Swashbuckle

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There are a ton of metal bands doing the whole Viking thing, whether they play melodic death metal and just write lyrics about long ships and Asgard, or actually play Scandinavian-folk-derived music too. But pirate metal is a relatively new subgenre, and thus far it's got two primary exponents: Scotland's Alestorm, and Swashbuckle from… New Jersey. Alestorm's music is more nautical in feel, with keyboards and melodies based on sea shanties. Swashbuckle are basically a thrash band who sing about being pirates. There are a few acoustic interludes on this short, but still padded, disc ("La Leyenda," "Cloudy with a Chance of Piracy") and a couple of skits during which the vocalist talks in pirate voice ("Rime of the Haggard Mariner," "All Seemed Fine Until…"), and the vocalist's delivery of the lyrics is fairly piratical -- though admittedly he frequently sounds like the guy who sings the theme song to Spongebob Squarepants. For the most part, this is straight-up thrash with a lot of hardcore punk to it -- several songs come in under a minute. Those whose appetite for high-speed, staccato riffing, blastbeats, and growling is nearly insatiable will enjoy this, and there are a few nice guitar solos scattered here and there, but it's not a must-hear by any stretch of the imagination.

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