Thursday, August 6, 2009

Swashbuckle - Back To The Noose

If Captain Jack Sparrow was to ever create his own metal tracks cruising along the Caribbean shores, then this is what it must have sounded like. Swashbuckle's second full length offering Back To Noose is a very fascinating, enjoyable album with sporadic thrash influences taking precedences over affable pirate references. And surely no one hates the pirates?

The album is curious blend of thrash sounds with slews of wry humor. Brawny and furious as hell the album at times is heavy and full of aggression. Whereas at other times, the album crosses path with hearty interludes laden acoustic driven Caribbean rhythms. However in spite of the jolly good mood these random acoustic intervals create, at times you wonder no matter how pleasing the random interludes sound to the ears, they are much better off in other albums and not in a thrash album. And as the album progresses the inevitable strikes and and all the comedic interjections loses its shine.

The band takes us on a trip across the high sea, naturally beginning by Hoisting The Mainsail, downing Rounds on Rum, dropping the anchor for Splash N Thrash, before ending the voyage with Sharkbait. Amidst all these brutal merry-making, Swashbuckle does more than the standard pirate metal operation as well. Rime of the Haggard Mariner features a squeaky pirate babbling for a bit, some bagpipes, and then the sounds of pirates attacking a ship. This leads into Cruise Ship Terror which is, of course, about the previous pirate attack on the cruise ship. Back To The Noose certainly has some marvellously funny track-titles to gnaw on and the diverse nature of the music on offer is a nice surprise.

Back To The Noose is not genre defining by any stretch of the means but it does fit comfortably within the framework of the thrash metal umbrella and if that is your cup of tea, you will absolutely enjoy this. The pirate themes and thrash play off each other well, with neither dominating and there are enough pirate-themed lyrics and jokes to keep the album light and fun. Overall Back To The Noose provides a refreshing break from hard-stomping thrash metal territories with its gentle yet brutal approach.

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