For those unfamiliar with
Alestorm, you can really easily sum them up as pirate metal (Viking/folk with
pirate motifs and lyrical content). Of course they'd probably object to the
Viking metal labeling, particularly as track 1 ("Back Through Time") is about
going back in time and kicking Viking ass. There's also a steady dose of
accordion and keys through out, which drive the melody for the most part, with
more amelodic guitars adding a general heaviness.
They've got their niche in terms of sound, which will instantly pull you in, but
it can quickly get stale on repeated listens. They're kind of a one-trick pony.
You're getting a ton of pirate drinking songs. Some are fast, some are slow.
That's pretty much the extent of the variation.
Back Through Time does hold up marginally better than the past two Alestorm full
lengths. Scraping the Barrel stands out for me, with it's slower pacing and
drunkenly staggered pacing. Shipwrecked is also memorable for it's accordion
parts (which are generally the predominant strength of the band).
In the end though, if you're familiar with Alestorm, you know exactly what
you're getting here. No surprises. This album is probably the best of their
three (by a slim margin over Captain Morgan's Revenge), but it's still gimmicky,
and it's going to be best appreciated if you spin it once every so often.