Pirate Metal

From Altopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


A subgenre of Heavy Metal, characterized by its incorporation of pirate mythology within the music and sometimes in stage performances.

Lyrics often use piratical jargon and various musical genres, such as Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, and Folk Metal, may be combined with traditional-sounding songs like sea shanties. Folk instruments, such as the concertina, can be incorporated or emulated with synthesizers.

Band members often dress up in period costume during performances, and concert attendees may do so as well.

Pirate Metal is often referred to by the media as a music scene.


The earliest example of Pirate Metal appeared in 1987, when German Heavy Metal band Running Wild released their third album, Under Jolly Roger.

According to Rolf Kasparek, lead singer and guitarist for Running Wild, the album's pirate theme was not planned. Instead, it grew from the album's title song. Eventually, the album's artwork was changed to match the title, and set decorations and costumes for future concerts were designed. The piratical lyrics also became a way to convey the band's political message, since their use of the devil as a symbolic figure was being misunderstood on their first album Gates to Purgatory. Kasparek began reading about pirates and, after finding "everything very interesting", he incorporated the motifs into their music. The subject matter was expanded during rehearsals for the fourth release, Port Royal, and their trademark style was solidified.

Although Kasparek was more interested in the true histories of the Golden Age of Piracy, Pirate Metal would eventually be inspired, to a greater extent, by the inaccuracies as invented or portrayed in novels and Hollywood films.

In 2006, after a two-year hiatus, Christopher Bowes and Gavin Harper reformed their band, Battleheart. Napalm Records signed them to the label, and they were told to change their name; Bowes and Harper easily agreed and settled on Alestorm.

Some Bands


Running Wild (Formed out of Germany in 1976)


Verbal Deception (Formed out of Canada in 2002)

Alestorm (Formed out of Scotland, United Kingdom in 2004)

Swashbuckle (Formed out of The United States in 2005)

Skull Branded Pirates (Formed out of The United Kingdom in 2007)

The Privateer (Formed out of Germany in 2008)

The Dread Crew of Oddwood (Formed out of The United States in 2008)

Ye Banished Privateers (Formed out of Sweden in 2008)

Iron Seawolf (Formed out of The United Kingdom in 2009)

Lagerstein (Formed out of Australia in 2010)


Red Rum (Formed out of The United Kingdom in 2011)

Blazon Stone (Formed out of Sweden in 2011)

Cat O' Nine Tails (Formed out of Finland in 2012)

Rumahoy (Formed out of The United States in 2012)

Red Flag Crew (Formed out of Spain in 2013)

Shtack (Formed out of The Netherlands in 2013)

Storm Seeker (Formed out of Germany in 2013)

Silverbones (Formed out of Italy in 2013)

Piratas do Recife (Formed out of Brazil in 2014)

Rumproof (Formed out of Hungary in 2014)