I love folk metal. Its no secret. The mixture of really heavy music with a flute, hurdy-gurdy, violins, heck – even bagpipes, speaks to me. I love it so much. There is something so rustic about pounding drums and the folksy sound.
So its no surprise that pirate metal is one of my beloved genres. And you can’t be in the pirate metal genre without the titans – Alestorm!
No Grave But The Sea is their fifth album. Thats five albums about being a pirate, and yet, they always sound fresh and new. Each song pushes the band into an almost different genre.
Note: I will be jumping about when talking about songs, because I am a rebel, a maverick.
You have the excellent Alestorm (the song – not the band. But the song from the band. You’ll get it…) which has some fantastic death metal vocals from the keyboardist – Elliot Vernon along with an amazing music video.
The party song Mexico is also a firm favorite. After all, they rhyme “The alcohol is free” with “And the alcohol is free!” This song reminds me of my mate Podge. We used to go out to clubs. A lot. As students do. And at the beginning of the night, I’ll always have some apprehension. Would tonight be the night Podge manages to kill me with alcohol? Thankfully, he never did. But the thought was always there….
F****d With An Anchor is a great silly little song that teenagers will love, due in no small part to their excessive swearing. But it tells a great silly little story that shows off how light hearted the band takes their subject matter. They play pirate, and they know how cheesy it is. So why not play it up completely?
Man The Pumps tells another great story, and you have to marvel at Alestorm’s ability to craft a tale that really draws you in in the 4 minutes they give themselves. And the music is amazing to boot! (Har har – pun!)
The last song – Treasure Island – is one of those songs that make you want to just leave it all behind and go on an adventure. Its got that positive excitement through out. All 7 minutes and 48 seconds of it. The music intertwines between folky, then a guitar solo breaks out, and suddenly its got the gang vocals that make you want to put your arms around your fellow pirates and sing along. And manages to stay heavy throughout.
With the stars in the sky our guideAlestorm – Treasure Island
Voyage ever onwards
Set a course to the other side
Of the endless ocean’s blue
This album is one I can put on from start to finish and enjoy every minute of it. Alestorm mange to be cheesy while making some brilliant music, and at the end of the day, its a great fun ride. Their albums are always fun. And surely that counts for a lot?
After all, todays music takes itself so seriously. Just look at any music video – its all serious. Serious about the product placement. Serious about the clothes. In fact, a good few music videos dedicate at least 3 seconds of their 3 minutes to have a single slow pan of Beat’s headphones. Not even being used. Just on the table, in the right light, and making sure the logo is visible for all 3 seconds….
So when a band is fun, when they understand that music is inherently a story telling medium, and when they decide to do things that make themselves laugh, well thats worth listening to. The fact that the music is expertly produced, and the band is actually good, well thats just a bonus.
So, with that said, I’ll see you down in Mexico. Where the wenches are plenty, the alcohol is free, the party lasts all through the night… Oh! And the alcohol is free!