‘Raise the plank and let’s set sail’ scream Alestorm on the typically silly song of the same name. It’s an enticing invitation even if you’re new to the fast expanding genre of pirate metal.
Promising ‘rum, beer, quests and mead’ (apparently the only things that a pirate needs), Scotland’s finest have become past masters at delivering their Braveheart meets Jack Sparrow take on symphonic metal.
And 10 years after inking a deal with Napalm Records, it’s refreshing to discover that a devotion to quaffing all kinds of alcohol and engaging in the odd scrap on the high seas is still central to the band’s songwriting ethos.
In fact identifying an Alestorm anthem that doesn’t reference some kind of bloody sword fight or mammoth drinking session is difficult to say the least. On the upside there’s no chance you’ll stumble across a self-reflective ode to global warming or a politicised progressive rock masterpiece – this is a band that sticks to what it knows and sticks it up anyone who dares to criticise.
Even for HRH Mag, the frankly hilarious intro. to Fucked With An Anchor is just a little too fruity to reveal here – let’s just say it’s one to listen to without your little Blackbeards in the room. Few bands could get away with such a ludicrous and relentless blast of industrial language, loosely wrapped up in a pirate tale. But five albums into their journey and Alestorm can get away with anything: this is a treasure chest of metal at its most sparkling.