Alestorm
No Grave But the Sea

Scotland’s (I guess now Tennessee’s?) favorite Pirate sons are back with album number 5. And I have to admit after 2014s Sunset on the Golden Age, I thought Chris Bowes might be winding the project down, but boy was I wrong. No Grave But the Sea sees Bowes and co (inc new guitarist Máté Bodor) deliver an absolutely gloriously silly and fun pirate metal record that’s as good as anything they have released.

I’m not gonna lie, even though some of the songs certainly sound a little similar to some of the bands prior songs, I friggin love these guys and they have absolutely locked into a Sabaton and Bal Sagoth influened, thrashy/folk/metal/ verse/pre chorus/chorus formula that is as catchy as ever, if not more than before. Also, I truly thought the whole Pirate theme would wear thin, but it hasn’t, and Bowes continues to deliver the booty, song after song, album after album.

The title track opens things up, immediately signalling the band has not dropped off at all, with a killer chorus, and shows keyboardist Elliot Vernon is once again delivering some harsher vocals here and there as with the last album. Then we get the album’s first single,  future drinking anthem, “Mexico” with a chorus that will stick with you long after the song is over, and an equally fun video to go along with it.

“To the End of the World” delivers the album’s first lengthier (7 minutes) track, but still has a rousing chorus. Then you get “Alestorm”, an almost dance metal ditty/jig that is a little too similar to “Drink”, from the last album, but still induces a goofy grin. “Bar ünd Imbiss”, a slower paced number has a simply killer shanty drinking chorus that I’m sure will just kill in a live environment. Then we get arguably one of Alestorm’s finest moments in “Fucked with an Anchor”, a hilariously filthy song about a Tourette’s syndrome like ‘witch doctor’s curse’ that causes endless swearing.  I caught my self singing the chorus out loud many times, much to the chagrin of my co workers, in laws and strangers in stores. Even worse, my daughter was singing along with me……Again, should be another fun live song.

Admittedly, the albums’ latter stages seems to be a little less memorable compared to the first 2/3 as even though “Pegleg Potion”, “Man the Pumps” (even with its clever innuendo), “Rage of the Pentahook” and needlessly long closing slow number “Treasure Island” are catchy and solid, they seem a little to similar to prior Alestorm songs and they don’t hold my attention quote as well, despite delivering all of Alestorm’s tropes in spades. But it’s really hard to follow up “Fucked with an Anchor”….

My promo did not have the “dog” version of the album, where the vocals are ‘performed by dogs’, but I’m sure it’s as silly as it sounds. Although I would have preferred the route Sunset of the Golden Age took, with some acoustic versions of songs and the album has no cover song as some of the prior ones did (“Wolves of the Sea”, “I’m a Cider Drinker”, “Hangover” etc). But overall, another great album from one of my favorite bands who seem one radio play song away from really breaking into the big time.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
May 22nd, 2017

Comments

  1. Commented by: Grindymcgrinder

    It never OK to let friends pirate metal.


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