The first band in ages that I’ve included after finding them randomly, Calico Jack are from Milan/Milano and – in case you can’t guess from the name and logo – play pirate-laden folk metal.
Their sound is somewhat rougher than (the obvious comparison) Alestorm, and their chosen “non-traditional metal” instrument is the fiddle, which is used to very good effect. Certainly, it gives the songs a true “shanty” feel and makes them sound more as if they are based on ye olde pirate-e songs of yore.
Calico Jack was formed in 2011 by two brothers. By 2012, they’d released their first demo Scum of the Seas. This wasn’t so much self-financed as produced for nothing at all with the help of friends! In October 2013 they released an EP entitled Panic in the Harbour. This release was enough to convince Nemeton Records to sign them, and the dotted line was scribbled upon in January of this year.
Incidentally, Calico Jack was a real person. Not just a well-known pirate (also known as Jack Rakham), his take on the traditional Jolly Roger using swords instead of bones formed the basis of many children’s flags and posters of this modern era. Wikipedia’s great, innit?