Review: Captain Morgan’s Revenge

Rating: ★★★★½
alestorm_morgansrevengeGenre: Pirate Metal
Rating: PG
Target Audience: Pirate-Core fans, whether they’re metal fans or not

Alestorm’s Captain Morgan’s Revenge every bit appears the standard pirate metal album – the front cover features a skeletal demonic pirate screaming into the eye of a storm, while the back is emblazoned with an original jolly roger over a compass rose and crossed pistols. The packaging is definitely piratey. But as we know, the very nature of metal sometimes make for an album whose cover is the only thing that’s clearly piratey. All too often the typical thrasher growls and yells of “yarrr wahhhh grrrramoad!” could just as easily be “singing” of devil pigs as they might of pirates. This is the crux of pirate metal – but not so with Alestorm.

Captain Morgan’s Revenge begins with the track Over the Seas. It comes on strong and epic with drums, electric guitars and keyboards. This is immediately the music of adventure – full of flavor and glory. And then the lyrics join in, growly and rough – but what’s this? Rather than, “warrrbarrrr sckunnn” we hear a tale of lost treasure and deep sea voyages – clear as a bell (a piratey, rusty bell, perhaps, but still plenty easy to understand.) To my mind this immediately thrusts Alestorm to the head of the pirate metal pack – as a non-metal head I look for piratey lyrics to let me know that I’m not being tricked into listening to fluffy love songs, and Alestorm delivers.

Subsequent tracks delve into other piratey topics. The titular track tells a story of cursed pirates enjoying their last night on Earth. Again a song of adventure, it also boasts a swaggering sing-ability that I don’t often associate with metal – a group of pirates could easily sway their mugs to the music and join in. The Huntmaster takes a faster approach as it shares the story of a wronged hero taking vengeance on his oppressors – sword in one hand, tankard in another. With lyrics such as, “with the power of ale he could not fail,” it’s easy to anticipate this becoming a fast favorite at pirate parties. Nancy the Tavern Wench then takes a slower, more balladish approach as it pays somber tribute to the ladies that see to a sailor’s thirst at the end of the day.

The album continues on with further songs of standard pirate subjects – battle, treasure, wenches, and drinking. The songs are diverse enough to stand apart from one another, while always maintaining a distinctively Alestorm quality. Some of the songs (The Huntmaster, Wenches & Mead) have a slight, tongue-in-cheek humor to them, and many of them also boast a surprising catchiness – “catchy” is rarely a word I would apply to metal, pirate or otherwise, but much of Alestorm is indeed catchy, which makes for an album that’s a joy to listen to again and again.

Captain Morgan’s Revent is a brilliant CD. Where most pirate metal is an acquired taste, Alestorm is a band I can heartily recommend to all pirate-core fans without condition or hesitation.

11 thoughts on “Review: Captain Morgan’s Revenge

  1. !vv! (^o^) ?

    Just by the name alone, I’m glad that not all pirates are lumped up with rum drinkers only. ALE! When you want to get tanked but still need to gut someone. It’s the pleasant pirate medium.


  2. Woops. Fixed now, Red.

    Stars are neat because you can instantly know everything about the review without reading a single word. I’m thinking of getting rid of the reviews altogether, actually, and just assigning all products a star value – would save me all sorts of time 😛

  3. Can you switch the stars to skulls? It would be more piratey and less elementary school. Has anyone given you a star lately, Bilge?

    4 1/2! Good lord, it must be a good CD. That has to be the highest rated anything ever! Doesn’t Captain Morgan’s Revenge come the next morning?

  4. Bilge, I always read the reviews you write. What I like about the star rating (although you may want to change it to something cooler), is that it gives me a quick idea of what you thought of the album. This really helps when, let’s say, a year from now I’m looking into buying a pirate album, but I can’t quite remember what you thought of it. Sure, I can read the review again (and often I do), but seeing as how there are hundreds of reviews you’ve written–I just don’t have the time to re-read everything and compare notes. Perhaps I want to weigh two albums by the same artist against each other? Sometimes it’s hard to determine if you enjoyed album A more than album B without a visual aid.

    It would be nice to own all of these pirate albums, but I just don’t have the money. Since I take your reviews seriously and generally agree with them, I like there to be a system in place that makes it easy for me to get the basic information from you, which is: “Did you like it?”

  5. Damn, I really need to recallibrate my sarcasm – I wasn’t actually trying to be critical of your desire that I include a star rating on the Alestorm review, Red. Just my poor effort at dippy humor.

    I doubt I’ll change the stars to skulls or some such thing, though. They always strike me as a way of saying “hey, look at us, we’re so piratey we rate with hooks/cannons/keira knightly instead of stars.” I’m so piratey I can be a pirate – even WITH stars. Yarrr!!!

    Maybe fish sticks.

  6. The only stars you saw was when that 8 year old mugged you. lol

    I do give your efforts 3 Keira Knightlys. Which kinda breaks down to 6 rockin’ cans. So good show mate!

  7. Star or skulls or even Keira all works, I will have to with Quartermaster on the Keira Knightlys. They are fantastic band, and now on tour in the US. I had the opportunity to see them in concert on Monday, missing the Bilgemunky show ( hopes that Bilgemunky will not make Shipwreck walk the plank) It was a fantastic show well worth the time, and I encourage the listeners to go see them when they come into their area.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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