If you’re brave enough to start reading a review for such an overtly pirate-themed band, your tolerance for absurdity must be pretty high. In the case of Rumahoy, they do everything in their power to stretch this tolerance. “The Triumph of Piracy” is a ridiculous record. Unlike their counterparts in Alestorm, who are clearly a band making serious music but having a laugh with it, Rumahoy doesn’t always qualify as creating totally serious music. Everything about this album is completely over the top, and it takes a strong will to make it through even a single listen.
For that reason, “The Triumph of Piracy” manages to be simultaneously terrible and amazing. The introduction above covers everything you need to know about the lyrics, but the music is a more mixed bag. There is a strong reliance on using keyboards to create folky melodies that would get any tavern crowd going. “Forest Party” and “Pirateship” are Rumahoy’s two attempts at creating party-type dance songs that are mixed with metal. They’re incredibly effective at having memorable choruses, but could end up being too light for some metal fans. The band’s heaviness in general sways throughout the record, in large part due to the different vocal approaches. The album uses everything from pirate-like talking, to death metal growling, to gang vocals, and even bad attempts at singing. The variety is appreciated, but certainly contributes to the lack of coherence throughout the album, especially as many songs try to use as many of these styles as possible.
“The Triumph of Piracy” is bookended by two of the stronger efforts: “AHOY!” and the lengthy title track. The former is one of the few tracks that resembles a typical metal song, and wouldn’t be out of place on an Alestorm record (lyrics aside). The latter is the most epic song, and features minutes upon minutes of guitar solos to close out the record. Admittedly, they start out well but tend to feel sloppy as they go on. One surprising standout is the hilariously titled “Netflix and Yarr”. There’s no world where Rumahoy should be able to string together a decent ballad, but there’s just enough humour to keep this one enjoyable. On the other end of the spectrum is “The Haitian Slam”, which can’t escape atrocious attempts at singing in the chorus, despite having aggressive verses and adrenaline building pre-choruses.
None of the rambling above really matters all that much though; your enjoyment of Rumahoy will be decided by how easy it is to suspend any disbelief you have about the quality of pirate-influenced bands. Objectively speaking, “The Triumph of Piracy” is not as well constructed as anything Alestorm has done, or even as well as 95% of metal out there. Despite this, it still completely rules! You just can’t admit to anyone that you actually enjoy this band.
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4.3/5 or 86%.