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Review – Black Sails At Midnight

Alestorm is what could only be described as Pastafarian holy music – I.E., it’s Pirate Metal. Yes, you read that right, Pirate Metal. It does exist, and these guys are the biggest name in this practically non-existent subgenre. Originally going by the name of Battleheart, Alestorm has toured the world, conquering the lands with their pirate-themed lyrics and instrumentals, and definitely enjoying a bottle of rum-or-eighty along the way. Black Sails At Midnight is the second record these Heavy Metal pirates have put out, and while it isn’t quite everything that Captain Morgan’s Revenge was, it’s still a fun album and quite the hearty adventure.

To start off; the first thing you’ll notice about these sea-dogs is the raspy, cliché pirate vocals. Christopher Bowes (Who also rocks the keytar) has one of the greatest pirate impressions ever, and while his vocals aren’t exactly qualified as “singing”, it’s still epic… Oh, who am I kidding? It’s awful. But, dear God, man, it’s PIRATE METAL! There’s nothing more awesome! While this sounds silly; he gets the points on vocals just because he can make himself sound like a pirate. He also does some amazing work with that keytar, some of the solos he rips are just badass.

Unfortunately; in both Bowes’ lyrics, and the instrumentals, the songs start to sound rather similar before long. One can only talk about the life of a pirate for so long before he starts rambling on and on. Sadly, that’s exactly what happens here, though. Although they pick it back up with the song Weiber Und Wein, which, as the title suggests, is sung completely in German. Perhaps an unintentional reference to The Beatles? Who re-recorded several of their songs into German? Who knows? Who really cares, either? It’s still awesome.

But, while the songs start to blend a bit, one cannot deny just how fun this music is. I’ll say it again; it’s freaking PIRATE METAL. You have to be truly awful to fuck up something as awesome as that. If you’re ever in need of a good, hearty laugh, turn on the Alestorm, ’cause they’ll make you laugh. Sadly; there were a few moments where it stopped being funny, and just made me go WTF. To The End Of Our Days is a prime example. The chorus features all of the members chanting about sitting on the bottom decks of their ships waiting to die, and it just all goes in such a way that makes you think “Please, don’t let these guys be serious…” I’m not sure if they’re being serious at all through this, but that song makes you think it, and it’s painful.

For another act of disappointment, do me a favor. Go find the song No Quarter off of this album and listen to it, mainly focusing on the guitar part.. Now, go listen to the main theme from Pirates Of The Caribbean. They sound disturbingly similar. I was quite saddened by this display of sheer laziness, and what some would call plagiarism. The song Black Sails At Midnight also sounds a lot like a song from their previous album, entitled Set Sail, And Conquer!


But, if you’re able to shake off these few flops, Black Sails At Midnight is a fun, silly album that is sure to put you in a good mood. And, remember, it’s freakin’ PIRATE METAL!!!!!!!!!! What could possibly be more awesome than that!?

Final Score; 6/10

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