Alestorm - "Seventh Rum Of A Seventh Rum" (CD)
"Seventh Rum Of A Seventh Rum" track listing:
1. Magellan's Expedition
2. The Battle Of Cape Fear River
4. P.A.R.T. Y.
5. Under Blackened Banners
7. Seventh Rum Of A Seventh Rum
8. Bite The Hook Hand That Feeds
9. Return To Tortuga
10. Come To Brazil
11. Wooden Leg (Part III)
Reviewed by Diamond Oz on June 24, 2022
Power metal, no matter how good it is, always seems to have to face detractors and ridicule from many metal fans and purists, despite being the closest sub-genre to the original heavy metal heyday. When there's a gimmick involved, it's even easier to dismiss, but there are those who have stuck to their guns (or cannons in this case) and made it work. Enter Alestorm, one of the most popular metal bands in the UK, a mainstay of European festivals and the most appropriate band to take part in the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise. Merely two years on from their last studio album, "Curse Of The Crystal Coconut," the Scottish buccaneers have another album out named "Seventh Rum Of A Seventh Rum," and much like the Iron Maiden album the title spoofs, it may well be the best in the band's catalogue.
What makes Alestorm work is their uncanny ability to blend truly excellent power metal with wackiness and humour, both of which are abundant here. If we're to focus on the former first, the opening number "Magellan's Expedition" gets the ball rolling perfectly despite featuring a riff that I swear I've heard before and perhaps falling just short of being a sing-along. One can immediately tell that it's going to work great live, especially if it opens the show. Moving on a little further, there's "Under Black Banners," a strong contender for power metal song of the year. It features everything that makes the genre so enjoyable structurally and will grab the attention of even the most ardent detractors. Add to these, "Return To Tortuga" and the title track and the sea beneath them boils with white-hot metal music.
As mentioned, there's no shortage of laughs to be had on the record either. "The Battle Of Cape Fear River" might get a giggle just for the sheer audacity to write a chorus that is 90%, "I'm a fucking pirate!" while "Cannonball" has a main chorus line that makes "Fucked With An Anchor" sound like something Barry Manilow would sing. "P.A.R.T.Y." echoes "Mexico" in terms of the sheer good time fun and silliness ("Come To Brazil" is also reminiscent but more in terms of the lyrics) and is another song that will go down great live.
There's plenty in between the two ends of the Alestorm spectrum that will entertain fans and newcomers alike, such as "Magyarország," a very catchy love letter to Hungary (though given that it's a landlocked country, it seems like an odd subject for a pirate crew to sing about), as well as closing track, "Wooden Leg (Part III)" which appears to wrap up a trilogy which began on the "Sunset On The Golden Age" album. All these approaches come together to create the perfect Alestorm album, which will delight fans, intrigue newcomers, win over some doubters and most of all, provide much-needed entertainment.
Highs: "Under Blackened Banners," "Cannonball," "Magyarország" and the title track
Lows: From the eighth track on, the argument could be made that it starts to sound a little samey, or rather, like standard Alestorm formula.
Bottom line: Power metal album of the year? Blind Guardian are going to have to be on top of their game to beat it!
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