Review Summary: Alestorm release what could be their last relevant album
Those who read my review for the Leviathan EP
might remember me ending the review with a warning directed towards the band. Now I know you are all too lazy to go check it yourselves so here it is:
"Although the listener should beware. If the band plans on releasing another album like this it could make for a very tedious experience due to the lack of new ideas. The band can’t expect the same stunts to stay fun forever."
Now seeing as how the new album features the title track from the EP and the cover of Wolves of the Sea
, things were not looking good for Alestorm’s newest outing, Black Sails At Midnight
After going through the album once I could see spots where the bands had tried to follow criticism received about their debut, but overall, their sound has stayed the same. It definitely still makes for an interesting and fun listen but not as much as their first album did which is sad because the songs on this one are just as well written, if not better, than on the first. But their sound is slowly starting to age like the rum they so often sing about.
Now if you have heard their debut or their Leviathan EP
, you will already be familiar with the band’s general sound. Driving guitar riffs are accompanied by accordion-like keyboard melodies to create the “piratey” atmosphere. With these the band create many catchy and fun melodies and choruses that still have the power to stay stuck in your head for hours. The riffs are essentially power chords. The band only seems to have tried to obey the criticism about the simplicity of the guitar riffs in the title track which features a thrashy sounding main riff and short melodic guitar breaks during the chorus. This works very well with their pirate sound and finally shows the listener that the guitarists don’t need the keyboards as a crutch…they just choose to have it that way. But the guitars really shine during the solos where they deliver fast, technical, scale-based solos that they manage to make fit right into the song.
Not much needs to be said about the rest of the album. The singer continues to deliver lyrics that revolve essentially around drinking rum, getting wenches and battling across the high seas. He delivers them in his drunken pirate style of singing that is a perfect match with the music and themes of the album. Nothing needs to be said about the bass since it cannot be heard and the drums continue to provide very solid beats while throwing in many interesting fills every now and then.
So overall, Black Sails At Midnight
is another fun album by the now famous (or infamous) Alestorm. But the album suffers from sounding like everything else the band has released. Their sound is starting to lose its novelty and fast. They just manage to get away with it on this album but they will need to put more effort in song writing and especially the guitar riffs if they hope to stay relevant in today’s metal and not disappear like the pirates (Somalian pirates don’t count).