Review-Two: Alestorm – Sunset on the Golden Age

Alestorm - Sunset on the Golden Age 192Yes, a second review! Simply because the album’s so damn good I wasn’t going to let Talia have all the glory with her earlier words of wisdom. With the pre-ordered copies being shipped out of Napalm’s offices today I thought I’d fling my own thoughts onto the interwebz.

However, I’m not going to argue with her. If you like Alestorm already, then I’d be astounded if you didn’t like Sunset on the Golden Age. If you don’t already like Alestorm then this is as good a jumping-on point as any other.

I still find it staggering that Christopher Bowes is surprised that so many people want to listen to music that he and his mates just slung together for a laugh (to paraphrase something I read in an interview a while ago). The key point is that Alestorm was put together for fun, it is fun, the songs are fun, the gigs are fun… and that’s why people are drawn to it (and his other projects). An Alestorm album isn’t just a collection of songs, it’s an excuse to dress up in pirate garb, drink, mosh, drink, eat bacon, mosh and stage dive at an appropriate venue when they tour on it. After a beer.

There was always the hint that Alestorm considered themselves to be “Scraping the Barrel” after that song on the last album, and the title of this new release did have a few people assuming this was the end of their piratical run. I’m bloody glad that this doesn’t appear to be the case – in fact I think Chris has rubbished it in interview as – judging by these new ten tracks – the “joke” is far from over. There’s a lot of life in these wooden peg-legs yet.

Typically, there’s plenty of variety. See-chanty (I’m copyrighting that) “Drink” has already done the rounds and is SotGA’s “Rum”. This one will have the crowd punching the air during the gigs. The first notably different track, to my ear, is “Magnetic North”. Mixing the usual nautical sound with a couple of much heavier segments than we’re used to from the band, specifically the break around halfway through. That shit’s brutal.

If your idea of fun at the gig is to dance properly (that is, arm in arm and spinning like a dervish) then “1741” is the song for you. Plenty of keyboardy twiddly bits to jig along to. In between bouts of  crowd-surfing, naturally. Legs, arms and any other limbs you may have lying around will be flying by the time the first verse of “Mead of Hell” kicks in, with it’s heavy-as-fuck intro. This is one for open piratical warfare on the dancefloor.

“Wooden Leg” wins the awards for maddest song on an album full of lunacy. If they’re not selling inflatable wooden legs at the merch table on tour, then they’re missing out on an easy source of doubloons. Commercial rock / rap metal territory is covered by “Hangover” and the final track – named for the album her fine self, bless all who sail in her – is an 11+ minute opus. Its the only track off the album I’d not want to hear live, but only as the time could be filled with three other equally good songs. Just my personal taste, but as a track itself it’s up there with any other on the album.

The lads have done themselves proud with this fourth release, and tour dates are already selling well. Fingers crossed we’ll make it to the Glasgow one – unless someone can point me in the direction of a treasure map telling me where I may find a couple buried?

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments