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Alestorm - Curse of the Crystal Coconut

Alestrorm
Curse of the Crystal Coconut
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 04 June 2020, 3:50 AM

ALESTORM is a 5-Piece Pirate Metal band from Perth, Scotland. The kings of Power Folk Metal are back again with their seventh opus. The crew is back again with the Pirate shenanigans, scraping the barrel once again in a very surprising album to say the least. They obviously don’t sit on their laurels very long and still keeping that youthful energy of BATTLEHEART intact.

It’s another fun-filled adventure on the seven seas of rum, debauchery, drinking and lost treasure. They haven’t lost their knack for utterly stupid lyrics (their hate of the band U2 on ‘’Pirate Metal Drinking Crew’’ is laugh-out funny!), comical situations and upbeat music. I don’t know how they do it after all these years but they still are able to capture that magic in that old bottle of rum. Obviously they don’t reinvent the wheel but they took a lot of risks on this album, some were worthwhile some weren’t but all in all, they have balls to try new things and you have to respect that for a veteran band.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, that’s the case here. They are not reinventing the wheel, what they are doing is continuing to progress as musicians and going into very different directions yet still having that enchanting music we all love about ALESTORM. There are a number of Pirate-based Metal bands out there and I listened to many before I discovered ALESTORM. The Power Metal energy with the Pirate based scenery and imagery really caught my attention and it was a match made in heaven and fell in love with the band. I still consider to this day ALESTORM as one of my ten favorite bands and even though some albums are better than others, their weakest album is better than a lot of stuff out there.

I loved the fact they pay homage to the Super Nintendo on this album. Even the title of the album is a wink to the Donkey Kong Country Animated Series back in the mid-1990s and you have a few tracks here, including a Donkey Kong Country cover song that really surprised me. Their instrumentals are usually few and far between yet they did an awesome job on this one and being the second game was all about pirates, well this fit like a glove. Another song that talks about the Nintendo Generation is ‘’Zombies Ate My Pirate Ship’’, a take on the cult classic Zombies Ate My Neighbors back in the day. These guys are pretty much my age or a bit younger so they grew up in the Nintendo Generation and I have to admit they are pulling my heart strings when they talk about anything Nintendo related.

The weak point of the album is ‘’Tortuga’’, a Rap-Metal based song that doesn’t hit the high marks yet they experienced with many sounds they haven’t before. Their collaboration on this one with Captain Yarrface is really different and they tried something new, I didn’t like it at all but I appreciate the risk taking they did. They wanted to break the mould a bit and I am glad they wanted to experiment even though it didn’t appeal to me. I don’t hate Rap-Metal, some bands are better than others and some experiments between Rap and Metal have been great but this fell kinda flat honestly.

On the other hand, on ‘’Pirate Chest Treasure Quest’’, they experiment with Electronic music and it works perfectly with the song (and the video is absolutely hilarious). They go all in and add those elements to the Pirate Metal theme and it gels. They are a very keyboard-oriented band so this was a logical musical progression and they wanted to make something stand out and they nailed it on the head on this opener. It’s one hell of a way to start off an album, persay.

One thing they do well is the music videos for their songs, it’s like a small movie each time and each video has it’s own vibe. They are funny, witty and have boundless energy in their videos. You can also see the chemistry and harmony between the band members and they are having fun recording the album and it shows on this album, even more than the previous efforts. They are one cohesive unit and they complement each other greatly. Everyone knows their role and Christopher Bowes leads the UK Lads to another fun-filled album.

It’s a non-stop fun-filled roller coaster of an album. This may be the most complete album since ‘’Back Through Time’’ and the lads shows that there is still gas in the tank and they are always capable on making it count when needed to. This is the type of album you need to make you smile, to put you in a good mood. It’s only 40 minutes long and that’s perfect and I ain’t the one to complain about it! The self-proclaimed goofiest dudes in Metal reclaim their throne and this album is a complete guilty pleasure. It’s fun, it’s catchy and it’s the best damn Pirate Metal in the land!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Treasure Chest Party Quest
2. Fannybaws
3. Chomp Chomp
4. Tortuga
5. Zombies Ate My Pirate Ship
6. Call of the Waves
7. Pirate’s Scorn (Donkey Kong Country Cover)
8. Shit Boat (No Fans)
9. Pirate Metal Drinking Crew
10. Wooden Leg Part 2 (The Woodening)
11. Henry Martin
Lineup:
Mate Bodor – Guitars
Peter Alcorn – Drums
Gareth Murdock – Bass
Elliot Vernon – Keyboards
Christopher Bowes – Vocals and Keyboards
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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