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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Review Of Alestorm - Captain Morgan's Revenge

Release Date: 25th Jan., 2008


1. Over the Seas
2. Captain Morgan’s Revenge
3. The Huntmaster
4. Nancy the Tavern Wench
5. Death Before the Mast
6. Terror on the High Seas
7. Set Sail and Conquer
8. Of Treasure
9. Wenches & Mead
10. Flower of Scotland

Hailing from Bonnie Scotland, Alestorm are one of a new breed of bands bundled into a genre known as “Pirate Metal.” After some promising demo releases two years ago under the moniker “Battleheart”, the band generated quite a lot of interest on the internet. Partially due to this interest, they were snapped up by Napalm Records and promptly changed their name to Alestorm.

While there is no doubt that their appearance and (terrible) lyrics seem to justify this genre attachment, after one listen to their latest album, CAPTAIN MORGAN’S REVENGE, it becomes apparent that “Pirate Metal” is in fact a whimsical nonsense. For what we have here is, plain and simply, an overblown folk/power metal album.

However, that’s not to say that this is a bad album. It is actually a partially interesting listen. It starts out with what is arguably the best song on the album, “Over The Seas,” with it’s inevitable sing-a-long chorus, cheesy lyrics, chirpy keyboards and soaring guitars. And I love it.

Next up is the title song, and it provides more of the same. Track three, while not quite as good as the opening two songs continues this trend. These first three songs are sure to leave the listener salivating for more, but unfortunately the aforementioned formula starts to get very boring, very quickly. The next three tracks, while good in their own way, simply fail to deliver and the album starts to lose momentum. Track five, “Death Before The Mast,” is one of the weakest songs on the album and by this point, I was begging for something more engaging and epic.

I did not get what I wished for. The next song, “Terror On The High Seas,” is dreadfully tame. It’s pretty much the same riff played for the duration of the song, with the vocalist babbling about some rubbish. Did I mention how bad the lyrics are? I don’t know how many variations of “fight and die, for we are pirates, yarrrrr” they managed to come up with, but I guarantee it’s a lot.

Anyway, the seventh track, “Set Sail And Conquer,” recaptures the atmosphere of the first few tracks and gives me hope for the rest of the album. “Of Treasure” is a folk song, with parts of the tune taken from the traditional Irish song “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye,” and the lyrics of course changed to a pirate theme. It’s a nice change from the standard power metal, but maybe being Irish makes me biased.

“Wenches & Mead” is an incredibly fun and fast paced song, utilising keyboards more that guitars - an enjoyable chantey that leads into the final song.

Last up is the band’s interpretation of the Scottish national anthem, “Flower Of Scotland,” which is a song I greatly enjoy and is usually very emotional when sung before a sporting event. However, Alestorm fail to capture that same feeling and it doesn’t really come off right.

Despite what may seem like an overly critical review given that this is their debut album, there was still several parts of the album that I really enjoyed. A dull middle section was the major downfall, and being tagged as “Pirate Metal” instead of just power metal probably raises expectations for something new and unique, when in reality it is neither. Still, a decent effort overall.

Rating: 6.5/10

By: David Williamson

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

Thrash Metal Reviews


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