Review Summary: Alestorm scrape the barrel once more, but come up empty handed.
"Greetings ya gobshites!"
It boggles the mind. After not one, but two helpings of the cheesiest, most gimmicky albums in the history of music, Alestorm are back to shove a third helping down our throats. They’re pirates after all, and it’s not like they’re just going to lay down and die, no matter how much we want them to. But why would we want such an endearing group to walk off the plank (or be stabbed in their potbellied guts)? The last time I checked, pirates were extremely popular, and it also happens that Alestorm is one of the few pirate metal bands in existence. Then again, the last time I checked, the mayonnaise in my fridge was still edible. The band is now sailing in shallow seas, just as my mayonnaise may be swimming in vomit-inducing mold.
Alestorm’s first two albums sailed because the concept of a pirate themed metal band seemed fresh and intriguing. Also, Black Sails at Midnight
was quite an improvement upon their debut album, and seemed to hint at the idea that the band was more than just a gimmick. It had epic, sing-along choruses, the songs were surprisingly well written, and generally, the album was a bucket of fun. Unfortunately, with the inclusion of Back Through Time
, the joke no longer excites, and we find ourselves YAR-HAR-HAR-ing a bit less. It only goes down from here. The album is basically Black Sails at Midnight
Part II, but now that all of the band’s tricks have been exhausted, the album is an exhausting listen. The accordions, whistles, synthesizers, gang vocals, and guitar thrashing are back again, and they’re doing nothing new. The band was always over the top before, but their bombast is finally wearing thin. Of course, one could claim that this is just as solid as their other albums, but I think we’re all a bit tired of the band at this point. Of course, the album isn't necessarily bad, it's just uninteresting.
After two albums (and a few EPs), all aspects of the band are annoyingly predictable. Of course, this doesn’t stop them from creating a few classic Alestorm songs off their stale formula, but that’s about as good as it gets. ‘Back Through Time’ is basically a copy of ‘The Quest’, ‘Scraping The Barrel’ is a copy of ‘To the End of Our Days’, and ‘Shipwrecked’ fills in the need for the next ‘Keelhauled’. The best songs are the ones that follow their same old formula to the letter, but this creates a lot of eerily familiar songs. Ultimately, Back Through Time
may look like a new album with its “orgasmic” artwork, but don’t let that fool you. The band have done nothing except repackage Black Sails at Midnight
, and although it will quench the thirst of their fans, casual listeners will leave parched.
- Back Through Time
- The Sunk’n Norwegian
- Midget Saw
- Scraping the Barrel