Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Black Sails at Midnight-Alestorm

 ARRR, it be SatARRday morning and I be reviewing some good old Pirate Metal! Yes Alestorm, one of the most notable names in the growing Pirate Metal album. We all know pirate's make everything better and that includes power metal. This music distinctly reminds me of the classic Pirates of the Carribean movies. This album oozes sweat and grime and a generally awesome pirate feel which makes it awesome to listen too. The guitar places an emphasis on galloping rhythms, the bass is also often galloping, the drums are okay, but consist almost entirely of 16ths on the toms. There is also a synth which helps to add a piratey feel to the music with it's great musicality. The vocals include both slight growls and clean singing and seem very piratey. Overall this is a great album with a killer guitar.
The guitar has a very interesting sound on this album. It typically focuses on galloping rhythms however it can sometimes have melodic/folk guitar parts that are very reminiscent of Waylander. Overall the guitar does not give the music the piratey magic, however it is very good. In particular it has a couple brilliant solos. The bass is solid but uninspired often doing the same thing as the guitar or just putting in a 16th note fill. The drums are also decent but they too rarely deviate from their 16th note fills. When they leave their typical fills behind both the bass and drums can both shine and do very well. The keyboards are what really adds the beauty to the music. Because they can be told to do horn parts they really add a lot of that ol' piratey goodness to the music. As much as I typically hate synths this album shows that they can have their uses.
The vocals are very interesting, they truly capture pirateness. They have a light death growl style. The death growls are reminiscent of what the voice of the stereotypical 'old man of the sea' would sound like. The vocals are slightly angry, but anger is not the dominant emotion as it might be in a thrash album. The Scottish accent of the lead singer Christopher Bowes bleeds through his growls and makes the music sound particularly piratey. The lyrics are always pirate based and very enjoyable. Some songs are about beer, others are about forcing people to walk the plank. All of them retain that piratey feel that makes Alestorm so good.
All in all this is a really nice album with an awesome sound. There is a killer guitar sound, which focuses on some cool galloping rhythms. The gallpoing guitar rhythms help lead the music. The bass also is often galloping. The drums are solid if often unoriginal. The synthesizer proves that synths can be amazing, it truly makes the music piratey. The vocals are moderate growls and have a nice feel, in particular the lyrics are great and extremely enjoyable to listen too. In short Alestorm is a metal band with an ever growing fan base for a reason. Their sound is helping to create an entirely new genre of metal, and a really cool genre at that.

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