Curse of the Crystal Coconut

rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

1. Treasure Chest Party Quest
2. Fannybaws
3. Chomp Chomp
4. Tortuga
5. Zombies Ate My Pirate Ship
6. Call of the Waves
7. Pirate's Scorn
8. Shit Boat (No Fans)
9. Pirate Metal Drinking Crew
10. Wooden Leg Part 2 (The Woodening)
11. Henry Martin

ALESTORM's lyrical focus on pirates, battles at sea, lusty and busty sea wenches, and general drunken revelry theoretically should not have the endurance that it has shown to have. When the Scottish party-metallers burst onto the scene with 2008's "Captain Morgan's Revenge", the insertion of those themes into songs powered by sing-along choruses, power metal glory, and cheesy '80s keyboards made for one of the most infectious records of the era. One could not imagine that over a decade later, the group would keep finding new ways to spin their musical tales of nautical conquest. The group does not step too far outside of their comfort zone on their latest record, "Curse of the Crystal Coconut". The record is simply another indicator that the secret behind the band's longevity is their stellar knack for never letting the overall themes drown out the catchiness of their song-craft.

The ship sets sail with "Treasure Chest Party Quest", continuing the group's tradition of launching their records with catchy party riffs, ear-pleasing keyboard solos, and the band's mission of sailing in search of beer, treasure and parties. Vocalist/keytarist Christopher Bowes leads the chorus with pirate-voiced battle cries, shouting that "We're only here to have fun" in perhaps the most blatant statement of intentions ever voiced by the band. At this stage of their career, ALESTORM can very likely write such headbanging party anthems in their drunken sleep. Guitar riffs from Mate Bodor have plenty of bite in the appropriately titled ode to an ornery crocodile, "Chomp Chomp". "Pirate's Scorn" is a jaunty gallop that may be the record's best integration of sea-shanty song structures, bolstered by an engaging instrumental duel between Bodor's guitar, Bowes's keyboards and second keyboardist Elliot Vernon. The track is also strengthened by an equally infectious violin performance from Ally Storch (SUBWAY TO SALLY),who contributes a great performance throughout the rest of the record as well.

The group's deviations from that winning formula have typically been executed with mixed results, and that is certainly evident here as well. "Tortuga", featuring a guest appearance from Captain Yarrface of fellow pirate-metallers RUMAHOY, is a bit of a misfire, integrating a down-tuned guitar crunch and a few vocal passages that border on disjointed rap-metal. The band's divergence from their standard path plays out much better on "Zombies Ate My Pirate Ship", as a layer of orchestral power-metal lurks underneath the group's riffs and battle cries, and a gorgeous vocal cameo from German folk/pop artist Patty Gurdy enhances that aura. "Wooden Leg Pt.2 (The Woodening)" uses the short-burst thrash of "Wooden Leg!" from 2014's "Sunset on the Golden Age" as a launching point, expanding it into an eight-minute epic that begins with ALESTORM's version of an "Imperial March" and is followed by a bombastic blitz, glorious guitar solos, and a fleshed-out story that is honestly probably more effort than such a song deserves, but the band proves adept at keeping the fun coming and not letting the proceedings drown under its weight.

More than a decade into their existence, ALESTORM proves that there are still plenty of waters and islands worth exploring and singing about with "Curse of the Crystal Coconut", and there are likely more bountiful journeys to come should they continue to set sail.

Author: Jason Roche
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).