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Los Pirates - "Heavy Piracy" (CD)

Los Pirates - "Heavy Piracy" CD cover image

"Heavy Piracy" track listing:

1. Intro
2. Coast of the Caribbean
3. Timeless dreams
4. The return of Captain Woodhead
5. My friend, the slave
6. Pirate's Island
7. We declare
8. Another empty bottle

Reviewed by on August 18, 2009

"Though the album doesn't have any truly terrible songs, the reliance on the theme of piracy does get to be a bit of a lyrical straitjacket by the end."

Ah, pirate metal, the format that finally freed us from the stranglehold hip-hop had on the phrase "yo ho." OK, enough with the joking, and on to the "Heavy Piracy" as served by the scurvy dogs that make up Italy's Los Pirates. Falling somewhere between full speed ahead and three sheets to the wind, this disc is a fun listen, even if you haven't watched all three "Pirates of the Caribbean" films in the last week.

Things get off to a slightly unusual start with the appropriately titled "Intro," which has a nautical feel (complete with rushing ocean sounds). It's got horn sounds, loud snare drums and cymbals that crash like waves against the hull — but you'll have to wait for the next track for the thunderous guitars and bass.

"Coast of the Caribbean" takes our nautical fantasy and marries it to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal sound the band has expressed its fondness for in splendid fashion. When most bands talk about a love for NWOBHM sounds, they're talking about Iron Maiden and little else. With this song, I can hear a little Maiden, but I also feel a little bit of Diamondhead creeping in. A later track, "Pirate's Island," reminds me a bit of Motorhead.

"The Return of Captain Woodhead" is where guitarists Angelo Berlandis and Davide Gherardi let the Maiden influence come through loud and clear, especially in the opening. Luckily, Andy Brevi has the pipes to carry it off.

The album's best song is "My friend, The Slave," about a man kidnapped to serve with the pirate band, cleaning decks under threat of being beaten and thrown overboard. It takes a great turn in the middle though, when it's discovered that all the other men aboard the ship had to do the same thing. There's also an interesting acoustic guitar part that turns it from metal fury to sea shanty without losing any of its power.

Though the album doesn't have any truly terrible songs, the reliance on the theme of piracy does get to be a bit of a lyrical straitjacket by the end. Additionally, the last song, "Another Empty Bottle" does drag a bit. Still, in "Heavy Piracy," Los Pirates have created an album with the kind of beer-sloshing fun that's all too often missing from metal these days.

Highs: "Coast of the Caribbean" and the clever "My Friend, The Slave."

Lows: The piracy theme gets a little old by the end of the album.

Bottom line: These captains of hooks have created a fun listen sure to put a little wind in your sails.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)