Sunday, April 29, 2012
Alestorm - Back Through Time
Alestorm's genre was listed as Scottish Pirate Metal. I am not kidding you. This is possibly the coolest, weirdest thing I have ever had the fortune to stumble upon. And the album cover of Back Through Time fits perfectly within the genre description. A bloodied skeleton warrior wielding a sword that's impaling a severed head, you really cannot get any cooler than that. Well, maybe add a bit more corpes and spookiness, but you get the idea.
Back Through Time starts with the sound of wind whistling through sails while gutteral voices shout admidst cannon sounds. No, I'm not joking, they really went that extra mile. The lyrical content continues the pirate theme, talking of traveling through time to fight vikings, causing shipwrecks, while taking heads and.....treasure, of course. Really? Is this a novelty act, or are these guys actually this seriously obsessed with pirates? Racer, are you trying to make me lighten up a bit by sending me this album? Yes, it's very funny that a band is literally parading around as modern day pirates, but it's not quite as funny when you realize that the entire....album...talks.....of...nothing....but...pirates. The joke wears thin by the middle of the album.
If you forget the slight immaturity for a minute, these lads are actually talented. I really liked the doubling done by the keyboards and the guitars. The drumming chugs along like a runaway train, or ship, I guess *rolls eyes*. There were also orchestral acompanyments, including trumpets, many other horns, flutes, and what sounded like bagpipes at one point. Well, they are Scottish, so, there you go. I liked it, it added a nice cultural point, you can tell the lads are proud of their background. Alestorm's sound combines the chugga-chugga of death metal, guitars pushing the limit of speeds with the flighty meideval sound of pagan metal. Lots of old fashioned Scottish folk music mixed in with the heavy metal and of course the yells of "YAAHH, TREASURE LADDIES!" Sad part is, I'm not joking, that's almost a direct lyric right there.
I eventually stopped listening to the lyrics because they were just getting silly after a while. Getting past the whole silliness, Alestorm is really a pioneer in their sound. Flawlessly combining speed metal with pagan metal while piling on shouted lyrics, it's different, a good different. Pirate-ness aside, I would listen to this band again, possibly while on a road trip so I can pretend I'm a pirate too. Why not? Goths and pirates could go together quite nicely I think.
I walk around town looking like a teenage Adora BatBrat (just kidding, I wish I looked like her!) so I can't really be casting about judgement on looking weird, now can I? If Alestorm really follow through with this pirates thing and walk about in pantaloons and 1600 styled jackets, more power to them. Eh, cheers mates, may we all be freaky together!