Alestorm are band I absolutely adored when I was about 18. I even got to see them with Tyr at a local gig just 5 minutes away from me during their “Black Sails Over Europe” tour so getting to write a review for their new album “Sunset On The Golden Age” would make a teenaged me quite happy indeed. It’s good to see these guys still going and playing live plenty too.
The new album opens up with “Walk The Plank” and you know the band is still all about their still quite unique brand of pirate themed Heavy Metal. This is a nice heavy track with some quite cool guitar riffs and of course plenty of epic sounding synths too. “Drink” is a pretty heavy track too, from its chunky main riff and bass heavy verse, and a classic Alestorm chorus about drinking beer with a cool gang chant sound. “Magnetic North” starts off as more of a ballad, with some nice flute melodies and clean guitars, before getting a bit heavier, telling a tale about an epic voyage, with a cool almost melancholy sounding chorus that is contrasted with shouts of “hey” and a brass section. “1741 (The Battle of Cartagena)” is one of two epics on this album, at about 7 minutes long. It starts off sounding a bit like a video game soundtrack before bringing in the band proper. This is a cool song about a massive sea battle. It manages to keep things interesting, with some cool breaks that build tension well. It’s good to see a band that people often see as a joke doing the lengthier slightly more serious stuff.
This is a pretty cool album from Alestorm, really, from tracks like “Mead From Hell” and “Wooden Leg” this is as pure an Alestorm album as you can get, and what more can you expect from these guys? Some people have said they are a one trick pony, something they addressed on their last album “Back Through Time” but it’s not like you’d ask for songs about “serious” topics like politics or the like from a pirate metal band right? One of my highlights was “Surf Squid Warfare” which true to its begins like a bit of a surf rock song, before getting a bit heavier as you’d expect from the band, and this one is a bit of a sequel to their previous album, with topics about the previous one (where the pirates went back through time to fight the Vikings) “Hangover” is also a pretty cool track too which sounds like it will make a really great live track, with some acoustic guitars and a sing-along sound. The album closes up with the title track “Sunset On The Golden Age” and this is the other epic of the album at over 11 minutes long. This one builds atmosphere from the start nicely, with powerful guitar chords and some cool drumming too. This one has plenty of folky guitar playing meeting with epic synths and changes things up plenty throughout its lengthy playing time.
The production on this album is pretty good, it’s exactly what you’d expect for a band of Alestorm’s size and fits into “modern metal production” just fine. Overall, this is a solid album from Alestorm. They don’t do anything ground-breaking but I wouldn’t expect them to, either. However the epic tracks are pulled off pretty well and do give you something a little different from the band. They nail their own sound every time and have managed it again on “Sunset Of The Golden Age”
The production on this album is pretty good, it’s exactly what you’d expect for a band of Alestorm's size and fits into “modern metal production” just fine. Overall, this is a solid album from Alestorm. They don’t do anything ground-breaking but I wouldn't expect them to, either.