True Scottish Pirate Metal
"We are Heavy Metal Pirates
Our cutlasses are true
So give us all your treasure
Or soon we'll come for you"
— Heavy Metal Pirates, first song written by Alestorm
Alestorm is a power/folk metal band from Scotland and their main gimmick is the pirate theme of their music. Arr!
Formed in 2004 under the name Battleheart, they released a bunch of EPs (The first of which, Battleheart
, gave rise to the term 'True Scottish Pirate Metal, parodying the term 'True Norwegian Black Metal
') before signing themselves to Napalm Records and rechristening themselves Alestorm.
From there their popularity increased a fair amount and they're already doing world tours.
- Christopher Bowes - Vocals, Keyboards (2004-present)
- Dani Evans - Guitar (2007-present), Bass (2004-2007)
- Gareth "Gazz" Murdock - Bass (2009-present)
- Pete Alcorn - Drums (2010-present)
- Gavin Harper- Guitar (2004-2007)
- Lasse Lammert- Session Drummer in 2008
- Tim Shaw- Drums (2008)
- Alex "Hasselhoff" Tabisz- Guitars (2008)
- Micha "Migo" Wagner- Session Guitarist in 2007 and 2008
- Ian Wilson- Guitars (2007-2008, 2008-2010)
As Battleheart, they've released two EPs, Battleheart
and Terror on the High Seas
As Alestorm, they've released one EP and three studio albums:
- Captain Morgan's Revenge in 2008
- Leviathan (EP, also in 2008)
- Black Sails at Midnight in 2009
- Back Through Time in 2011
The band and their music contain examples of
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: From "Keelhauled":
Take his money and his hat,
He won't need them where he's gonna go...
- Audience Participation Song: Plenty of their songs have this at the chorus, even on the records!
- Badass: The Huntmaster, who sailed out of hell with only a bottle of ale.
- Badass Beard: Dani Evans◊, Christopher Bowes, the zombie pirate that appears on all of their CD covers all have one.
- Badass Grandpa: The Captain on the videoclip of Death Throes the Terror Squid In fact, he is the slayer of the aforementioned squid
- Bragging Theme Tune: "Heavy Metal Pirates."
- Cool Versus Awesome: No one is safe from pirates, including vikings, ninjas, and sea monsters.
- Curse: "'Captain Morgan's Revenge", Captain Morgan, forced to walk the plank, curses his mutinous crew to "death or worse".
- The curse on the treasure in..."'Of Treasure"...as well. We're not told explicitly what it is, but apprently it's quite terrible.
- Cover Version: Back Through Time features a cover of LazyTown's "You Are A Pirate".
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The pirates of "Back Through Time" are gleefully aware of the overkill involved in using 17th century firepower against 10th century Vikings.
- Darker and Edgier: Their second album is noticeably heavier and more aggresive than their first, and the third follows suit.
- Determinator: Some characters in songs, like the Huntmaster and the narrator in Chronicles of Vengeance.
- Disproportionate Retribution: "Midget Saw"', wherein a pirate gets his legs sawed off for the crime of killing a monkey. It must have been one awesome little primate.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The song "Pirate Song" gleefully celebrates being a pirate. Also, Of Treasure concerns itself largely with treasure and no points for guessing the subject of the chronicles detailed in Chronicles of Vengeance.
- Guttural Growler: The singing style of Christopher Bowes.
- Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have: Mentioned in Nancy The Tavern Wench, "She may be old/but her beauty ain't failin'."
- Heavy Mithril
- Hook Hand: The main zombie pirate on the cover of "Black Sails At Midnight" has a trident replacing one hand, He also has a sword but you can't see if he's holding it or if it's a Blade Below the Shoulder.
- Wolves of the Sea contains the lyrics "The hook of our Captain is looking at you"
- Large Ham: Christopher Bowes definitely qualifies.
- Like a Badass out of Hell: The Huntmaster. "Out of the bowels of hell he sailed/ Wielding a tankard of freshly brewed ale!"
- Listeners Are Geniuses: "The Huntmaster" ends by quoting the English translation of the poem inscribed on bottles of Jägermeister, which itself is the German word for "Huntmaster".
- Little People Are Surreal: A midget shows up in "Shipwrecked", in a hallucination.
- Metal Band Mascot: Two: A zombie-ish pirate and a pirate rat, who appear in all three covers. According to Christopher Bowes, they're called Jimmy McFucknugget and Barry Shitpeas respectively.
- Ghost Pirate: Jimmy.
- Hook Hand: Jimmy again, except for "Black Sails at Midnight" where he has a trident.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: 7 or 8, depending on the song.
- The Mutiny: Kicks off "Captain Morgan's Revenge." When the pirates make the captain walk the plank, he pronounces a dying curse upon them all.
- The Need For Mead: Wenches and Mead
- Unreliable Narrator: Interestingly enough, we're never told exactly why the perpetrator is being keelhauled in Keelhauled. We pretty much just have the narrator's word for it that he did something bad.
I will not say what he has done
His sins are far too great to tell
It's not my place to judge a man
But for them he will burn in Hell
- Ode to Intoxication: the song Rum
- One of Us: Christopher Bowes is apparently an avid World of Warcraft player.
- Out-of-Genre Experience: When the titular monster awakens, Death Throes of the Terrorsquid abruptly becomes a Dimmu Borgir song.
- A Pirate 400 Years Too Late
- The Quest: Lots of these, including a track by the same name.
- Rated M for Manly
- Retired Monster: The narrator of Pirate Song.
- Sea Monster: Leviathan, the Terrorsquid.
- Shout-Out: Several, including a brief retread of the theme from Pirates of the Caribbean in No Quarter, the use of "with a bottle of rum and a yo-ho-ho" in Keelhauled and the theme tune to Chuckle Vision in Buckfast Powersmash. They also reference Running Wild in "Scraping the Barrel".
- Signature Song: "Keelhauled" and "You Are a Pirate", which is amusing considering the latter isn't even their song.
- Singing Voice Dissonance: Bowes' natural voice is much softer than his guttural harsh tone in the songs.
- Sky Pirates: "Heavy Metal Pirates" seems to be about them ("We're the Heavy Metal Pirates, we sail across the sky!")
- Slasher Smile: Jimmy cracks one of these at the covers of "Black Sails At Midnight", "Back Through Time" and the "Leviathan" solo cover.
- Take That: Swashbuckled is a playful repartee at Alestorm's friends, fellow pirate band Swashbuckle, in response to the latter's We Are The Storm.
- And is Back Through Time(the track) not a Take That directed at fellow Folk Metal band Turisas, for their song Hunting Pirates?
- Scraping the Barrel, off of Back Through Time, is a response to some of the band's criticism as being a "gimmicky band" that will eventually become dry. Their response? "If you don't like it, go start your own band."
- Talk Like a Pirate: Well, yeah.
- Verbed Title: Keelhauled, Shipwrecked.
- Wretched Hive: A lot of these tend to show up in the songs, such as the cafe in Nancy the Tavern Wench and the inn where That Famous Ol' Spiced is apparently served, not to mention the titular tavern known as The Sunken Norwegian.