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Alestorm played in Poland this year with a handful of other decent metal acts such as Arkona, Finntroll and Turisas, eventually I didn't make it to that particular festival with a great line-up but it alerted me to Alestorm's 3rd album.
Alestorm in case you don't know, are a band from Perth in Scotland that play "pirate metal", a brand of heavy folk metal with pirate orientated lyrics. I heard their first album Captain Morgan's Revenge not long after it had been released and it was an instant winner, catchy songs of hearty mischief with alcohol fuelled lyrics. The second album contained some very good songs too but they it wasn't quite as good as the debut album.
I had to admit that despite enjoying Alestorm's songs, I had to wonder how long they would last, after all there's only so much you can sing about whenches and rum. This 3rd album could have been a stretch too far but it wasn't, it was at least on par with their debut album and possibly even better.
The band have a new drummer but the sound remains the same, like a heavy metal version of Pirates of the Caribbean, each song is filled to the brim with catchy riffs and the lyrics describe the inns of debauchery and sea faring warriors at their best. It's debatable which is the best song on the album - "The Sunk'N Norwegian" and "Rum" have to be two of the best though. There's also a nod to the old commotion lotion in "Buckfast Powersmash" as well as rather bizarrely a cover of The Wurzels' "I'm A Cider Drinker" which surprisingly works.
The album also contains a song called "Scraping the Barrel" with the lyrics:
There are no more tales to be told
No more stories from battles of old
Now it seems our journey has come to an end
We are scraping the barrel my friend
which had fans nervous that the band were hanging up their erm.. flags. However the song goes on to hint that there will be a fourth album, so I doubt it's the last we'll hear from this band of renegades.