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Alestorm - "Sunset On The Golden Age" (CD)

Alestorm - "Sunset On The Golden Age" CD cover image

"Sunset On The Golden Age" track listing:

1. Walk The Plank
2. Drink
3. Magnetic North
4. 1741 (The Battle of Cartagena)
5. Mead from Hell
6. Surf Squid Warfare
7. Quest for Ships
8. Wooden Leg!
9. Hangover
10. Sunset on the Golden Age

Reviewed by on July 9, 2014

"I've never heard a collection of songs that are so perfect for the band's already stellar live shows."

Beer soaked and battered from the epic battle with the Terrorsquid, Captain Bowes and his merry band of Scottish pirates were able to proceed further northbound. The quest for gold and desire for plundering alcohol was too strong, especially in these days when the golden age of piracy was nearing its end. However, with enough energy as men in their mid-20's could muster, the buccaneers "scraped the barrel" yet again for new innovative ideas to add to the folkified brand of metallic pirate songwriting. With nothing to lose....the band fuels the most fun of the adventures to date.

Following in the footsteps of men like Francois l'Olonnais, who ate a fucking heart, or Jean Lafitte, who told King George to suck it, or even Blackbeard's mentor, Benjamin Hornigold, who just didn't give a shit, Bowes, Evans, Murdock, Alcorn and Vernon relish in the spoils of others....stealing their rum, turning ships into cannon fodder, and calling out the Spanish and Japanese bastards that turned them into peg legs. Sailing the high seas like the days of yore isn't an easy task in the 21st century, so they get their fair share of weird looks, critical analysis citing stupid silliness and comparisons to Jack Sparrow. Pirates care not, they take and steal.

This volume of adventures includes a new round of war, silliness, and mishaps. There's pompous and overbearing keyboards (that's not a bad thing when it comes to these lads), ridiculously engaging choruses, the occasional black metal screech (from Elliot Vernon) and bizarre speed changes that really harken back to the "golden age" of hardcore punk a la Attitude Adjustment, Ludichrist/Scatterbrain, Agnostic Front, and The Meatmen with that hallmark metallic edge. Songs like "Wooden Leg" and "Surf Squid Warfare" are nearly straight up punk, again another hallmark of Alestorm releases. As for production, it's Lasse Lammert, so expect perfection and he delivers.

The single biggest "change" with this release is that the fun side is ratcheted up quite a bit more. I've never heard a collection of songs that are so perfect for the band's already stellar live shows. Oddly, the most fun comes in the form of the Taio Cruz cover "Hangover," the controversial hip hop song that sounds way more like a normal Alestorm song than a Top 40 megahit. It so suits the band's live image that it easily is my favorite song on the album, though I wouldn't be shocked if it was met with utter hatred. It compliments the first single "Drink" even more than the "ironic" before and after title effect. "Magnetic North" is the first song since Running Wild's "Jennings Revenge" that truly makes you feel like you are on the high seas.

Alestorm clearly isn't for everyone. You either love them or hate them, mostly having to do with whether you decide to accept the "old pirate bullshit." I stand by my plea that metal needs bands like Alestorm, if only to immerse oneself in the cheesy silliness of life. If you've seen the band live, or Bowes' other equally silly fun power metal act Gloryhammer, you cannot help fist pumping or waving a drink. This album is even more fun than Tobias Sammet's new Edguy release. Drink up mateys...the Golden Age won't last forever!

Highs: The most fun pirate album EVER.....

Lows: ....if you like that sort of thing. Alestorm has it's haters, and they will be out in droves with this one.

Bottom line: Alestorm scrapes the barrel yet again....and a new "sunrise on the Golden Age" is seen on the horizon.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)