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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", the 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.

Current members:

  • 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)

Former members:

  • 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

Alestorm provides examples of the following tropes:

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!
  • 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 "dead or worse".
  • 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 Barret's Privateers goes this route.
  • 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.
  • 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"
  • 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".
  • 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
  • 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 Chucklevision in Buckfast Powersmash.
    • Arrrrr ye forget Wolves of the Sea which contains the lyrics "The hook of our Captain is looking at you. There's no Peter Pan so what can you do?!"
    • They also reference Running Wild in "Scraping the Barrel"
  • 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 if I'm not mistaken, Back Through Time(the track) is a Take That directed at fellow Folk Metal band Turisas, for the 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."
  • Surgery Under Fire: The song "Wooden Leg" tells of a pirate who has his leg blown off in naval combat, gets a wooden leg fitted below deck, and hops straight back into the fray.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: Well, yeah.
  • The Unexpected: Back Through Time features a bonus track that's a cover of... You Are a Pirate.
  • 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.