If you call yourself a metal fan, chances are you’ve heard of Running Wild or Alestorm, the two biggest names in the "pirate metal" subgenre. Code of Nelson’s Folly is one of the newest entries into this field and have released their first five-song EP, Beergasm, as a (currently) name-your-price download on Bandcamp.
The first thing that grabs you is the lead singer, Tiny Isaac Hacke, sounds a lot like Jonne Järvelä of Korpiklaani. This works well for this style of music, as the raspy delivery sounds like he just spent a month at sea, and has been drinking nothing but cheap rum and rainwater the entire time.
Musically, the band follows the Alestorm formula with heavy keyboard leads, and the other instruments providing the backing rhythm. The album opens with the rousing Captain’s Pride which tells the story of a captain’s quest. There is a driving rhythm throughout the song, with slower time changes coming in and out throughout its near-six-minute duration.
Crack Jenny’s Teacup is the obligatory drinking and sing-along song, encouraging you to constantly shout "Take… A… Drink!" Overall, it’s a fast, fun song.
Destiny slows things down a bit. It has a dirge-like feel to it, although the lyrics are quite misogynistic, practically encouraging assault and rape. I guess we are talking about pirates, though, so it’s not really too much of a stretch.
The last original song and title track, Beergasm, is unfortunately the weakest track on the album. It can’t decide if it wants to be a slow song or an epic power metal anthem and ends up just sounding flat and directionless.
The album closes with a cover of the aforementioned Alestorm’s Keelhauled. Code of Nelson’s Folly put their own spin on it, with a slow, acoustic intro before jumping in full-speed. Other embellishments keep this from being just a straight cover, which is the right way to do it.
Overall, the Croats have created a worthy entry into the pirate metal category. While it sounds a bit too much like Alestorm in places, for a self-produced first effort, it’s fairly solid, and I’m interested to see where they go on subsequent releases.