June 27, 2022 Alestorm – Seventh Rum Of A Seventh Rum (Album Review)
Don ye tri-cornered hats and lube up ye inner tubes: everyone’s favorite Pirate Metal drinking crew, Alestorm, is back with a swashbuckling adventure guaranteed to turn your limbs to driftwood. Seventh Rum Of A Seventh Rum arrives on Friday, June 24, 2022, thanks to Napalm Records. (Hide the rum!)
For filthy landlubbers, the story of the past two years has been eerily similar across the globe. And one of the most important lessons learned has been that too much time spent at home waxing your dinghy can be detrimental to your treasure chest. So, what is a rowdy captain and his crew to do once the Curse of the Crystal Coconut has landed and the hordes have gone into lockdown? Well, forced time spent docked in port, it seems, inspires creative insanity.
Produced by long-time collaborator Lasse Lammert (Halcyon Way, Svartsot), the band’s seventh full-length album, the aptly-titled Seventh Rum Of A Seventh Rum shows the nonsensical abandon that we have come to expect from Alestorm—Vocalist/Keytarist Christopher Bowes, Guitarist Mate Bodor, Bassist Gareth Murdock, Drummer Peter Alcorn, and Keyboardist Elliot Vernon. And yet, the 11-song collection shares some of the band’s most serious moments to date.
Seventh Rum Of A Seventh Rum opens with a quirky trek through history, a nautical jaunt that is meant to toast a sea-faring lad named Ferdinand Magellan. The aptly-titled “Magellan’s Expedition” takes its storytelling seriously, detailing the Portuguese explorer’s historic 16th-century circumnavigation of the globe through a joyous, Symphonic Metal format that wows. When paired with “The Battle of Cape Fear River,” a bizarre blend of Blackbeard and blast beats, it’s easy to see how one might assume that we are being baptized into a matured Alestorm.
Thankfully, we are immediately proven wrong with cheers of “I’m a fucking pirate” ringing loud alongside such treasures as “Yo! Ho! Stick a cannonball up your cunt.” In this, what follows two thoughtful, folkloric offerings is exactly what fans love about this rum-swilling crew: songs so utterly ridiculous that you cannot help but spill your drink with laughter. From Bodor’s ferocious guitar work on the comedic “Bite the Hook Hand that Feeds” to the anthemic “P.A.R.T.Y.,” the quintet brings their infectious sense of fun to a new setlist of raucous rockers.
Add to this a cinematic swim through the protoplasmic slime (“Under Blackened Banners”), the collection’s regal title track (“Seventh Rum Of A Seventh Rum”) that throws it back to their 2008 debut, and a “Return to Tortuga,” of course. The tracks that truly stand out like a Bubinga leg in fishnets, however, are those that divert from the drinking games. “Magyarország,” for example, offers a chorus in Hungarian. Last time we checked, the Heart of Europe wasn’t a pirate stronghold, but what do we know. There’s the frenetic, marimba-fueled tribute to the land of teeny bikinis and mashed potatoes on wieners (“Come To Brazil”), as well as the album’s majestic, multi-language finale, “Wooden Leg (Part III).”
With an orchestra’s worth of instrumentation to back their Captain Morgan-fueled romps—including hurdy-gurdy performed by Patty Gurdy and violin from Subway To Sally’s Ally Storch—Alestorm definitely has sonic depth. The fact that they are more amusing than an orgy below deck is an undeniable fact, and yet, their hook-handed schtick forces them deep down into Davy Jones’ locker. It’s a double-edged cutlass: one that provides an obvious signature sound and instant lyrical inspo, but also limits the multi-talented group from truly flexing their sails.
Imagine, if you can, a world in which Johnny Depp can only make Pirates of the Caribbean films. Yes, he’d still be a phenomenal actor, but we would miss out on so many gems—from 1990’s Edward Scissorhands to 2012’s Dark Shadows and beyond. Alestorm, with all their asinine pirate flare, would be the Deppster in this poorly wrought analogy: a fantastically witty cult icon trapped inside a ship of its own engineering. Seventh Rum Of A Seventh Rum is, to some degree, both the franchise and the ship; a satisfying vessel for relaying a riotous Yo Ho Ho but also a reminder of what we are missing. For this, Cryptic Rock gives Alestorm’s latest 4 out of 5 stars.