Angry Metal Primer – Alestorm

Over 40 years of metal’s biological urge (and a hefty lack of restraint) has resulted in some incomprehensibly large catalogs. No one should have to listen to anywhere from 13 to 15 [Luca Turilli’s] Rhapsody [of Fire] albums just to get caught up for a new release. So each week (as required and/or able), we’re offering a selection of prime(r)(er) cuts to get you up to speed. Without further ado, welcome to…



“I thought hard on what to write to introduce Alestorm to people who either have yet to hear the band or those who haven’t come around to their folk-metal piracy. It certainly took me some time—having first heard them on Black Sails at Midnight while I was a high school idiot, I thought they were a funny gimmick that could liven up a night of drinking with a track or two. Sunset on the Golden Age proved me dead wrong. Alestorm is a band that can afford to not take themselves seriously because they’re serious about crafting infinitely memorable folk-metal songs. They inhabit a space of inverse elitism—if you are a tryhard, don’t entry. A few of you may notice that some of Alestorm’s biggest songs are missing here, at least their regular studio versions—this was intentional. This playlist is a way to introduce people to Alestorm’s sound through what I consider to be the most representative material.1 It can also be a soundtrack to a drink or few to absent friends, to help remember the happiness, the revelry, and the closeness. I hope, however you listen, that it serves you well and that you serve yourself generously.”

Diabolus in Muzaka

  • Captain Morgan’s Revenge (2008)
    – “Over the Seas”
    – “The Huntmaster”
    – “Terror on the High Seas”
  • Black Sails at Midnight (2009)
    – “That Famous Ol’ Spiced”
    – “To the End of Our Days”
    – “Black Sails at Midnight”
  • Back Through Time (2011)
    – “Back Through Time”
    – “Shipwrecked”
    – “Rum”
  • Live at the End of the World (2013)2
    – “The Quest”
    – “Wenches and Mead”
    – “Set Sail and Conquer”
  • Sunset on the Golden Age (2014)
    – “1741 (The Battle of Cartegena)”
    – “Surf Squid Warfare”
    – “Quest for Ships”
  • Rumplugged (2014) 3
    – “Nancy the Tavern Wench”
    – “Keelhauled”
    – “The Sunk’n Norwegian”
  • No Grave but the Sea (2017)
    – “No Grave but the Sea”
    – “Pegleg Potion”
    – “Rage of the Pentahook”
  • Cover Songs Across Various Albums (How do you get away with this shit?)4
    – “Wolves of the Sea”
    – “Barrett’s Privateers”
    – “Hangover”

Alestorm’s sixth album Curse of the Crystal Coconut will be released on May 29th worldwide via Napalm Records.

Show 4 footnotes

  1. Coincidentally, Diabolus was also the only one taking notes during the staff training for this whole primer thing. – Dr. Wvrm
  2. I have included some of Alestorm’s bigger songs live here to show an exceptional facet of the band. The performances are excellent, Bowes is an incredible frontman, and the crowd has the time of their lives. Having seen Alestorm four times, I can confidently say the live experience is a crucial part of experiencing and understanding the band. If you can’t or won’t go see them live, these tracks are a good enough facsimile.
  3. Alestorm is, at heart, a truly excellent folk band. Rumplugged shows this in its full glory, and I’ve included some well-known Alestorm songs in their stripped-down, acoustic folky versions. These let the compositions shine and, simultaneously, show what Alestorm is going for, at base, in even the most bombastic moments. No primer would be complete without some tracks from Rumplugged.
  4. Alestorm has a remarkable ability to translate other songs into their sound seamlessly, something few other bands can boast, at least not to this degree. Each of these songs, should the listener not know any better, would not be immediately obvious as cover songs, as they fit comfortably into the records they’re on, demonstrating how comfortable Alestorm is not only with their own style but with translating outside styles into it. Given their recent stylistic adventures, this is crucial to understanding the band. Included here, in order of appearance, is a Latvian Eurovision song, a Canadian folk song, and a pop song by Taio Cruz.
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