After a four year wait, ALESTORM have finally returned their fifth studio album, No Grave But The Sea, continuing their partnership with Napalm Records. It is the first album that the Scottish pirate metal group have recorded with Mate Bodor on guitar, with Dani Evans leaving not long after the release of ALESTORM‘s fourth record Sunset On The Golden Age.
Within the opening seconds of the opening track, which is also the title track, that classic ALESTORM sound is there. Beginning with a relatively fast intro courtesy of drummer Peter Alcorn, the song really kicks in with Chris Bowes on the keytar providing the nautical theme, as well as his piratical vocals defining that this is ALESTORM. The title track is a good opener, but one of the best tracks on the record follows. Entitled Mexico, this track begins with an 8-bit intro, a technique the band used on their previous album with 1741 (Battle of Cartagena), and gives that retro video game feel. It doesn’t take long for Mate to pick the pace of the song up on guitar, with the 8 bit fading out and replaced by the keytar. The track gives that party feel, and the chorus is very catchy, something that ALESTORM have become renowned for.
Out of the ten songs that feature on No Grave But The Sea, every single one could be classed as a standout hit, but so not to spoil the whole record only a couple have been selected below. The first one of these is the self-titled track, Alestorm – which has only taken them five albums to write. This takes a slightly different twist to the majority of ALESTORM tracks in the past, with the overall sound sounding much heavier than normal, and keyboardist Elliot Vernon providing most of the vocals. Again, the chorus is extremely catchy and you wouldn’t be surprised if you heard it being played at your local rock club on a night out.
Another which could be considered a big hit on the record is Pegleg Potion. It might not get any awards for the lyrics, which do sound like the band have tried to write anything that rhymes, but still the band have managed to make it work for them. The music is of high quality once again, and really gets you in the mood to party. One thing that is noticeable on ALESTORM‘s albums is that the band tend to have a slower song, as well as a song which is spans much more in length. For this new album, it looks like they have killed two birds with one stone with the grand finale – Treasure Island. There are no prizes for guessing what this song is about, but it is a fitting way to end what is an exceptional album. There are one or two drawbacks though with No Grave But The Sea. For example, right in the middle there is a song called Fucked With An Anchor, which sounds very much like this was a song the band did after a few bottles of rum. The less said about it, the better.
On the whole though, No Grave But The Sea is the best record that has come out of the ALESTORM factory. Long term fans will love it as it continues that traditional sound that the band have been renowned for, and the new material is perfect for any new listeners to really get into the band. A solid effort all round, and potentially one of the top 20 albums to be released this year.
No Grave But The Sea is set for release on May 26th via Napalm Records. Pre-orders are available now and can be ordered here.
For more information on ALESTORM like their official page on Facebook.