WE SAIL ACROSS THE SKY!
WITH OUR BATTLESHIPS OF COSMIC STEEL!
WE'RE A TERROR UP ON HIGH!"
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 rapidly and has stayed relatively consistent and they tour very regularly, despite them being a Revolving Door Band who now live in different countries to each other.
Not to be confused with Halestorm.
- Christopher Bowes - Vocals, Keytar (2004-present)
- Gareth "Gazz" Murdock - Bass, Vocals (2009-present)
- Pete Alcorn - Drums (2010-present)
- Elliot Vernon - Keyboard, Vocals (2011-present)
- Máté Bodor - Guitar, Vocals (2015-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)
- Dani Evans - Guitar, Vocals (2007-2015), Bass (2004-2007)
As Battleheart, they've released two EPs, Battleheart and Terror on the High Seas.
As Alestorm, they've released one EP and five studio albums:
- Captain Morgan's Revenge in 2008
- Leviathan (EP, also in 2008)
- Black Sails at Midnight in 2009
- Back Through Time in 2011
- Sunset on the Golden Age in 2014
- No Grave but the Sea in 2017.
The band and their music contain examples of:
- Adaptational Heroism: In Leviathan the pirates were presented as Punch-Clock Heroes who were only hunting the Leviathan because they were paid to do so. But then in the sequel Death-Throes of the Terror Squid its suddenly revealed that Leviathan was about to destroy the world when the pirates managed to kill it.
- Similarly in Back Through Time the pirates are presented as unrepentant murderers and thieves engaging in Rape, Pillage, and Burn on the defenseless Vikings. Come 'Surf Squid Warfare' and it's mentioned they 'saved the past from Vikings'.
- Alien Invasion: Surf Squid Warfare is about a invasion of space squids, which the pirates have to travel to the future to battle.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: Evil as the pirates are, they did save the world. Twice.
- An Arm and a Leg: Midget Saw (which is about a group of pirates who saw a man's legs off after he kills a monkey) and "Wooden Leg" (about a man who loses his legs to a pair of Spanish broadsides, and then loses his arms to a Samurai in a Bar Brawl).
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: From Keelhauled:Take his money and his hat,
He won't need them where he's gonna go...
He fights to die,
- And done again in Rage of the Pentahook:
He lives to kill,
To cut your throat,
His greatest skill,
He'll eat your kids,
And punch your house.
He'll break your neck,
And eat your face,
The foe of all the human race,
He'll stab your mum,
And drink your rum.
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Pegleg Potion is set in "the land of Sgriubh-á-dubh", a superficially Scottish Gaelic version of the nonsense word "scrubadub".
- Ass Shove:
- What the singer in Fucked With An Anchor is planning to do to the witch doctor who cursed him. With an anchor.
- Apparently Elliot was involved with a potato and someone's girlfriend's bottom, as mentioned by his and Christopher's comments from Summer Breeze 2015.
- Audience Participation Song: Plenty of their songs have this at the chorus, even on the records!
- Badass Beard: Dani Evans◊, Christopher Bowes, the zombie pirate that appears on all of their CD covers all have one.
- Badass Boast: Many of them feature this, but perhaps the most memorable is Back Through Time, specially the chorus:"You put your faith in Odin and Thor, we put ours in cannons and whores! Your Viking gods won't save you now, when the pirates strike from the starboard bow!"
- Bad-Guy Bar: The Sunk'n Norwegian.
- Bragging Theme Tune: "Heavy Metal Pirates."
- Brave Scot: Christopher Bowes' heavy Scottish accent does give this feeling to most songs.
- Call-Back: Huntmaster is about a famous man on a quest to "bring back beer to the lands of the free". In That Famous Ol' Spiced, the titular drink is touted as "a beverage to rival the Huntmaster's draft".
- The entire second verse of Drink references several songs from previous albums.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Fucked With an Anchor is an entire song that consists of a pirate with Hollywood Tourette's threatening to shove an anchor up the arse of the Witch Doctor that cursed him. The chorus of the song provides a good example, shown under Lyrical Dissonance.Now when I speak, it's rather absurd
An endless tirade of four-letter words
I lash out in anger at all in my way
Shocking unspeakable things that I say!
- Combat Pragmatist: Back Through Time features 17th century pirates deploying cannons against Vikings. Curb-Stomp Battle ensues.
- Cool vs. Awesome: No one is safe from pirates, including vikings, ninjas, alien squids and sea monsters.
- Cover Version: Many. P is for Pirate is one with slightly modified lyrics (it is now pirate-themed instead of cookie-themed). You Are a Pirate, Barrett's Privateers, and Wolves of the Sea are the most famous of their covers. They also did a version of In the Navy. Suffice to say, if there's a nautical-themed song, a nautical-themed children's song, or a children's song that can be piratified, Alestorm stands a good chance of covering it, often hilariously. There is also their version of I Am A Cider Drinker, originally by the Wurzels (which was itself a parody of George Baker's Paloma Blanca).
- Sunset on the Golden Age features a cover of Taio Cruz's Hangover.
- Curse: Shows up a few times in their songs.
- 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 apparently it's quite terrible.
- The pirate singing in Fucked With an Anchor has been cursed with Hollywood Tourette's by a witch doctor.
- 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.
- The first and only raid of the titular crew of Barrett's Privateers goes this route.
- Darker and Edgier: Their second album is noticeably heavier and more aggressive than their first, and the third follows suit. Come the fourth, though, they started to lean more on sillier songs, to the point that their fifth album can more or less be considered a piratical heavy metal comedy album.
- Deconstruction: While they do sing about the joys and adventures of piracy, Pirate's Song is a rather deconstruction of the whole romantic pirate, showing the singing protagonist as a ruthless monster who lost all his glory in his old age.
- Denser and Wackier: They slowly became a band more about Fun Personified over time. They went from dressing like pirates in their concerts to dressing in wacky outfits◊. Their concerts also include a giant inflatable duck onstage. While they still sing about pirates and piracy, there's more songs about drinking and general buffoonery, too. There's even a song about Time Cube.
- Department of Redundancy Department: The first verse of Mexico.The wenches they are plenty, the alcohol is freeThe party lasts all through the night, and the alcohol is free
- Determinator: Some characters in songs, like the Huntmaster and the narrator in Chronicles of Vengeance.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Leviathan sets up for this in its sequel, Death Throes of the Terrorsquid.
- 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.
- Downer Ending: A sizeable number of their songs talk about people who go on quests but end up dying brutally along the way. Such as: Death Before the Mast, Magnetic North, To The End Of Our Days, Leviathan and so forth.
- End of an Age: The song Sunset On The Golden Age which is about facing the end of a golden age. It's a tad vague what age they're refering to, but it can be interpreted as the end of the Golden Age of Piracy. The lyrics do leave the implication that another golden age may come in the future.''The sun has set, now night is fallingNever again to hear the calling
- Epic Rocking: A lot of Alestorm's songs go past the 6 minute mark. Captain Morgan's Revenge (6:49), To the End of Our Days (6:22), Chronicles of Vengeance (6:24), Death Throes of the Terrorsquid (7:45), 1741 (The Battle of Cartagena) (7:18), Sunset on the Golden Age (11:26), To the End of the World (6:43), Treasure Island (7:48)... Essentially, it's at least Once An Album.
- Escaped from Hell: The Huntmaster. "Out of the bowels of hell he sailed/ Wielding a tankard of freshly brewed ale!"
- Face Death with Dignity: The pirate crew in Captain Morgan's Revenge.At sunrise we will dance the hempen jig / So raise up your pint of rum and take another swig! / The curse of Captain Morgan has led us to this fate / So have no fear and don't look back, the afterlife awaits!
- Folk Metal: Their primary musical style, combined with a heavy amount of Power Metal.
- From Sunset On The Golden Age they started incorporating elements of Metalcore into their sound, as well as occasional bits of Chiptune.
- Gargle Blaster: The titular Pegleg Potion is described as a "toxic punch" that "looks a bit like gravy, and tastes like Captain Crunch". Its recipe:Take one part finest spirit
From Carribean seas,
Mix it up with monkey brains,
And the scrapings from your knees,
A dash of creme de cacao,
A pint of French moonshine
- Gorn: The lyrics to Midget Saw:Midget Saw, a deadly fate
Chopped up limbs become shark bait
Midget Saw, the pirate's code
It says that both your legs must go
Hacked to pieces
Ripped to shreds
You're gonna wish that you were dead!
- 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'."
- Grim Up North: Magnetic North is about a Pirate crew questing to "Magnetic North" and subsequently facing a frozen sea, and probably dying along the way.
- Heavy Mithril: Lyrically, Alestorm are typically more grounded than the average Power Metal band... but when they go for the mithril, they go hard for the mithril.
- HeelFace Turn: Implied at the end of the music video for Drink where one of the pirates (Chirstopher Bowes) is shown wearing a suit and having dinner with the very family they'd terrorized earlier.
- Hollywood Tourette's: The pirate in Fucked with an Anchor has been cursed to be incredibly foul-mouthed by a witch doctor.
- 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"
- Rage of the Pentahook. The Pentahook has five hooks. Just on his right hand.
- Hookers and Blow: Wenches and Mead
- Horrible History Metal: They ventured in this genre with 1741 (The Battle of Cartagenea), about the battle of the same name.
- Insane Admiral: Or Captain, but with the same purpose. In 1741 (The Battle of Cartagenea), the Captain sails against the Spanish despite overwhelming evidence that he's going to lose, and so he dooms himself and his crew to a Last Stand.
- Intercourse with You: Questing Upon The Poop Deck is most certainly not about a type of sexual activity.
- Large Ham: Christopher Bowes definitely qualifies.
- Life Will Kill You: "Swashbuckled". Admiral Nobeard was so fat he was reputedly invulnerable to sword and gun. How did he die? He choked on a pretzel.
- Little People Are Surreal: A midget shows up in Shipwrecked, in a hallucination.
- They also have midget doubles portray the band in their Alestorm official music video that have the band proper fight them.
- Location Song: "Yo ho Mexico..."
- Longest Song Goes Last:
- Back Through Time ends with Death Throes of the Terrorsquid. (7:45)
- Sunset on the Golden Age ends with Sunset on the Golden Age. (11:26)
- No Grave But The Sea ends with Treasure Island. (7:48)
- Lyrical Dissonance: Fucked With An Anchor opens with an very upbeat tune... and these lyrics:Fuck! You! You're a fucking wanker
We're gonna punch you right in the balls
Fuck! You! With a fucking anchor
You're all cunts so fuck you all
- 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.
- Meme Acknowledgement: The Limited Edition version of Back Through Time includes a cover of You Are a Pirate.
- Metal Scream: Elliot is very good at them.
- Mission from God: The Huntmaster's is "To bring back beer to the land of the free, this is his quest, his true destiny!"
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Generally 7 or 8, with "Death Throes of the Terrorsquid" ratcheting up to an easy 9.
- Mood Whiplash: Present in Black Sails At Midnight, where from the blood-pumping and bombastic Keelhauled we go to the somber and depressive To The End Of Our Days. Also in Sunset On The Golden Age, after the silly and ridiculous cover of Hangover the album goes to the title track, which is eleven minutes long and one of the few grim and serious Alestorm songs.
- 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. Also Mead From Hell.
- Noodle Incident: During the Live At Summer Breeze 2015 CD for the 10th Anniversary Edition of Captain Morgan's Revenge before the segue into "Drink", Christopher mentions that the group isn't there to "stick potatoes inside the bottoms of the concert goers sexy girlfriends and make them feel inadequate", stating it's happened before. Elliot then quips "yup", leading to Christopher to say "Jesus Elliot".
- Ode to Intoxication: Rum, and the cover song I Am A Cider Drinker, Drink.
- One-Man Army: The Huntmaster vanquishes a considerable number of people single-handedly.
- Once Upon a Time: "In a time men knew the meaning of fear!" the opening lines of Huntmaster.
- Out-of-Genre Experience: When the titular monster awakens, Death Throes of the Terrorsquid abruptly becomes a Dimmu Borgir song. Their cover of Hangover also features a brief rapping portion by the bassist of Lagerstein, tourmates with Alestorm.
- A Pirate 400 Years Too Late: A few of their songs are sung from a modern perspective, like The Sunk'n Norwegian, about how hard it is to find any place good enough to be a modern pirate.
- Pirate Song: A pirate-themed Power Metal band that patterns its songs after these, with sea shanty beats and lyrics about the golden age of piracy and warfare. And sometimes sillier things like stealing beer. They have also made Cover Versions of other famous pirate songs, like "You Are a Pirate", "Barrett's Privateers" and "Wolves of the Sea".
- Progressive Instrumentation: Buckfast Powersmash has the sequence guitar > drums > keyboards > bass > voice.
- The Quest: Lots of these, including a track by the same name.
- Redemption Equals Death: The protagonists of Magnetic North mention to be seeking redemption in the titular location, but the song frequently notes they'll most certainly die along the way.
- Redemption Quest: Magnetic North is a minor example.
- Retired Monster: The narrator of Pirate Song.
- Revolving Door Band: You don't even know the half of it... the revolving door nature of the band's lineup is possibly a very big reason as to why the band have noticeably changed musically over the years.
- Rock Beats Laser: 17th Century pirates halt an alien invasion of space squids in Surf Squid Warfare.
- Sea Monster: Leviathan, the Terrorsquid.
- Sequel Song: Death Throes of the Terrorsquid is a sequel to Leviathan, as both songs feature a beast called Leviathan and follow some sort of chronology. Leviathan has the pirate crew hunt down an ancient beast of yore to battle it, but lose the battle and the beast escapes after slaughtering most of the crew. Death Throes of the Terrorsquid concerns the Crew's Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the beast, and the second round of the battle.
- Surf Squid Warfare is a sequel to Back Through Time, where the pirates travel into the future to fight undead squids from space.
This is the hunter's badge of glory
- 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 ChuckleVision in "Buckfast Powersmash".
- The Huntmaster quotes the verse from the poem Weidmannsheil by Oskar von Riesenthal on bottles of Jägermeister (Huntmaster):
That he protects and defends his quarry
Hunts with honour, as is due
And through the beast to the Gods is true
You may think you've heard all this music before,
- They also reference Running Wild in Scraping the Barrel.
That Running Wild did it back in '84
But times are a-changing and we don't give a damn!
So if you don't like it, go start your own band!
- 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.
- Step Up to the Microphone: For the last chorus of Rum, Elliot Vernon sings the lead vocals as well as handling the main keyboards while Bowes crowdsurfs (and usually tells the audience to "take him to the bar").
- Sudden Name Change: The bands undead rat mascot seems to be called Barry Shitpeas or Scurvy Steeve, depending on who you ask.
- Take That!:
You put your faith in Odin and Thor
- Swashbuckled is a playful repartee at Alestorm's friends, fellow pirate band Swashbuckle, in response to the latter's We Are The Storm.
- 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."
- The song "Back Through Time", concerning a ship of pirates that travel through time and wind up fighting and defeating a ship of vikings, is clearly a jab at the many bands that sing about vikings and Norse Mythology.
We put ours in cannons and whores
Your viking gods won't save you now
When pirates strike from the starboard bow
- The 7-second long Rumpelkombo is this. Once, Alestorm was touring with Grave Digger, and they were basically the opposite of Alestorm: old, cranky, and hated drinking and partying, so the entire tour pretty much consisted of Grave Digger hating Alestorm. During an interview, the lead singer, Chris Boltendahl described Alestorm as a "rumpelkombo," which basically means "group of rowdy idiots." Well, Christopher Bowes then decided to write the really quick song where the only word is "rumpelkombo," but then credited the lyrics to Boltendahl, thus giving him a royalty check every month that's a couple of cents from Alestorm, reminding him of them every month.
- Swashbuckled is a playful repartee at Alestorm's friends, fellow pirate band Swashbuckle, in response to the latter's We Are The Storm.
- Talk Like a Pirate
- Took a Level in Badass: Leviathan and Death Throes of the Terrorsquid concern the same crew. In the first the monster slaughters them with impunity, but in the second the crew takes revenge. The chorus makes it clear: The chorus in the first song is about the beast's fearsome slaughter, the chorus in the second is the crew's Badass Boast.
- 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
- The video seems to imply that he stole some of the captain's money...
- Verbed Title: Keelhauled, Shipwrecked.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: In the video for Shipwrecked, several of the wenches are shown secreting coins in their cleavage.
- Viewers 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".
- Villain Protagonist: The songs are aware they are talking about a bunch of selfish, petty and murderous thieves. The clearest example is Pirate's Song, which describes a Retired Monster of a pirate elaborating on his numerous crimes and how he doesn't feel an ounce of remorse.
- Walk the Plank: In Captain Morgan's Revenge and Keelhauled, in the latter case as a pretext to something far worse. In Sunset On The Golden Age they now have a track named Walk the Plank.
- Would Hurt a Child: One of the verses of Pirate's Song is "I've killed and I've shot, and reddened the cold tears of children with blood!", driving home just how much of a Retired Monster our protagonist is.
- The subject of Rage of the Pentahook will "eat your kids". The narrator also notes that "one time he shot a baby - with a gun!"
- 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.
- Word Salad Lyrics: The pre-choruses of Pegleg Potion. Probably as a result of drinking said pegleg potion....Ephemeral, delectable,
You'll need a pair of spectacles,
For diplomatic dog!
From Oregon to South Dakota,
Underwater toilet quota,
Driving in an old Toyota,
- You Dirty Rat!: One of the bands mascots is a undead rat.