Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Review: Alestorm, "Curse of the Crystal Coconut"

To say that I anticipated this album more than any other in 2020 would be an understatement. Through five albums with Alestorm and three with Gloryhammer, Christopher Bowes has never disappointed me – and the band’s last outing, 2017’s No Grave but the Sea, was its best to date. I’ve sung the praises of Bowes at the top of my lungs, and his music has been a source of great joy for me for more than a decade. So it pains me to write this, but the magic just isn’t here on this one. It’s not a bad album by any means, but it’s just not on par with what they’ve done in the past.

Curse of the Crystal Coconut was always going to have a hard time following No Grave but the Sea. That release was near perfect. Bowes and crew were performing at the height of their piratical prowess on that one, and three years later, there’s not a song on it that gets the skip button. But the strong melodies and catchy hooks of No Grave are traded in here for a collection of middle-of-the-road songs that lack much of the charm I’ve come to expect.