REVIEW: Alestorm – No Grave But The Sea

alestorm album

Pirate metal quintet, ALESTORM, return to shore with their 5th full length album, No Grave But The Sea, bringing with them a bountiful booty of metal shanties.

Right after setting sail on this new musical voyage from Alestorm you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Title track ‘No Grave But The Sea’ kicks off with a pounding riff laced with a call to arms provided by a triumphant trumpet and trombone. With some simple but effectives riffs and a catchy chorus it proves to be a great opening track for the album.  Later in the track the heavy riffs give way to a playful violin melody, adding another layer of diversity to the track, bringing in the more folk elements of Alestorm.

Keeping you on your toes the next track ‘Mexico’ starts by throwing a massive curveball in the form of an 8-bit chip tune melody- the last thing you’d expect from a bunch of pirates! But this melody soon morphs into a beefed up and much more pirate’y version. It’s hard to not feel good listening Alestorm.

The use of brass on the album also gives the music an almost metal-ska feel. A notable moment is the introduction of ‘To the End of the World’.  But the use of the brass is carefully selected to compliment the rest of the song. Not only does it add a ska feel at certain points, but it morphs into adding a more epic battle metal feel during other instances, bringing out the power metal elements of the band.  It can be a fine line between success and failure when using unusual instrumentation within the Metal genre but Alestorm have clearly crafted their music with great care and it has paid dividends.

Each track on the album has it’s own character and unique points, infused with infectious energy and playful melodies. Naturally some stand out more than others, but their is most defiantly no filler songs on the album, with each easily capable of holding up in a live environment. There’s plenty of surprises left on the album that have not been mentioned, notably one about about anchors…

So give the album a listen and embark of a rum fuelled voyage through an alestorm.

NO GRAVE BUT THE SEA by ALESTORM is available now via NAPALM RECORDS

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