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Album Reviews : Alestorm – Captain Morgan’s Revenge

By on February 29, 2008

Alestorm’s latest release, “Captain Morgan’s Revenge”, is the ultimate pirate experience as far as music goes. Listening to it, I can actually picture a group of rough, drunken pirates singing along in a dank, little harbour pub. In my opinion, that instantly makes this album a success. However the thing that makes Alestorm especially great is that the pirate theme doesn’t get in the way of top quality music; at no point does it feel like a gimmick.

The most obvious similarity between a stereotypical pirate and this album is definitely the vocals. It wouldn’t be easy to sound like a pirate while still having decent vocal melody’s but Christopher Bowe does a fantastic job of it. The vocals are also very easy to understand, which is important because they lyrics are brilliant. I don’t mean brilliant as in clever metaphors and deep, intellectual meanings; rather they are lyrics that actually sound like things pirates would say. They are damn entertaining to listen to, and most importantly, to sing along to. Lyrics about drinking, debauchery and conquering foreign lands complete the pirate experience and make you feel as if you are part of Captain Morgan’s crew.

Musically, it’s largely the use of keyboards that creates the pirate atmosphere. Other than the keyboard solos, which can sound very out of place at times, they are used very well to at atmosphere which really makes the music something special. The rest of the music is done well and there’s enough variety to keep you interested for the whole album. Not to mention there are some particularly tasty guitar solos in there.

At times they sound like a much heavier (and much more interesting) version of Running Wild however it’s not similar enough that it sounds like a rip-off. “Death Before the Mast” is a fantastic display of their heavier, faster side and features slightly more vicious vocals than other tracks. “Of Treasure” is an interesting track, being all acoustic and not the slightest bit metal, but it fits in very well creating a nice break from their usual heavier self. “Wenches & Mead” and “Nancy the Tavern Wench” have great potential for some mighty pirate singalongs. Particularly the latter of the two is one of the best drinking songs I’ve heard and will definitely get some airplay in the late hours of my next party.

Other than some unneeded keyboard solos, this album is amazing. Alestorm have done an utterly amazing job of creating a very realistic pirate atmosphere while not slacking off musically and becoming a gimmick. I highly recommend everybody gives this album a listen because it’s a very entertaining experience. 8/10

Band: Alestorm
Album: Captain Morgans Revenge
Year: 2008
Genre: Heavy Metal/Pirate Metal
Label: Napalm Records
Origin: Scotland

Track Listing:
1. Over the Seas
2. Captain Morgan’s Revenge
3. The Huntmaster
4. Nancy the Tavern Wench <– reviewers choice
5. Death Before the Mast
6. Terror on the High Seas
7. Set Sail and Conquer
8. Of Treasure
9. Wenches & Mead
10. Flower of Scotland


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.