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Skull Branded Pirates - "The Legend of Salty Jim" (CD)

Skull Branded Pirates - "The Legend of Salty Jim" CD cover image

"The Legend of Salty Jim" track listing:

1. Sail to War
2. Cross-Skull Branded Thieves
3. Hempen Jig
4. Far Beyond Forever
5. The Storm and Cursed Seas
6. The Legend of Salty Jim-The Lobster King
7. Blackbeard's Last Stand
8. Sea Doggin'
9. Inside the Inn

Reviewed by on June 22, 2009

"Although their shows are full of costumes, props and giant lobsters, their music is pure British steel with mere hints of seadogs."

Skull Branded Pirates is no novelty band. Think otherwise and ye will walk the plank and fall straight into Davy Jones' Locker! Sorry about that; I do love pirates. But no one has to love pirates to find Skull Branded Pirates appealing. Instead of an Alestorm tribute band, this crew leans more towards Saxon. Although their shows are full of costumes, props and giant lobsters, their music is pure British steel with mere hints of seadogs. "The Legend of Salty Jim" is accessible to the most denim and leather clad heavy metaller.

The album starts triumphant and strong. The drummer kicks furiously on two bass drums. The guitars are like freight trains rolling along until they fly sky high for a nice clean riff. Other than the lyrics, you would never know you're listening to pirates play. They should call their music pirate power metal. To claim it as British heavy metal, this album would be a good ode to the UK metal of the 70s and 80s. To claim it as pirate metal akin to Alestorm, this album would be boring. Occasionally there are sounds of lapping water and a hearty 'Arrgh," but the vocalist has no accent of pirates and there are no pirate-type instruments. it's not the most intense music, but the fist-pumping, chanting pace mixed with double bass rapidity makes it exciting.

Skull Branded Pirates shows are a sight to see, I'm told. It's like seeing the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean at midnight (not that I know what that's like.) As far as the music they will play at the show and record for release, they miss the ship. It's a great listen though for you hardened Templars of Steel. However if you want to hear Alestorm, listen to Alestorm. Skull Branded Pirates is it's own Monster of Rock.

Highs: Great traditional British heavy metal.

Lows: It doesn't have many pirate qualities to it.

Bottom line: Don't listen to this album hoping to hear the clang of swords and the boom of cannons.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

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)