Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Awesome Artwork: Alestorm

I was working on my last Alestorm article, under the 'Bands I Love' headline, and I realized that this group has some amazing artwork out there. To celebrate this fact I'm going to showcase all that Alestorm has to offer. Expect some big, decent-definition pics with brief descriptions.

Captain Morgan's Revenge - 2008
This is what begins us off, out first hit of what Alestorm has to their name. I like the artwork for Captain Morgan's Revenge because it is simple in the background, and then has a very visual foreground. I could easily imagine this (minus the skull-face) being a part of an actual time piece from the 17th century about piracy - if only a smaller piece of a bigger portrait. It begins the story of the band smashingly.

Heavy Metal Pirates (Single) - 2008
The simplest of the lot, and rightly so for just a single. Heavy Metal Pirates doesn't offer much, although it does look like the cover for some 2000s computer game, like SimCity for pirates or something. I only include this one to capture the complete picture of the group.
Leviathan (EP) - 2008
Leviathan is a really great EP, and has artwork to match. Some of my favorite tracks from Black Sails At Midnight (the corresponding full-length) are in this one, "Leviathan," "Wolves of the Sea," and "Heavy Metal Pirates" are all amazing. This time the artwork looks like the cover of some fantasy book, or a really twisted version of a Disney movie (honestly reminds me of the ending of The Little Mermaid, I know, totally not metal). A Leviathan coming to devour all, and the essence/ghost of Captain Morgan (I assume) leering over it all like the devil (the devil you know anyway). This is why I love these albums, the pictures tell as many stories as the songs do
Black Sails Over Europe (Split) - 2009
Another semi-simple one. Black Sails Over Europe is a split between Alestorm, Tyr and Heidevolk, although it captures the Alestom style (at least within the cover art) more then any other. Obviously a ship full of pirates sailing to Europe to stake its claim. Simple, yet if you think about the actual history of piracy, oddly chilling.
Black Sails At Midnight - 2009
The exciting full-length followup to Captain Morgan's Revenge, Black Sails At Midnight keeps the ball rolling. This time the artwork is very in-depth; an undead pirate in a den, either surrounded by friend or foe, but honestly he doesn't care. He has a trident for one hand, and a sword/saber for the other. Plus the man is dead already, what do the undead have to fear? I'm more leaning to the thought that what we are seeing is the last sight that the innocent see before they are killed and/or raped. This leering face, the droves of undead lackeys... "shit, we are fucked" would be the last thing I would ever think/say at that point. They would kill me, eat me, fuck me, and if I'm lucky... in that order.

Back Through Time - 2011
Here we are, the new album artwork. Back Through Time is the hardest album so far to decipher. There is a lot going on and it's kind of difficult to figure it all out. First, the background; a flying pirate ship, coming through a time warp and firing a volley into whatever awaits on the other side. Or they are being sucked into a time warp and are firing for the fuck of it all... either way, awesome. Next, the foreground; the undead pirate. At first look, it seems like he/it is decapitating someone, but upon closer inspection we can plainly see that there is no one there. I don't know where he got the Roman gladiator helmet (or so it seems to me) or where all the blood is coming from, but he seems happy doing it. I blame the time dilation. In my mind the Roman legion (or whatever) has just been whisked away through the time stream, leaving the pirate holding a helm and a whole lot of blood. Whatever, he has a scythe for a hand and he seems pretty pleased with himself regardless. Now, this would be more then enough for an album cover of any other band, but Alestorm adds more. If you look in the lower left-hand corner you will see an undead, furry... rat? Snowboarding with a saber and a horn of booze. I don't know what this has to d with anything, but it is like a 10 on the awesome scale, and who can fault that. Yes, Back Through Time is the most involved of all the covers so far, and I can only hope the music is of a like mind. Damn I can't wait til June.
Well there you have it, the album artwork of Alestorm, so far. I look forward to June for the latest album, and I wish the group a long career of heavy metal and pirates. Fuck yea.

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