Album Review: Alestorm – No Grave But The Sea (Napalm Records)

Pirate themed metal band Alestorm are back with their new album, No Grave but the Sea out now on Napalm Records!

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It is a genuine surprise that Alestorm have managed to make a career out of their ‘pirate metal’ antics. It’s even more of a surprise that as each album is released their popularity just seems to increase. Many metal fans love Alestorm but for others the ‘gimmick’ got old a few albums ago.

No Grave But The Sea is Alestorm’s 5th album & the latest since 2014’s Sunset on the Golden Age. Those expecting a shift in direction or sound will be sorely disappointed as this latest release sees the band playing it safe & running the shtick into the ground.

Opening song, No Grave but the Sea is a disappointing start as it’s just not catchy, something Alestorm have always excelled at.  It does improve with Mexico which is at least a bit more beat driven & bit more catchy. Unfortunately the whole ‘pirate’ thing sounds a bit rubbish lyrically. It’s often cringe-worthy stuff.

Alestorm have adopted a bit more of the ‘battle’ metal sound too & To the End of the World is very reminiscent of the likes of Tursias. It’s actually a damn fine song though with the the use of horns & trumpets in the background sounding great. It’s quite a lengthy track & does suffer from repetition but it’s a much more positive direction.

Remove the pirate shtick & the sub-par vocals/lyrics & you’ll find a good metal album hidden underneath. Blasting riffs, massive hooks & fast-paced drumming, it’s all pretty damn good. However whenever any momentum is gained it’s quickly lost when they slip back into the cheesy pirate style such as on Alestorm (although the chorus is a proper crowd pleaser).

Things really begin to get tiresome with the boring Bar Und Imbiss & the pointlessly childish Fucked with an Anchor. The lyrics in the latter are just awful.

“Fuck! You! You’re a fucking wanker. We’re going to punch you right in the balls. Fuck! You! With a fucking anchor, you’re all cunts so fuck you all”

The latter few songs of the album has plenty of catchy tunes but not a lot else. Pegleg Potion, Man the Pumps & Rage of the Pentahook have some decent riffs & hooks but are just a bit boring.

The final song, Treasure Island is nearly 8 minutes long & credit where credit is due, they really nail the pirate sound here. It’s probably the most expansive & fun song on the album. A fitting way to end No Grave but the Sea, an album that will certainly please long-time Alestorm fans.

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Alestorm – No Grave but the Sea Full Track Listing:

1. No Grave But the Sea
2. Mexico
3. To the End of the World
4. Alestorm
5. Bar und Imbiss
6. Fucked with an Anchor
7. Pegleg Potion
8. Man the Pumps
9. Rage of the Pentahook
10. Treasure Island

Check it out yourself below through Apple Music.

Alestorm - No Grave But The Sea (Napalm Records)
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