Over the years I’ve occasionally mentioned the music of the band Alestorm, a Scottish pirate metal band. Imagine heavy metal sea shanties, covering such subjects as piracy, drinking, and the acquisition of wenches. The above music video is a prime example, containing all of the aforementioned things, and it just happens to have come from their latest album. Other songs include ‘Surf Squid Warfare‘ about going into the future to defeat undead squid from space with beer. Yes.
I first came across Alestorm in 2009, when a friend recommended that I check them out on Spotify. I’ve since bought three of their four albums, went to see them play live in Leeds in 2012, and right now they’re the third highest-ranked band in my last.fm library. Their fourth album, Sunset on the Golden Age, was released recently and I got halfway through listening to it on Spotify before buying it. It’s one of their best.
Their first album, Captain Morgan’s Revenge, was okay, but I much preferred their second album Black Sails at Midnight – which I listed as my second-favourite album back in 2011 (it’s probably my third or fourth nowadays). Back Through Time, their third album, was okay – some good songs let down by rough and (in my view) poorer production quality. Sunset on the Golden Age, by contrast, has the production values of their second album and sounds much better for it. I also note that Alestorm’s lead singer Christopher Bowes has consigned his keytar to Davey Jones’ Locker – they’re actually playing real instruments instead of synthesising their sounds.
Though not very politically correct, Alestorm’s music has surprising staying power, considering that they’re arguably a novelty act. But, a novelty act that has released four albums and been on several world tours is not to be sniffed at. So crack upon a bottle of rum, fire your cannons and grab yourself a copy of their latest album – it’s on Amazon or iTunes. And they’re touring the UK again in the autumn. Plus, if you like Alestorm, you may also like Christopher Bowes’ other band Gloryhammer, who songs include the wonderful Unicorn Invasion of Dundee amongst others.