Alestorm Albums – Ranked! (From Worst To Best)

Alestorm are a pirate themed comedic metal band from Perth, Scotland formed in 2007 by, the only remaining founding member, Christopher Bowes of Splen and Gloryhammer fame.

With the release of their new album, Curse of the Crystal Coconut, the time has never been better to take a look at the band’s archive. With no further delay, here’s what we found to be the best and worst of Alestorm, ranked!

#6 – Black Sails At Midnight (2009)

Alestorm’s sophomore release had the unwieldy duty of trying to top their debut and, whilst there are certainly some great songs on offer here, their second album never quite goes the same distance as Captain Morgan’s Revenge.

Tracks such as Leviathan and the crowd-pleasing live anthem Keelhauled are reason enough to spin this record start to finish. It is occasionally very exciting and ends strongly with closer Wolves of the Sea being a particular highlight and one of the band’s best songs to end on of any album released so far.

#5 – No Grave But The Sea (2017)

Embracing the humour and cult meme status that made them a festival force to be reckoned with, No Grave But The Sea features some of the band’s most catchy material that all but entirely refuses to take itself seriously.

It’s hard not to smirk when listening to songs like Fucked With An Anchor and you will be humming the chiptune intro of Mexico for months to come after your first listen.

This record has no weak moments and the more comedic tone ensures a light and fun listening experience that’s great to party to. The only real draw of the record is that there’s less of a focus on guitar work and more on writing pop style hooks, but with an album this funny, it works regardless. It’s a great time.

#4 – Curse of the Crystal Coconut (2020)

Alestorm’s newest album to date is plain and simply fucking brilliant. The only thing that keeps at halfway in this ranking is because of the high barrier set by what came before, but know that from this point on all entries at this point are frankly interchangeable.

Curse of the Crystal Coconut feels like a return to form for a band that manages to interject a steady stream of folk elements that made their prior records so stylistically distinct in metal. The strongest moments on this album have to be the stellar epic known as Call of the Waves that has just about everything you could want from the band: awesome guitar solo, great main guitar riffs, catchy choruses and those aforementioned folk instrumentals, it’s a strong contender for my new favourite Alestorm song.

Not to say the rest of the record is a slouch in any regard. Wooden Leg Part 2 (The Woodening) is far more grandiose and spanning than, in theory, it had any right to be. A sequel to a great song from Sunset on the Golden Age, and in many ways a far greater song, Wooden Leg Part 2 not only features a choir singing the chorus from the first song but also a healthy and unexpected Japanese section that fits great too.

I could honestly go on about just how much I enjoy this album but if I did that then I fear we would be here all night. A great throwback to their past with that loveable roguish energy and humour to boot.

#3 – Back Through Time (2011)

The band’s third album confidently learns from whatever missteps Black Sails At Midnight made and came storming out of the gate without missing a beat.

What gives Back Through Time an edge over everything mentioned so far is the depth and variety in the songwriting on display here, paired with what I think could easily be their most tonally and musically consistent ride through to date.

This album is a riot from start to finish, it begins strongly and refuses to let up from the opening seconds of the title track to the final chord strum of the mighty masterpiece closer, Death Throes of the Terrorsquid, a song that even dabbles in a little black metal.

It’s hard to just listen to one song here and be done with it, chances are if you listen to The Sunk’n Norwegian or the stellar Shipwrecked, then Back Through Time’s morish quality will likely drag you under until you’ve heard it all through again.

#2 – Sunset on the Golden Age (2014)

Where to start with this one? Sunset on the Golden Age came out at a perfect time for me. This album was my introduction to the band and it was after their hit single Drink that I went from a casual observer to a hardcore fan.

For weeks I had this record in constant rotation throughout my playthrough of the outstanding pirate action/adventure title Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, and I’ll tell you right now, there’s no better pairing, it was the perfect soundtrack to that game.

Without a doubt, Sunset is my go-to Alestorm album when I find myself in the mood for their music or when I’m out drinking and partying, as the band intended. To this day, six years later, I still find myself coming back to songs like: Quest For Ships, Mead From Hell, Magnetic North and 1741 (The Battle of Cartagena).

Alestorm managed to find that perfect balance between the humourous (see Mead From Hell or the aforementioned Wooden Leg) and the heavy (title track and Magnetic North) that makes for the ideal listening experience.

It would be a crime to not also mention the brilliant acoustic versions of classic Alestorm songs that bookend the record, highlights include versions of: Nancy The Tavern Wench, The Sunk’n Norwegian and Keelhauled.

#1 – Captain Morgan’s Revenge (2008)

The album that started it all and still what I believe to be their best effort yet. Without question Alestorm’s heaviest and more focused album, Captain Morgan’s Revenge is a thrill ride cover to cover and blasts you away with a sixteen pounder fun effortlessly with juggernaut standouts such as: Over The Seas, Nancy The Tavern Wench and Terror on the High Seas.

The record may have lacked the meme humour of their later efforts but the debut is not devoid of comedy, it’s just buried in more subtle ways, which to be honest, I think I prefer.

Captain Morgan’s Revenge started so much, not only for Alestorm, but also the countless pirate themed metal bands that clearly took inspiration that are also well worth your time.

It’s heavy, it’s catchy and it’s a great fucking time. People may write off Alestorm as a dumb comedy band but I believe that there’s a lot more under the surface, some truly fantastic songs lay beneath the waves and they deserve your time and attention. With Curse of the Crystal Coconut being so great, and seemingly very well received, the future is bright for the band, and I cannot wait to see just where the pirates go next.