Album: All For Rum, Rum For All!
Location: Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Date of Release: 02/02/2016
Genre: Pirate Metal
Reviewer: 420 Glazed
Ahoy! Piracy is alive! Well, it is for the crew of Brisbane pirate metal act Lagerstein. We have already established my love of folk metal and pirates, as made evident by my Alestorm review back in November. So, when I was given the opportunity to review Lagerstein’s sophomore effort All For Rum, Rum For All, needless to say, I welcomed it with open arms. Their debut album Drink Til We Die has been on heavy rotation on my iPod since I first discovered them, so there were so pretty high expectations for this album going in. Would it be worthy of raising the jolly roger high, or would it walk the plank and plunge into the deep? (come on, I had to get at least one pirate related pun in this)
First things first – god, do these motherfuckers like drinking. This album is just one big anthem to the appreciation of the answer to (and cause of) all of life’s problems: alcohol! I mean, I should have expected this with titles such as ‘Drink The Rum’, ‘Land Of Bundy’, ‘Jungle Juice’, and ‘Fountain of Rum’, but Jesus Christ, I think vocalist Captain Gregarrr should probably see someone, because he is – at the very least – a high-functioning alcoholic … or maybe he’s just Australian, I dunno.
While we’re on the topic of the Captain, I noticed that there was a massive difference in the vocals between DTWD and All For Rum. No longer was the over-exaggerated horse vibrato present in the album, and Gregarrr’s soaring vocals had such an aesthetically pleasing tone. This confused the fuck out of me so I asked the band myself. Turns out this is Gregarrr’s first recording with the band, with Drink Til We Die having been recorded by their previous vocalist Ultralord. Ultralord, I’m sorry if you’re reading this, but goddamn, you are a person, not a horse, cut that shit out, because Gregarrr shit’s all over anything in DTWD without neighing every goddamn line.
Now, one of the most important aspects of any song is the hook – the main thing that people are gonna take away from a song and be humming in their heads for hours on end later. And goddamn, if Lagerstein are not the kings of the chorus. This is a sing along album from start to finish, with some of the catchiest choruses I have heard in my life. Special mention goes to ‘Land Of Bundy’, ‘Down The Hatch’, and ‘Tales Of Fallen Ales’. Even if you are not a fan of metal, I dare you to listen to this album and not have at least four of the songs forever ingrained into your subconscious.
A key component of Lagerstein is their ability to inject their unique brand of comedy into their music. From tales of rhythm guitarist Rummy Rackers drunken ordeal with some fun loving Germans to the recipe to the cheapest, most alcoholic “jungle juice” known to man, Lagerstein are one of those few bands that have the ability to both blow me away with their song writing ability and make me piss myself laughing at the sheer hilarity of some of their lyrics. I can’t really go into much more detail than this without detracting from the album, just listen and you will see what I mean (note: this paragraph was probably completely pointless now that I think about it. Glad to have wasted 20 seconds of your life reading it, dickheads).
When compared to Drink Til We Die, All For Rum has a much more diverse sound. Now let’s not get ahead of ourselves here because, let’s face it, most folk metal (particularly pirate metal) sounds exactly the fucking same (hence my lack of describing the how the instrumental side of the album sounds, it sounds like fucking pirate metal). That’s not to say All For Rum isn’t similar to their debut, any of these songs could have been on either album and it wouldn’t have made a fucking difference. However, the main diversity lies within the structure, the feel and the tempos of the songs. There’s fast songs, there’s slow songs, there’s sea shanties and there’s general piss up bangers. So yes, while any of these songs could have featured on DTWD, I feel more satisfied listening to this album as it gives me something new with each song.
Now, as is the case with any album, there is no such thing as a perfect album. Often, I find this album, for lack of a better phrase, overstaying its welcome. Some sections just seem to drag on and on and on. Most notably the final chorus of ‘Drink The Rum’ and, quite honestly, most of opening track for ‘Raise Your Steins’. That song really should have been split into two different songs. Instead, we’re treated to something that I feel, quite frankly, is just musical masturbation. Just because you CAN write a six and a half minute song, doesn’t mean you SHOULD, unless you can pull it off without it getting stale. This is just a factor where this album seems to fail more times than what should have been allowed.
With that said however, I still can’t help but love this album. One of my friends once described folk metal to me as ‘metal uncomplicated by feelings’. This is perhaps the main reason why I love bands like Lagerstein. These bands are an escape. If I have had a shitty day, I can put Lagerstein on my iPod and just forget about life for the next half an hour and just have a great time listening to a bunch of dudes have the absolute time of their lives with their music. And, if that’s not what music is all about, then I don’t wanna be in the game anymore.
Overall IPHYB Rating: 8.5/10
Personal Enjoyment: 9.5/10
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