Metal Review – Swashbuckle: We Hate the Sea

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Metal Review – Swashbuckle: We Hate the Sea
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Swashbuckle: We Hate the Sea
Death Metal, Thrash Metal
Get This Right Records
August 12th, 2014
Release length: 6:52
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The pirate themed Death/Thrash Metal group Swashbuckle came together back in 2005, just in time to join the sudden Piracy/Folk Metal boom that was sweeping North America. After two demos, Bald Freak Music issued their debut full-length album Crewed by the Damned, leading to a deal with Nuclear Blast Records for their 2009 follow-up album Back to the Noose. After a great deal of praise, the crew walked the plank for the label one last time to release the poorly received Crime Always Pays… about a year later. During this time, drummer Captain Crashride departed, and Bootsmann Collins joined before being cast overboard himself in 2011, opening the door for Legendary Pirate King Eric “The” Brown (Vale of Pnath, former Destroy Destroy Destroy) to fill the gap. It’s been a good four years since then and Swashbuckle return under Get This Right Records to issue the four song EP We Hate the Sea. But will it restore the faith of fans everywhere, or is it as heartbroken as their last round?

We Hate the Sea carries the signature Swashbuckle tradition of deep, bass heavy material with subtle sarcasm and humor in the lyrics. “Beer Goggles” explodes with tight technical Death Metal riffs against the blistering Thrash Metal foundation fans have come to expect. Energy and anger pour out like the panic of waking up the morning after wearing said eye wear, only easing up about a minute and a half in to drop the tone deeper for what sounds like a slam with gang chants criminally left out of the mix. There are some keyboards in the background throughout the song you might not pick up on when listening at higher volume levels, but they do set up an uneasy atmosphere that do make up for the glaring omission. “Slaughter Upon International Waters” allows the aforementioned complexity to come through again, but this time more in the drumming and timing. Of course the guitars definitely have their moments in the main verses. What stands out is the Hardcore breakdown that is short and highly underutilized. Had it lasted maybe another couple bars, or even just an extra five seconds, this perfect ending to a relatively hostile cut would have been worth it more than what is present.

But what lies in the middle is the recording’s most hostile compositions yet. “I Hate the Sea (and Everything In It)” throws Grindcore attitude and blast beats your way that the previous track seemed desperate to tackle but opted not to for some reason. That blasting is met wish harsh shouting in the background, though near the end the atmosphere and even chanting takes on a Mastodon vibe. “Poopdeck Toilet Wreck” holds the same power as “We Sunk Your Battleship” from Back to the Noose, though limiting the times for more chanting by putting the focus on grinding main verses with the most powerful vocal performance of the release that shifts into an addicting chorus thanks to the drums asserting the rhythm to which your head involuntarily will bang along to.

Swashbuckle tease one of the most abrasive and addicting recordings yet that’s nothing more a tease due to it’s just under seven minute length. It’s unfortunate the band is still carrying on with the dry sense of humor from the last album, as well as seem to neglect the gang chants though, even though they set up plenty of passages that would greatly benefit from their existence. Thankfully what is present is unforgiving Death and Thrash Metal that reminds listeners of why this band of Metal Pirates out of New Jersey are a force to be reckoned with. Hopefully this is just a taste of what’s to come, and their next full-length is just as crushing at the very least.

01. Beer Goggles – 2:15
02. I Hate the Sea (and Everything In It) – 1:05
03. Poopdeck Toilet Wreck – 1:59
04. Slaughter Upon International Waters – 1:35
Initial Pressing Score: 9/10

Swashbuckle
Swashbuckle

Digital review copy of this release provided by Get This Right Records via Earsplit PR.