• Alestorm - Captain Morgan's Revenge (2008)

     

    Twenty reviews in not even one single year for the debut album of a metal band speak volumes about the success and rise to fame of "Alestorm". With many young enthousiastic fans that praised this music as a new and unique genre came also many rather traditional metal maniacs that stated that this band would follow a trend instead of being authentic and that the whole concept wasn't that new.

    I have to admit that I have to agree with the more traditional metal fans. The band jumped on the recent hype waggon because pirates are popular again since the "Pirates of the Carribean" movies and soundtracks and because many folk metal bands and medieval rock groups emerged in the last decade. As the Scots have no Vikings to tell about, they remembered their pirate ancestry and hit right in a commercial hype. The lyrics are in fact not historically founded very poor and superficial and the band members are surely no experts of piracy. The music is simplistic and full of stereotypes, the lyrics turn always around the same topics and the varierty on this album is actually quite poor and the hype exagerated.

    But there is also the other side to consider. Alestorm deliver the masses what they were longing for and created an album full of catchy anthems with choruses that can still easily be sung after the consumption of a few bottles of rum and beer kegs. This is party metal music for alcoholics and even thouigh the music has many flaws, the band is quite sympathetic as they don't take themselves to serious and simply put a smile on your face and an ale on your lips. You drink and laugh along to humorous tales like "Nancy the tavern wench", to headbanging tunes like "Set sail and conquer" and you dance along with your mates to simplistic but effective tunes like "Wenches and mead". Personally, my favourite track is the epic title track "Captain Morgan's revenge" that has an interesting tale to tell, is musically rather diversified and mature and proves that this band could play on a much higher standard than they actually do. Of course, there are also some boring and repetitive tunes that can't be saved by some catchy choruses like the weak opener "Over the seas" that gives a negative impression of the whole album right from the start or the rather ridicolous "The huntmaster" where lyrics such as "with the power of ale he could not fail" are simply a little bit too stupid even if we consider this as a party album.

    In the end, one shouldn't take this release too serious and expect something groundbreaking or new. This isn't an album that convinces in a lyrical, musical or intellectual way. The hype and the average rating for the band is certainly too high. But those guys especially work well when they play live or when you listen to them at your favourite metal pub towards the end of the night. This band plays party metal disguised as folk metal with some power metal influences. Alestorm copy a lot of bands from the Viking metal genre such as or "Turisas", from the power and heavy metal genre with bands such as "Running wild" and some other popular bands like "Children of Bodom" and add some folk influences and traditional tales to the mixture to create a magic potion filled with lots of cheesy fun, stereotypes and catchy melodies. That’s the easy and trendy way but as you can see the concept works very well and one must at least give them that point even if I prefer "Turisas" amongst others to them in the same genre. Personally, I really like to listen to them from time to time to have some fun for special occasions but after that I prefer to take a long break before I listen to them again. It’s quick fun but nothing truly profound or addicting when you’re sober. But party music for alcoholics is what they can, that's what they do and where they're good at and one shouldn't expect much more.

     

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