Sunday, May 28, 2017

Alestorm - No Grave But The Sea (2017)

In shortage of other things to do, I went to see the new "Pirates of The Caribbean" movie this week. Yes, it had some bullshit here and there, but it is harmless fun in an adventure that involved both curses, mysteries, and rum. A solid 6/10 for sure. It got me thinking though, why is it that only that franchise nailed the Pirate theme? You would think that there would be more pirate movies out there, but nope, Disney seemingly has monopoly on that too. This is a problem we metalheads do not have, with a bunch of good pirate metal bands here and there, all delivering good fun and great music.

Out of these bands, Alestorm is arguably the one currently on top, gaining a good following in a relatively short amount of time. Their recipe of catchy melodies and comedic values does make them stand out, and delivers just like the "Caribbean" franchise, a good amount of fun. I almost started to take them seriously after their last release, "Sunset On The Golden Age", because it had more serious stories in it, and some really great craftsmanship. But nope, those silly thoughts vanished with the release of "No Grave But The Sea", that sees the band getting back to their simple minded ways, and to be honest, I do not mind it at all.

Even if I loved the last album, I still think Alestorm is at its best when the band do not take itself all too seriously, and just by looking at the title of the sixth song of the album ("Fucked With An Anchor"), you know that the laughs will not be far away. We got tales of when the group drank a bar dry, took a trip to the end of the world, and how they got their name, it is truly a cavalcade of fun stories all throughout this record.

It is however the songs themselves that lifts "No Grave But The Sea" from the ocean floor to the surface. While the band still can be seen as fairly one dimensional, they have improved their song writing skills over the years, implementing more techniques and more interesting changes here and there, bringing a more diverse experience. The riffs in songs like the title track are much cooler and complex than before, and mixed with those keyboards makes it sound more piraty than ever.

It is also interesting to see that the band finally mustered up a song that is actually called "Alestorm", five albums in. It will most certainly be a live favourite, with a blood pumping chorus and even some haarrrrrrrsh vocals mixed in. The high point of the record might still be "Mexico", a fun and catchy son of a bitch with some 8-bit sounds and tequila drenched sing along moments. Speaking of sing along, "Bar Ünd Imbiss" will surely invite to such antics, both for the sober and the drunk.

Surprisingly, I was kind of disappointed with "Fucked With An Anchor". It is catchy as hell, and its immature personality is infecting as fuck, but when you use such a word as fuck, you should have some authority behind it. Take Strapping Young Lad for example, they used the word a lot of times, and they simply did not give a fuck, they went balls to the wall with it. Alestorm is wasting some potential here, almost taking the easy route. You can better do better lads (please do not make me walk the plank!).

Still, I cannot get mad at these Scottish fellas, because they are just too much fun. Their pirate ways are sometimes strange and childish, but when in the right mood (and enough rum in your body), this is simply brilliant. No, "No Grave But The Sea" is far from a masterpiece, but it does not need to be, it will have its fans anyway, loving every inch of the album. In the end, "No Grave But The Sea" will make you smile, and maybe go out on a search for treasure, it is at least a good soundtrack for that kind of activity.

Songs worthy of recognition: Mexico, No Grave But The Sea, Alestorm

Rating: 7/10 Pegleg Potions

More reviews of Alestorm
Sunset On The Golden Age

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