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Naufragant — A Short Life

A Short Life
by David Hough at 09 October 2022, 11:35 PM

NAUFRAGANT is an Argentinian epic power metal band with folk influences. They are one of the plethora of metal bands that have decided to devote their output to celebrating the swashbuckling, looting, and plundering tales of pirates. They are serious about their subject matter instead of taking a more lighthearted approach adopted by bands like ALESTORM.

The first proper song on “A Short Life” is the second track, and it starts out rather nice, but they very quickly veer off course with a formulaic and basic pirate riff. It still sets the stage well for an album about pirates. This one’s also a bit bloated with uninspired pirate metal tropes.

Thankfully, the next track, “On The Traitor’s Trace,” is much more fun. It tells the story of the manhunt for a traitor. While the music is still too on-the-nose, there are some well-placed blast beats and breakdowns that reminded me more of Irish punk bands like FLOGGING MOLLY than any pirate metal I’ve ever heard. The keyboards do an excellent job of elevating the track where needed. Also, there’s even a part that had me singing along.

The next track, “Of War, Hurricanes & Bane,” gets off to a slower start than the previous track. It picks up in due time, though. The chorus is simply the title repeated, but in this case, it really works as a great sing-along part. Throw in a blazing fast power metal breakdown, and color me impressed. This is a fun track.

As the album continued, I started coming around to its fun factor. For example, the epic “The Battle For Gibraltar” has lots of keyboard fanfare to make the song boisterous. There are a couple of overlong interludes, but they barely overstay their welcome. The highlight of the song is the battle scene. There are swords clanging and shouting underneath the music. That passage also serves to keep the power metal energy flowing. This is what their bio meant when saying that they play “epic power metal.”

After that climactic song, the excitement wanes, and the songs start to wear thin. Things start picking back up with “Pirate Blood,” then really get going for the album’s finale, “Blackbeard.” This track is another epic, this time celebrating the life and notoriety of the titular pirate. It gets going quickly. There’s even a cannon blast at one point, making this track the definition of bombastic. There’s plenty of great power metal on display, especially the quality solos. About midway through, the song changes. There are a lot of keyboards and a clean guitar melody that cools everything down until the big finish with howling winds and Blackbeard’s voice.

This album shows that NAUFRAGANT is at their best when they are at their most epic. Unfortunately, there are those uninspired, trite tracks that really bring the album down. The chorus of the title track sounds like it could be the theme song to a children’s cartoon. Overall, “A Short Life” is pretty mixed. The better tracks are excellent and lots of fun, but the mediocre ones really bring the album down.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7

3 Star Rating

1. The Oath
2. The Black Corsair
3. On the Traitor’s Trace
4. Of War, Hurricanes & Bane
5. The Battle for Gibraltar
6. A Short Life
7. Hoist the Colours
8. Pirate Blood
9. Blackbeard
Tommy Vega - Guitar, Bass, Vocals (backing)
Franco Tempesta - Vocals (lead), Keyboards
Record Label: Stormspell Records


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