Alestorm
Black Sails at Midnight


1.0
awful

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
February 27th, 2010 | 38 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: AAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRe these guys serious?

Pirates have become hot again. Certain films starring one Johnny Depp have rekindled the interest in the forgotten genre some time ago, and law-breaking marauders were suddenly all over the place. The annual Talk like a Pirate Day, for example, which was founded almost 40 years ago, became popular as hell in recent years. People started associating pirates with only positive images. The lads consume copious amounts of rum, sing lots of ‘yo oh oh’s, sail the endless oceans as free men, not bound by law, and can plunder and pillage as they wish. Being a pirate, therefore, is awesome.

It is not difficult to see then, why Scottish band Alestorm would so very much like to be pirates. The reason is simply the above paragraph. This band is hopping on the piracy bandwagon and hope to achieve some success by pirating away through the form of music. While it is quite possible they may have thought they were the first ones to do it, their musical concept is not quite original. Our German friends Running Wild already recorded a piraty concept album called Black Hand Inn more than 15 years ago (1994, to be exact), so yes, they may have ripped off Ze Germans. But really, do we care? After all, pirates are awesome. Therefore, music about pirates is equally awesome.

Especially when that music comes in the form of power/folk metal. ARRRRRR! It is difficult, these days, finding any sense of originality in the mostly chewed-out power and folk metal subgenres. Black Sails at Midnight is prime proof of this issue. The record, and the band as a whole, comes off as one big hoax. The idea of ‘pirate metal’ is already too silly too work in theory, but Alestorm doesn’t seem to be putting in any actual effort. Every aspect of the band’s music is flawed. The so-called ‘folk’ melodies sound incredibly fake. The album’s material sounds more like a half-assed, soundtrack to Pirates of the Caribbean than anything else. The typical power metal riffs are both dated and repetitive, and only worsened by a annoyingly present keyboard section that tries so hard to be epic but ends up being the epitome of cheese instead. With such an awful instrumental backing, you will pray for the vocals to be better off, but no. Front figure and creative leader Christopher Bowes (who is already responsible for the horrible keyboard section) has got neither power nor charisma in his voice. Obviously trying to live up to the Jari Mäenpää’s of our generation, his weak Scottish-accented squabble is a bore to list to. The question remains simply: can Alestorm get anything right?

Sadly enough, no, they cannot. I bet there is hundreds of pirate-obsessed kids who might love this kind of thing, but any well-respected music fan will give this an immediate pass. This whole failure of an album doesn’t detract anyhow from the reputation of pirates, of course. Pirates are still, indeed, very awesome. Alestorm just isn’t.



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user ratings (178)
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....

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

Greg Wood (3.5)
Alestorm show that there’s more to this pirate lark than just wenches, treasure and ale....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
February 27th 2010


8316 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I had to review this after a horrible, horrible listening experience. God, this is awful.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2010


28822 Comments


wait, this isnt halestorm...

Digging: Charli XCX - Sucker

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2010


8021 Comments


good call theacademy

EVedder27
February 27th 2010


6088 Comments


This sounds hilariously bad. Good to see you back reviewing.

Nagrarok
February 27th 2010


8316 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

You should just give one song a quick listen to hear how bad it actually is. I was already back at reviewing though, did one yesterday. Something that you might like, actually.

Yazz_Flute
February 27th 2010


18875 Comments


KEELHAUL THAT FILTHY LANDLUBBER SENT HIM DOWN TO THE DEPTHS BELOW
MAKE THAT BASTARD WALK THE PLANK WITH A BOTTLE OF RUM AND A YO HO HO

Digging: DIR EN GREY - Arche

bloozclooz
February 27th 2010


1770 Comments


"It is difficult, these days, finding any sense of originality in the mostly chewed-out power and folk metal subgenres."

a common error I see in this site. There's no verb here. At least, not one of the right tense. You probably changed your thought structure halfway through.

BallsToTheWall
February 27th 2010


44805 Comments


Is it safe to assume that Alestorm have become the most hated band in metal?

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2010


8391 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It is difficult, these days, finding any sense of originality in the mostly chewed-out power and folk metal subgenres.
I couldn't care less for power metal, but folk metal isn't trying to be inventive 95% of the time; the sole purpose of most folk metal is to be either fun or just produce good ol' metal with folkish instruments and undercurrents and influences.


I find the album to be a little fun, althoguh it has 0 replay value. Still I absolutely see why you wouldn't and a good review is a good review.

Nagrarok
February 27th 2010


8316 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I couldn't care less for power metal, but folk metal isn't trying to be inventive 95% of the time; the sole purpose of most folk metal is to be either fun or just produce good metal with folkish instruments and undercurrents and influences.


Don't get me wrong, I absolutely agree and enjoy my folk metal from time to time. This, however, is horrible.

Yazz_Flute
February 27th 2010


18875 Comments


Their last album had some really good songs: ie Captain Morgan's Revenge, Wenches and Mead.

BallsToTheWall
February 27th 2010


44805 Comments


SPUTNIKDOG!!!!!!!!

Poet
February 27th 2010


5935 Comments


YAY I get to witness sputnikdog...at least his ghost

And if you think this band is being serious, then you are kinda retarded

Dryden
February 27th 2010


13284 Comments


terrible band

bloozclooz
February 27th 2010


1770 Comments


are there any good pirate metal bands? i like amon amarth, but they're viking metal.

Poet
February 27th 2010


5935 Comments


Their first album was good though

TheEnforcer
February 27th 2010


270 Comments


Pirates are sexy.

scotish
February 27th 2010


835 Comments


the epitome of cheese

lol'd. also, +pos

Lunarfall
February 27th 2010


3179 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

come on this isnt that bad

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2010


8021 Comments


The vocalist sucks intense ass



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