• Alestorm - Back Through Time (2011)


    If you liked the band's first two records, you will also happen to like this record as the Scottish pirate metal musicians didn't change their formula at all or tried out some experiments. I must admit that this is a rather negative point because the second record which I really liked was way more epic, complex and well arranged and the band could have build upon those songs and develop into a very interesting and progressive direction. But they decided to cut down their long songs and focus on catchy party tracks with superficial lyrics and the usual topics.

    It's still very entertaining and amusing to sing and drink along to songs like "Buckfast powersmash", "Rum" or "Swahbuckled" as well as the band's typical cover songs towards the end of the album. As you can see, not only the topics but also the song titles have strong similarities and the album is indeed the most coherent and straightest one they have ever done. The lyrics happen to be more humorous than ever and prove that the band doesn't take itself too serious and that they are still the perfect party band of the current metal scene and don't care about opinions, popularity or trends. They do what they want to do and are proud of their stereotypical sounds, lyrics and behaviours. What "Manowar" are for the so called invented true metal music are "Alestorm" for their so called pirate metal style. They don't move an inch away from that.

    This time, the record lacks of diversity and only the as usual very solid opener "Back through time" and the epic dark ride album closer "Death throes of terror squid" that has a stupid title but turns out to be the most interesting track on the record break out of the usual song structures. The latter song is the only one that stands out from the others a part of the short gag called "Rumpelkombo!" that honours the band's indeed very accurate description by Grave Digger's singer Chris Boltendahl. Even though this lack of creativity would merit a quite low rating, I can't help but sing and dance along to those simple but effective songs and have a big smile on my face no matter if this concerns rather heavy and thrash metal influenced tracks like "Shipwrecked" ore more melodic and slow anthems like "Scraping the barrel". The melodies and lyrics are probably even catchier than before and will underline the band’s strength as an energizing live band. And all those things are the reasons why this album will nevertheless spin in my stereo sound system from time to time when I feel that I need to listen to something easy, entertaining and positively amusing and superficial. I honestly admit that this doesn’t happen quite often with me but when it happens “Alestorm” is always my first choice along side with “Manowar” that I mentioned before.

    Alestorm are and will always remain Alestorm and their style and music has already become a brand. They underline their limited but effective status with this record. They won't win any new fans with this and justify those who criticize them for their closed minded lack of imagination. But any fan will be satisfied once again and praise this pirate party metal music.


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