Alestorm
Black Sails at Midnight


3.5
great

Review

by Greg Wood USER (20 Reviews)
June 30th, 2009 | 28 replies | 5,141 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Alestorm show that there’s more to this pirate lark than just wenches, treasure and ale.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

It’s been clear from the outset that Alestorm don’t take themselves that seriously. They write songs about finding buried treasure and drinking mead, they use a hell of a lot of keytar, and their singer sounds like a drunken sea captain in a harbour-side tavern. Their debut, Captain Morgan’s Revenge, was one of the funnest and most anthemic albums to be released in a long time, featuring ten songs designed to make you raise your tankard of ale and sing to the early hours of the morning. Their second album Black Sails at Midnight builds on the foundations laid by their debut while showing signs of progression and maturity, both in their songwriting and musicianship.

This is most evident in the fifth track To the End of Our Days, about a pirate’s last words as he dies a lonely death out at sea. It’s not massively poignant stuff but it’s certainly a welcome change from their usual subjects of ale and treasure. Similarly is the other ‘epic’ on the album Chronicles of Vengeance, a song about a captain looking for revenge after he is betrayed by some of his crew. Once again, it’s a welcome change that shows that there’s more to their pirate theme than we first thought. Lyrics such as:

Another day goes by, another setting sun
As the light begins to fade
Upon this silent ship I now chart a course
Yet no wind blows these tattered sails
For reasons lost to time, that I cannot recall
Alone I sail the endless seas
The hands of fate have slain the crew, my only friends
And soon this doom will come for me


…show some progression from their old days of singing about finding taverns with “mighty fine beer” and buying treasure maps from “an old man with a hook for a hand”. Granted, the pirate theme means that they’re still slightly cheesy, but it must be quite tough to write somewhat poignant lyrics with an OTT gimmick, and to Alestorm’s credit they’ve done the best they possibly could.

However, this IS an Alestorm album, which means that there are a few songs which aren’t all that serious. That Famous Ol’ Spiced, The Quest, Keelhauled, and their cover of Wolves of the Sea all hark back to the lyrical topics of their debut: beer, sailing the oceans, and looking for treasure. All four tracks are great fun, complete with chanted choruses, catchy keytar melodies and perfectly executed pirate vocals courtesy of Christopher Bowes. Truth be told, there really aren’t any bad songs on Black Sails at Midnight, with the exception of the instrumental No Quarter, which just becomes repetitive and boring by the end of it’s three minute length.

Overall though, it’s impossible not to like Black Sails at Midnight. It may not be the most intelligent, technical, or emotionally deep album in the world, but it sure is a lot of fun. And really, what more could you ask for from these True Scottish Pirates?

Recommended Tracks

Leviathan
That Famous Ol’ Spiced
Black Sails at Midnight
Wolves of the Sea




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user ratings (174)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
Tom Chatt (3)
More of the same yes, but a fairly enjoyable more of the same....

Tristan (4)
Ten swashbuckling pirate tunes; Alestorm proves themselves as more than just a cheap fad....

Matthijs van der Lee (1)
AAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRe these guys serious?...

Simon Harris (SCREAM!) (3)
Alestorm release what could be their last relevant album...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2009



8321 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

goddamnit Greg, look what I posted into your list

Greggers
June 30th 2009



2375 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah i was kinda posting it when you wrote that sorry :P

Ah well, its too late now, what did you think anyway?

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2009



8321 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

well the reveiw is great, well written, I will get this since their debut was lots of fun

Lately this stuff just happens to me. Everytime I post a review there will come a storm of other reviews that push mine off the front page

Greggers
June 30th 2009



2375 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks dude

And as long as the review's on the front page and getting comments people will look at it, so it shouldn't matter too much

foreverendeared
June 30th 2009



14678 Comments


good review. this doesn't appeal to me at all though. Maybe if i was drunk...

xecutioner
June 30th 2009



73 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pretty short, but to the point. good review.

Greggers
June 30th 2009



2375 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, there isn't THAT much to talk about on an album like this though

SmurkinGherkin
June 30th 2009



1769 Comments


pirate metal ftw

BallsToTheWall
June 30th 2009



44164 Comments


Alestorm fails for trying to say Pirates were more metal than Vikings. Bullshit.

Greggers
June 30th 2009



2375 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They may not be more metal, but they're certainly more fun :D

Rum ftw

turnip90210
June 30th 2009



309 Comments


I never knew these guys were making a second album... good review, take a pos. Will pick up

marksellsuswallets
June 30th 2009



4848 Comments


Vikings > Pirates in terms of how metal they are, no question.

Willie
Moderator
June 30th 2009



15900 Comments


These guys sound like they'd be a fun listen. Nice review too.

Greggers
June 30th 2009



2375 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As long as you don't take them too seriously then this is an extremely fun album :D

rasputin
June 30th 2009



14538 Comments


ugh ugh ugh ugh

TricksterGRex
June 30th 2009



2087 Comments


Why does this band continue to exist.

Dethtrasher
July 2nd 2009



2211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha, album kicks ass.

BallsToTheWall
July 2nd 2009



44164 Comments


This goes great with Captain Morgans and/or sailing. That's about it.

Dethtrasher
July 2nd 2009



2211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I still hate ''Wolves Of The Sea'' though.

Phantom
July 2nd 2009



8930 Comments


"Leaviathan" is good, but this is pretty much a retreading of Captain Morgan's Revenge, which I only listen to when drinking or at parties. Ended up deleting this one from my itunes after a few listens through.



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