Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy, aka the Joyful Gadfly! Musician, podcaster, writer, historian ... here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album is unique in some way. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Alestorm ~ Captain Morgan's Revenge




(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: folk metal, pirate metal, British
Label: Napalm Records
Year: 2008
Home: Scotland

Members: Christopher Bowes ~ vocals/keyboards/tin whistle
Gavin Harper ~ guitars/jaw harp/percussion/b. vocals
Dani Evans ~ bass
Ian Wilson ~ percussion

Additional: Brendan Casey ~ bass/b. vocals
Migo Wagner ~ drums/b. vocals
Chris Mummelthey ~ b. vocals
Lasse Lammert ~ vibraslap/tambourine


If you know this seemingly new trend of viking metal then you know exactly what Alestorm sounds like, albeit with pirate melodies versus other marauding influences ... which might be splitting hairs considering the rarity of historical recordings of actual pirates & viking singing available for anthropological examination. In the end, it's just trading one style of boat, uniform & weapon for another. Though, I'll confess I actually like this style of music! It's inherently fun. Whenever I'm in a upbeat mood where I'm not worrying about work or a project this is what I put on to spin welcomingly. Albeit, I'm reminded of the Manowar style of rock, but instead of a band wearing loincloths onstage they're wearing ... loincloths ... with broadswords. I've not done the research yet to see if music historians connect the two trends ... But, I do find this music historically fascinating for the reason that this is seemingly a form of music unique to Europe. There's no viking past in North America to draw from & so far I've not uncovered any Native American or Inuit Metal. Of the bands I've heard in the viking metal world Alestorm has become my favorite & not because the album is named after a bottle of rum (which in turn, I think, is named after a real pirate) ... because that's the one alcohol I don't like. Alestorm brings in the best of the sound, with fun & creative arrangements. The first time I heard this musical style it was by a Finnish band that opened for Dragonforce that featured an accordian & violin. I was intrigued & have been since. I should thank them for bringing me to Alestorm! If you don't know what viking metal sounds like - it's exactly what you think it sounds like: fierce rhythms, chorus vocals & viking inspired melodies & lyrical topics. Pirate metal is just a little more drunken & sea-worthy. If you don't know what I mean go straight for Alestorm or walk the gang plank! But, one must ask oneself, in all seriousness, would Captain Kidd approve or have the band beheaded? & since when do pirate ships have electrical outlets for guitar amps? Let alone, the guitar wasn't even invented back then. &, more importantly, is Adam Ant having a laugh, considering that he already did this 30 years ago?



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