Album Review: No Grave but the Sea by Alestorm

After being mildly disappointed by the latest Pirates of The Caribbean film I needed to go in search of some pirate goodness. So hoist the sails, grab the rum and prepare to set sail with the greatest pirate metal band ever, Alestorm.

You’ll find plenty of music to get you moving. From the folky bounce of the titular track to the hair whipping riffage of Rage of the Pentahook, the album is a fantastic blend of metal subgenres. The power metal progressions of To the End of the World lay down a solid foundation for Chris Bowes to tell his pirate tales over. The self titled song, Alestorm, oozes some serious 1990s thrash metal/metalcore vibes during the verse. Its chugging nature leads wonderfully into the bands iconic chorus formula. Catchy lyrics over simple music and ear catching pipes, fiddles and all those glorious folk elements.  These additions brings the pirate theme to life. Whereas some bands just use their theme as a gimmick, Alestorm actually deliver. Treasure Island is the embodiment of the band. Keytars, fiddles, trumpets etc cut against neck wrenching metal. Each section of the song cements the bands knack for effortlessly creating a variety of sounds from a single song.

The chorus are oh so sea worthy! Their criminally catchy. You’ll be able singing nearly every single chorus after hearing it just the once. The simple sea shanty style has worked for the band for years, injecting some party atmosphere into their albums. For the best result grab some mates, some beer and give the likes of Bar Ünd Imbiss a listen. You’ll have your tankards raised to the skies in a matter of songs, belting out theses incredibly well written lyrics. Each song has a tale to tell. Alestorm have managed to capture the story telling elements of their early albums and  the slightly more tongue and cheek style of later albums. I mean you just have to listen to Fucked with Anchor to see that the band knows how to write some absolutely hilarious music. The happy ukulele intro is perfectly contrasted against some gratuitous vocals. It is spot on.

No Grave but the Sea is possibly my favourite Alestorm to date. It has catchy choruses, jig worthy  folk elements, head banging riffs and that sea shanty feel that has kept the band on course for nearly a decade. It is safe to say, the seven seas have never sounded this good!

Score: 9/10


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