Review Summary: Your favourite rum-based cocktail with extra coconut syrup.
Such folk/power metal bands are not really my territory in metal, but I was always interested about Alestorm guys’ well-being and output (especially since Máté Bodor joined them on guitars), since they presented the term "pirate metal"
to a wider audience and earned some fame and success with it (at least more than what the band Running Wild
In case if you don't know Alestorm, keep one thing in mind: don't take these guys seriously. And that's where the band usually gets all the hate, since some from the grumpier side of the metal community doesn't like the term "fun" in their music... Shame. Personally I haven't really discovered any other metal act as entertaining as Alestorm over the years, and I have to admit they brought some carefree fun to some of my grimmest days in life.
Writing and recording six LPs in the same concept is quite an achievement, especially if we are talking about this pirate-oriented gimmick... And most surprisingly, Alestorm still managed to squeeze out something new(!) from this pirate metal-thing, even though the result is far from their biggest albums. However no one can deny the fact that The Curse of the Crystal Coconut
is clearly their most daring release so far. They brought some new interesting elements into their sound, like some sort of hip-hop vibes in 'Tortuga'
, female vocals in 'Zombies Ate My Pirate Ship'
, and like in the beginning of the album's best song 'Wooden Leg, Pt. 2 (The Woodening)'
some furious blast beats and some sort of extreme metal riffing accompanied by atmospheric synth melodies - the latter is an exceptionally important and dominant component in the album, since the synths got more spotlight than ever before. Furthermore some improvement is also noticeable in the vocals - personally I think Christopher Bowes never sounded this good on any other album - and they really did put a lot of effort into the choruses as well.
Despite all these improvements, I had a bigger problem with this album. Namely, it feels that some of the presented songs are very lifeless. Especially the opener, closer track with '*** Boat (No Fans)'
feels like they ran out of ideas and just put together something to reach the desired length... So altogether: I think the album contains too much filler material. However, focusing on the better songs of the album, I think the result is satisfying enough. The more heavier songs like 'Chomp Chomp'
and 'Wooden Leg, Pt. 2 (The Woodening)'
may remind the listener to the band's earlier, more thrash oriented phase, and the band did not lose their great sense of humour. Moreover, in 'Pirate Metal Drinking Crew'
they openly stated in the lyrics they absolutely don't care about the hate towards them, and I found this type of honesty especially enjoyable.
Very likely every Alestorm fan will enjoy this album, and to those are not familiar with them, I'd say: a little bit of power metal never hurt anybody. Yahrrr!