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Alestorm: Back Through Time

Ever since Captain Morgan’s Revenge, hearing the name Alestorm typically can throw me into a pirate uproar. Everytime I hear they are playing near me, I make every effort to see them, only to wind up failing for one reason or another. I randomly check the internet to see if there was some kind of random single released, or new video shot I never knew about. It’s also one of the reason I haven’t reviewed their material. I don’t want my critical reviewing ways to ruin any of their material. Period. So, when the one band member I happen to converse with on-line informed the masses of the release of “Shipwrecked” on-line for stream, I damn near wet myself with excitement and hurried over to the stream, threw on my eye patch, blasted the track on high for all to hear while doing a random jig, the best one that my gimp ass could muster.

Ok, so I didn’t do a jig…and I don’t own an eye patch…but damnit I was still excited and blasted that track! The song itself is actually pretty good, literally what you would come to Editorial from the band, down to the heavy Scottish pirate-sounding music, vocals, and accompanying catchy keytar that really adds that unique and melodic element to the music that always wound up having me hooked. Much of the song had me sitting down feeling that I was once again ported at a tavern, listening to the local pirates of yesteryear who somehow had electric equipment…and electricity…playing tales about their journeys. All was well in the cabin of

And, really, the song met all my Editorialations. But, near the end of the song, the band throws a curve ball that, even after six listens, I’m not sure how to take it. Alestorm has gone on tour many a time with Swashbuckle, and it really seems to show on this track. At one point the song shifts from the Scottish pirate music with keytar that is their signature sound, and seems to go into a random Thrash section with gang chants that sounds really out of place and left me scratching my head with jaw dropped the first time it happened. I really don’t know whether I like it or not, especially since I’m honestly Editorialing Swashbuckle‘s vocalist to just start belted out vocals with his deep, shouting approach that I love so much on their material. It makes me wonder if one of the band members guest on the track and there was no mention on the site. If so, it would make perfect sense, but still feel a bit out there given Alestorm‘s very unique and strong attempts to properly emulate the sound one might and would Editorial related to pirates and high seas piracy.

To be honest, it’s a good song, but that first listen spooked me a little. Even after that, with listen’s four, five, even six, I’m still unsure of how to take that random Thrash breakdowny moment that sounds too much like Swashbuckle. Too many questions are brought up by it, but sadly there seem to be no answers. Is it a guest appearance? Is there going to be more random moments like these? Will I want to do the “Peg Leg Stomp” during an Alestorm song, much like I wanted to during that little bit? I’ll be honest, this song has worried me more then it has excited me. I like it, and I won’t not buy it because of that, but I do intend to ask my on-line acquaintance who has yet to have the time to take me up on my video game challenge if that’s the issue: a guest appearance that went uncredited.

Article based on digital review material provided by Napalm Records.