Album review: ALESTORM – Sunset On The Golden Age

Alestorm - Sunset On The Golden Age

Napalm Records [Release date – 04.08.14]

A new Alestorm album is always a highly anticipated event with those hungry for more piratical nonsense on the high seas and with ‘Sunset On The Golden Age’ the band don’t disappoint. Anyone familiar with the band’s previous outings will know what to expect and the guys deliver the booty and then some!

‘Walk The Plank’ kicks things off in a suitably raucous fashion led by the keyboard work and gruff vocals of Christopher  Bowes.  This is a full on pirate metal workout and one can only imagine the carnage that will be let loose when this is played live. A staccato guitar riff followed by the good old Scottish phrase, ‘ Haw You,  gie’s a beer!’ , introduces the next track ‘Drink’ which features one of the best singalong choruses ever committed to record and will compel you to scream along.

A quick trip to ‘Magnetic North’ is then followed by the saga of ‘1741 – The Battle Of Cartagena’, which is majestic as it sounds. This epic tale tells the story of a sea battle between the British and Spanish which led to huge losses for the British, see it’s not all drinking and pillaging, you do get a history lesson at the same time (Historical Metal perhaps?)

We are soon back to drinking though with ‘Mead From Hell’ and for anyone who has sampled that particular beverage you will know that the monks who produced the stuff knew a thing or two about getting legless, no wonder they had a vow of silence, they were all hungover! The ludicrous ‘Surf Squid Warfare’ is up next and is a guitar driven romp with Dani Evans furiously riffing for all he is worth.

‘Quest For Ships’ finds the band in familiar pirate metal territory before things get frantic and comical in equal measure with  ‘Wooden Leg’, again another song which will cause chaos when played live, in a good way of course! A subject close the guy’s hearts is covered next with ‘Hangover’ which features a rap-metal section which actually works well. The album title track then rounds things off, clocking in at over 11 minutes it features more great interplay between the keyboards of Bowes and the guitar of Evans, especially on the mid-section .

If you haven’t set sail with Alestorm yet I recommend you don an eye patch, dust off the parrot and head for your nearest port to enlist as soon as possible. Aaaaaaarrrrrrrrrr, it be a good ‘un!  ****1/2

Review by David Wilson


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