Alestorm – ‘No Grave But The Sea’ (Napalm Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Marc Leach   
Monday, 29 May 2017 04:30

Alestorm No Grave artworkWarning: there is going to be A LOT of pirate references in this review. Should ye be offended by the amount of references used, then to Davey Jones’ locker with ye!


So that’s the disclaimer out to the way, let’s hoist the Jolly Roger and batten down the ‘atches! It’s that time again me ‘earties to kiss your liver goodbye and set sail with Scotland’s rowdiest bunch of buccaneers, the mighty Alestorm and their fifth release; ‘No Grave But The Sea.’


There is not a soul on this planet who will resist the urge of bringing fourth their swords, hooks and rum the second the album’s title track begins. This track is just old school Alestorm, from the high octane energy to the signature synthetic accordion sounds from Captain Christopher Bowes. It is here where the listener will be introduced to the newest recruit, guitarist Máté Bodor who took the helm following long standing member Dani Evan’s departure two years ago. While it was sad to hear of Dani’s departure, Bodor fills in the role perfectly.


Remember I said be sure to kiss your liver goodbye? Well the party has just begun and ‘Mexico’ is the first stop on our list of some booze-tastic material where the band tell tale of a land with tequila and a donkey show for this energetic piece. Oh and don’t forget, three margaritas and a taco! While this album may be filled of the sound that Alestorm have become famous for, this changes for the track named after themselves. Keyboardist Elliot Vernon takes control of the vocal duties with a gut wrenching shout for majority of the song as the band continue to tell that ‘rum, beer, quests and mead’ are what a pirate needs.



How’s your liver now? Still okay? Well sit down and listen to ‘Bar Und Imbiss,’ which is a true drinking anthem that will leave any listener raise up their pints and join the band in proclaiming ‘pirates forever from now till we die.’ This track is almost a middle finger to anyone who question about the band’s ability to successfully write pirate related material for over a decade. Okay good reader, I am going to set you a challenge, try and listen to ‘Fucked With An Anchor’ without keeling over in hysterics. It’s not too often you will listen to a song a band all of a sudden start calling you ‘…a fucking wanker’ and that they’re going ‘…to punch you right in the balls’ and ‘fuck you with a fucking anchor,’ but it’s okay because it’s only those scamps Alestorm!


The band have always been about having fun but their music is serious as they go back to their often thrash metal sound in ‘Pegleg Potion’ and ‘Rage Of The Pentahook,’ the tale of an unkillable bastard who will stab your mum and drink your rum. Terrifying! The eight minute epic ‘Treaure Island’ brings this phenomenal album to a close, where the band truly shines not just lyrically but musically as well; from the tasty riffs both electric and acoustically from Bodor to the sensational keyboard solos from Vernon.


So, what all can I say about an Alestorm album? There is no denying that the band can still continue to captivate their audience with such a high octane and tight performance; probably the tightest I personally have heard the band. This record is not only the perfect debut for Máté Bodor but for the band to change their sound around, especially with Vernon on vocals, which was fantastic to hear. Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go and play ‘Fucked With An Anchor’ as loud as I can so all my neighbours can hear.


‘No Grave But The Sea’ was released last Friday.  Alestorm play the Zippo Encore Stage at Download on Saturday 10 June.


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