Alestorm; Good or Garbage? Scotland’s Pirate Metal

Tired of self-absorbed photocopy pop stars, whiny gutless hipster bands or ‘urban’ music? Are you sick of everything sounding the same, or having less original creativity than your last dump Bored of pretentious lyrics that preach whatever the latest socially correct drivel you could care less about? Looking for something fun, creative and different without being more screwed up than a soup sandwich? Would you like to listen to a band who’s lyrics are just fun and you don’t have to worry about the fatty bum soccer mom brigade calling Whine-1-1 because your music has a naughty word or two? Well then, how about these lyrics:

“We are here to drink your beer
And steal your rum at the point of a gun
Your alcohol to us will fall
‘Cause we are here to drink your beer”

Now how’s that for a chorus? If that sounds like a great party night song then you’ll be happy to hear that this is the chorus from Alestorm’s song Drink. If you’ve been digging the over the top sexual lyrics of Steel Panther, or are still laughing at the last Weird Al disc then Alestorm might be a band to add to your list of bands to check out.

First formed in 2004 under the name Battleheart the band renamed themselves Alestorm three years later when they signed to Austria’s Napalm Records. Since then they have gone on to release four albums that have charted in the top 100 of several countries.

The band has a tight, clean, driving sound with catchy lyrics and solid music chops that they put to use in their various songs about pirates. That’s right I said pirates. Heavy metal pirates to be exact. Which is what critics and fans have dubbed Alestorm.

Why? Simple, it’s the bulk of what they reference in their songs. With song titles such as Shipwrecked, Keelhauled and Captain Morgan’s Revenge Alestorm not only use the pirate idea in their songs but also in their videos with costumes and sets right out of a pirate movie. Now if you think that sounds like it could be a big pile of gimmicky crap, you wouldn’t be the only one. You’d also be wrong. Alestorm makes the whole pirate angle sound perfectly natural and not gimmicky or contrived. Which, surprisingly, it wasn’t.

While we’ve gotten used to an endless parade of bands that come out with a gimmick to get noticed, Alestorm stated with one song about pirates and it just developed from there. Now Alestorm are credited with influencing bands such as Red Rum and Lagerstein following suit in the pirate metal idea. While they acknowledge that pirate metal isn’t a genre, (thank god, since metal doesn’t need another bloody genre) they do say that they’re enjoying all the attention and recognition that they’ve received both from fellow bands and fans around the world.

So, Alestorm; Good or Garbage?

As usual I’ll let you decide what you think of them. Personally I dig it. I think the band sounds great without their topics (or approach) being the least bit cheesy. To me Alestorm is a fun band to listen to, but you can decide for yourself by listening to the single Drink from their most recent album Sunset on the Golden Age:

You can follow Alestorm on their Facebook page or their Official Website

Or you can buy their music on iTunes.

John Goodale is the author of ‘Johnny Gora’ (available through, and a number of articles here on His monthly column ‘Indy Comics Spotlight’ appears here and through his blog Indy Comics Spotlight

Indy Comics spotlight