Yo-ho! Everyone’s favorite pirates (not named Johnny Depp) are back to raid your speakers with anthems of drinking, thievery, quests and did I mention drinking? Scotland’s own Alestorm are once again up to their troublesome ways with their 5th release titled No Grave But The Sea, via Napalm Records. Fans of the first several albums will be pleasantly surprised as the band was regained its piratey-ness(?) that drew many of us to the band. A big criticism of their previous album, Sunset on the Golden Age, was that the band stripped away alot of the fun and made a more serious and more traditional folk metal sounding album.
No Grave But The Sea highlights all the things we love about the band, in fact this album might be the best top to bottom album the band has cranked out so far in their career. Our journey kicks off with the title track, No Grave But The Sea, and it doesn’t waste any time in placing you on the ship sailing the seas. It’s driving guitars and horns place you right in the action, paired with Captain Christopher Bowes story telling and infectious chorus make it one if not the strongest track on the album. The two previously release singles “Mexico” and “Alestorm” round out the first part of this album. Both carrying catchy choruses and grooves to make any pirate dance and sing along.
If the party anthems of Mexico and Alestorm aren’t quite your cup of rum do not fear, the rest of the album is full of the pirate tales of old. “Bar und Imbiss” and “Pegleg Potion” could easily be transplanted into any of the first 3 albums and feel right at home. With masterful key-tar work and chanting choruses. One track that stands out as straying the most from the path would be “Fucked With An Anchor”, its the most non pirate yet 100% Alestorm track ever. If this doesn’t find its way into their live sets I will be seriously disappointed. I will leave it at that, you need to experience this masterpiece on your own. Alestorm concludes our journey where many pirates have, on the fabled “Treasure Island”. As far as making a true pirate track this one commands the seas. Once again Bowes lyrics are top notch and the band really rounds out things out.
No Grave But The Sea is packed full of choruses that will make you raise your tankards of rum and sing along. I picture most of these songs being sung by a group of drunken pirates in a bar, which in turn means they did a damn good job on this album. Is this the best Alestorm album yet? That’s really going to be up to the listener. It does a great job of blending all the best elements of each of their previous 4 albums while making an album that feels fresh and energized. I for one loved every second of this album and have listened to in countless times without growing bored with it. The people constantly complaining online that the band needs more ships and ruffly shirts should be pleased as the band has come back into true pirate form.
No Grave But The Sea is the album that Alestorm storms the folk metal seas to cement themselves as one of the greats. They are set to take their music to the masses all summer long as part of the Vans Warped Tour. If you will be in attendance it will be well worth your 30 minutes to check out Alestorm and sharpen up on your pirating skills.
Score: 4.2 / 5