minutes and 24 seconds.
Draft of the Strange starts off slow, with an almost acoustic shanty sound to it, but don’t let this song fool you. It ramps into a great tavern song – the chorus really captures the feeling of arm-in-arm at the pub singing with your mates. Acoustic tones run up and down this song, weaving the tapestry of sound into more than just a pirate song – but more a tale told to children and men alike.
Now for the first ever song I heard of this album – the one that made me sit up and really take another look at this band – Wide in the Open. Guitar and drums come at you straight away, and then the violin takes center stage, complementing each note until Daniel Priegnitz (the lead singer)’s powerful voice takes over. The violin in this song holds it all together – switching places with the guitar when needed, yet keeping the main tune. I don’t call songs beautiful very often, but this one deserves that title. The entire composition is really outstanding. I must have played this about 100 times already, its just that enjoyable.
Arrival and As We Saw Some Path are really solid songs – also, very good in their composure, but on an album such as this, I feel might just be the weakest songs. Which is like saying the guy who came in second place at the Olympics was the weakest one. They are still outstanding in their own right.
Another one of my favourite songs from this album – Ocean of Green – has got a similar composure and rhythm to Wide in the Open, yet is a bit heavier (which is fantastic!), and just as great with overtones of violin, then adding clean vocals mixed with growling. If I have played Wide in the Open 100 times, I must have played this song 99 times. Guitar solos give way to violin solos, and it is haunting (in that face-melting way). Vocals, drums and bass take over for a build up just before an epic key change that gives you all the goosebumps in the last minute and a half of this song. Its just so well thought out. Kudos to the band for writing this song!
Survival of the Quickest is another almost pop-like catchy tune. Another great tune that has more death metal with undertones of pirate metal than pure pirate metal. This song highlights what I find so great about this band – they mix death with folk and pirate so well that it just ticks all my boxes for good music.
Gunpower Magic is the lyric video they have put out, and well worth watching, It helps understand the whole story of the album – the story of a band of privateers finding a cursed island.
We are bound to a place
We should have never found
Where ever we might might go
It keeps on following aroundThe Privateer – Gunpowder Magic
Derelict is another instrumental, but its still really powerful. Do not skip this song – its got amazing music writing behind it.
The album ends with The Island, It’s Calling.
Picking up the sound of waves from the fading Derelict, we have piano coming at us before the onslaught of pure death metal. Violins and the pirate sound are still there, but not as pronounced. For 2 and a half minutes you have fantastic pure metal, before the violin comes back at you with harmonious voices echoing. But don’t get comfortable – the song doesn’t slow down one bit. Guitar and drums are just around the corner. The last minute of this song is waves on beach, fading out on our journey with The Privateer. But its just a sign to hit that repeat button.
As I said, I did not expect this album to come out nowhere an hit me on my ass the way it did. It flows; much like the sea it draws it’s inspiration from. It is an adventure, and at the end of the album, you get the same feeling you do when the movie ends – the adventure was great, but its over. Almost a sense of what-do-we-do-now, a sense of loss. And much like some of the other albums I have spoken about here (looking at you Attalus), you know that nothing else can quite compare.
Give it a listen down below, and let the sea tempt you as it has done the fine folk that make up The Privateer. As for me, I am getting my pirate hat. I am ready for this adventure!