Alestorm - 'No Grave But The Sea'

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Alestorm - 'No Grave But The Sea'

Alestorm have delivered a masterclass in Metal.

"Rum, beer, quests and mead, these are the things that a pirate needs." Ride the waves, stock up on that delicious Kraken Rum from the legendary monster itself, and set sail on quests involving Mexico, an anchor and some gravy-looking captain crunch-tasting and potion-making, as Scotland's premier pirates take their fiery brand of Folk-tinged Power Metal to new heights on their fourth album 'No Grave But The Sea'.

Keytars and trumpets swing hand-in-hand as sword-slinging riffs and army-marching drums go toe-to-toe in battle during the titular opening track, before things explode out of quirky 8-bit chiptune into a key-driven riff-and-roll express in the shape of 'Mexico'. On tracks such as this, where seriously meaty riffs Rock, Roll, sizzle and slide across lyrics as humorously candid as "Yo ho Mexico, far to the south where the cactus grow, tequila and a donkey show!", you'd be forgiven for feeling as if you've been thrown into the middle of a sketch show led by Weird Al Yankovic and Johnny Depp; yet truthfully, you wouldn't wish for anything else.

Alestorm have climbed the ladders of many ships, reaching heights and bounties as high and as precious as a Top 100 UK album chart spot, and are on the verge of discovering the treasure they've been searching for all their lives. Simply put, everything is ten times bigger than it's ever been, from the black jack-sized riffs and the cannon-blowing violin solos, to the "yo ho ho" choral chants that'll have you singing along as if you've been a pirate since the very day you were born.

At times, it feels as if it's a broken record, as if the mead is running out and the quests are getting old, like the formula has found itself an end, with the lengthier epics like 'To The End Of The World' rolling on just a tad too long. Scrap that, these swashbuckling, sword-fighting scallywags slay the demons of the sea so swiftly that you forgive them for occasionally falling on islands of repetitiveness, because you're far too busy singing along, dancing in joy and drinking as much mead as you can to really care that much.

It may be cheesy and it may be cliché, but Alestorm have delivered a masterclass in Metal and are soon to set sail to new horizons with bountiful treasures awaiting them.

Jack Press

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