Alestorm Voyage of the Dead Marauder

Alestorm – Voyage of the Dead Marauder (EP Review)

Alestorm 2024

When last we heard from the sea-faring picaroons in Alestorm, they were raising a jolly toast to the Seventh Rum of a Seventh Rum. Two years later, still tipsy on adult beverages, the hilarious purveyors of Pirate Metal have drafted a new adventure: Voyage of the Dead Marauder. Ever the band’s trusty North Star, Napalm Records bring the noise on Friday, March 22, 2024.

Of course, there is something to be said for an international group of misfits—Vocalist/Keytarist Christopher Bowes, Guitarist Mate Bodor, Bassist Gareth Murdock, Drummer Peter Alcorn, and Keyboardist Elliot Vernon—who continuously deliver music that, while never intended to be taken too seriously, manage to orchestrate their comedic adventures with honest musicianship. While other musical artists find themselves forced to take dramatic left-turns to keep their audiences hungry, Alestorm has never failed to shock and delight with their dedicated brand of ridiculous brilliance.

Their latest EP, Voyage of the Dead Marauder, is no different. Short though it is, the 5-song collection is the belly laugh that cures all. Yet again collaborating with Producer Lasse Lammert (Gloryhammer, Wind Rose), each track sees the kilted captains once again weaving tales meant to be sung loud and proud. From a wee leprechaun with a gigantic bosom to sailing the Central Asian sands to stealing the goods in Regina, there’s plenty of tomfoolery for all of the globe to cherish.

It all begins with the titular track, featuring guest vocals from German Dark Folk-Pop artist and YouTuber Patty Gurdy. While this is hardly her first time at sea with the Alestorm boys, it stands out as one of her brightest journeys to date. With its glitzy keys and showstopping guitars, “Voyage of the Dead Marauder” pits Gurdy’s siren song against Bowe’s gritty lead and Vernon’s impassioned screams. Toeing the line into Symphonic Metal, its epic musicianship is echoed in “Sea Shanty 2,” a two-minute instrumental that highlights the group’s eclectic talents and serves as the perfect soundtrack for Alestorm: The Video Game. Which could, and probably should, be a thing.

“Uzbekistan,” an ode to the pirates of the land-locked nation who dare to perilously sail the seas of the shifting sands,promises to be a highlight of the band’s live show. The same can be said for the bulk of the tracks here, particularly “The Last Saskatchewan Pirate”. A Folk Metal jig that pummels Regina (ahem) with its Jolly Roger, the joyful sing-along forewarns Canuck farmers to clutch their grains close—and beware the likes of Captain Yarrface but not Mountie Bob!

Then we cross that bridge in Moose Jaw and see the flailing bits. Hey! Cock! And fuck your balls! Alestorm chant as they put all their ills aside and caress the aptly-titled “Cock.” Juvenile in all the best ways, it flaunts a raucous beat as the aforementioned large-breasted leprechaun shakes his pot o’ gold for all of us who exist beneath a rainbow. It is picture-perfect Alestorm: asinine yet rapturous, so ridiculous that you can’t help but love every second of its vertically-challenged runtime.

Sure, Voyage of the Dead Marauder is not a lot of things—rocket science and world peace come to mind—but it was never meant to be more than good old-fashioned pirate mayhem. Yet, despite its bawdy narratives and sand-surfing woes, the EP encapsulates a band who are kings at creating music that uplifts its audience and provides an all-important escape. If music is therapy, surely Alestorm are champion psychiatrists with their blend of international intrigue, landlubbing yucks, and proud musicianship that not only sails but soars above the sapphire seas. In short: We like! For this, Cryptic Rock gives Alestorm’s latest 5 out of 5 stars.

Alestorm Voyage of the Dead Marauder
Alestorm – Voyage of the Dead Marauder / Napalm Records (2024)

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