Alestorm
Sunset on the Golden Age


3.5
great

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (149 Reviews)
August 7th, 2014 | 86 replies


Release Date: 08/05/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The pirates are back, and unless you enjoy this album, you'll be made to walk the plank.

Right from the moment they formed, Alestorm never really intended us to take the band seriously. Sure, the sea shanties about copious amounts of booze, quests over raging oceans and more than just a handful of ship battles along the way proved more than musically ambitious, but at the end of the day, Alestorm's brand of pirate metal was only ever going to be, to coin a phrase, a barrel of fun.

So, the band return in 2014 with new album Sunset on the golden Age, which surprisingly enough sees Alestorm attempt a more serious take on songwriting than ever before. The same themes are there in spades: Booze (“Drink”, “Mead from Hell”, “Hangover”), battles over sea (“1741”, “Surf Squid Warfare”) and the occasional reflection on how living like a pirate can sometimes be actually pretty tough (“Wooden Leg”), the latter of which calling the Japanese and Spanish “bastards”, with hilarious results. The musicianship is as simplistic as ever in these songs too. Thrashy riffs accompany quirky keyboard/keytar compositions to make for an exciteable albeit sometimes tiresome listen in opener “Walk the Plank” and “Magnetic North”, and few would argue that the likes of “Drink” are the perfect accompaniment to a stag night. The more morose likes of “1741” and the intro to the closing epic title track make for a more serious listen, and it proves that Alestorm are just a bit more versatile than you would at first think.

However, the main problem with Sunset on the golden Age is when the band attempt a more ambitious, serious tone, the prime examples being “1741 (The Battle of Cartagena)” and the closing title track. For starters, the vocal delivery on these two songs are utterly hopeless, as it goes to show that Christopher Bowes' voice is only ever suited to one particular style of the band's sound, and that is with the shorter, more simplistic odes to booze and warfare-basically, when the band sound like they're having too much fun. Yet with these two aforementioned epics, it just seems like Alestorm are trying too hard to take themselves seriously, and worse still, convince the casual listener who will most likely laugh even harder, especially when the band are at their most bombastic and pompous. The vocals aside, the length of these two songs is also very irritating. It's not a problem which affects “1741” as much, but definitely the gargantuan 11 minute runtime of the title track. Repetition pours in to the title track and by halfway through you'll probably be wanting to have another quick run-through of “Drink”, where barrels of fun can be had once more. But you can't do that with songs like “1741” and the title track, simply because it feels like the band are trying too hard to be serious.

For what it is, Sunset on the golden Age is a great album. If you can cast aside the lengthier, more serious songs and the sometimes ridiculous pomp of “Walk the Plank” and “Wooden Leg”, then you will appreciate what's on offer here. Of course, this brand of folk metal was only ever going to suit people with particular tastes in music, and that's essentially what Alestorm's latest album has proven more than anything.



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user ratings (44)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
FeedingNetherlands
August 7th 2014


343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Chiptune and growls, what more do you need?

ScuroFantasma
August 7th 2014


1857 Comments


Sweet review, def gonna pick this up. That 2 disc edition with the 'Rumplugged' acoustic is mine m/

Digging: Eluveitie - Origins

ExplosiveOranges
August 7th 2014


2718 Comments


Great review, man. Might have to check this out.

Digging: Electric Wizard - Time to Die

Toondude10
August 7th 2014


3956 Comments


Sounds like something I might enjoy. Sounds as if power metal and Pirates of the Caribbean collide.

Great review, doesn't really read a 3.5 but that's just me.

Digging: Sugary Sweet Machines - Controlled Breathing

Bloodlax
August 7th 2014


112 Comments


This rules so hard

Digging: xSPONGEXCOREx - How Tough Are Yah?

emester
August 7th 2014


3412 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Its Alestorm. Nothing more, nothing less.Its like Sabaton but pirates. Not the biggest fan of these guys though.

Digging: Nightbringer - Ego Dominus Tuus

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
August 7th 2014


16023 Comments


some of their stuff made me smile, might try this but I fear the joke may have worn thin

Digging: iamthemorning - Belighted

FeedingNetherlands
August 7th 2014


343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

maaaaan since when everyone is so damn serious about music
i liked godsmack's new album and limp bizkit's new single, even though the lyrics were far (like REALLY FUCKING FAR) from poetic stuff

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
August 7th 2014


16023 Comments


if that's aimed at me i was hardly being serious, just saying i found some of the stuff I'd heard of theirs fun but aint sure how far they can stretch out the joke

emester
August 7th 2014


3412 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

If its aimed at me, then I actually do like these guys to an extent. Only problem is that each of their albums are interchangeable with each other for how similar they are. And to agree with mena, a certain gimmick or schtick only goes so far

FeedingNetherlands
August 7th 2014


343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

that was aimed at everyone who hates some of my fav bands and i feel so miserable that i can't talk to them about it, so i generalize things and that leads to thoughts about dying without achieving any goals in life

emester
August 7th 2014


3412 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I think Running Wild does the whole pirate thing better than these guys. If you enjoy Alestorm, awesome! And I don't hate these guys, I just think they are alright

Gameofmetal
August 7th 2014


1237 Comments


Love this band.

TalonsOfFire
August 7th 2014


7229 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Definitely getting this, all their stuff has been surprisingly solid. And hilarious obviously

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

JS19
August 7th 2014


4292 Comments


This is going to suck

Digging: This Will Destroy You - Another Language

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
August 7th 2014


16023 Comments


maybe they will be more up to date on their next one and introduce east african elements and dress up
as Somali pirates with AK-47 rifles

emester
August 7th 2014


3412 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Or do a song about Torrents and .rar files

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
August 7th 2014


16023 Comments


(groan)

BigPleb
August 7th 2014


36705 Comments


Will check next time I'm rat arsed.

Nice rev.

Digging: Arc Iris - Arc Iris

emester
August 7th 2014


3412 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

:D

sorry...



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