Storm Seeker, the name could very well be considered a dead giveaway, is a pirate folk metal band, or, as might be the more precise and formal term, nautical folk metal band hailing from Düsseldorf, Germany. The now quintet has been around since 2013, and currently consists of Timothy Abor as vocalist/bassist, Olaf Abor as vocalist/guitarist, Sandy McGnomsen as vocalist/cellist/nickelharpist, Fabi as vocalist/hurdy-gurdist and Ughar der schrecklich Durstige as keyboardist. After releasing an EP in 2016 (Pirate Scum) and a full-length in 2019 (Beneath in the Cold) the band is now ready to release their second full-length called Guns Don’t Cry.
Opener How To Be A Pirate, thanks for the manual by the way, sets the tone that was of course expected all along, that of jolly sailors singing together. I’ll be honest, that is definitely not my most favored metal genre. Yet, there’s something to this that piqued my interest. Though their preferred genre usually has to fight the prejudice of being nothing more than simple sing-along metal, something which, due to the simple song structures and upbeat that gives the music a jolly vibe, might be true for most of the releases, simply putting this release away like this is seriously selling them short. Yes, the tunes have a bright atmosphere, one might call it jolly, and yes, the songs are definitely sing-along material, well most of them anyway. However, and that is what weighs heavy in my opinion, there’s much more to them than that.
The songs are beautifully layered, giving them depth, which immediately puts them in a higher category in my book. Every single aspect is well thought-out and carefully composed with great eye, or rather ear, for detail. Despite the fact most of the songs are easily accessible, predominantly jolly in atmosphere and undoubtedly influenced by Celtic metal, all the hallmarks of pirate metal, their skill in composing intricate, highly appealing song structures puts Guns Don’t Cry on a higher level. Not only do they manage to take away the superficial feeling I have with most of their musical peers, they actually prove to be capable of keeping me captivated almost the entire time, with One More Day as the pinnacle in my opinion, a beautifully moody song. But in all honesty, there’s much more beauty to discover. Like Guns Don’t Cry, Deathwatch Beetle Party or Maelstrom, all fully matured metal songs with a more or less distinct genre-true edge. Even the Storm Seeker version of all-time ‘classic’ Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Polkadot Bikini they called Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Honolulu Strand Bikini, even with the Storm Seeker makeover an absolute horror of a song as far as I’m concerned, shows their skill in adding depth and body to a song.
Adding depth, layers, atmosphere and body to songs is one thing, whether a release is a success or not still mostly comes down to the execution of said songs. You can add all the beauty you like, but if the people playing it fail, all you have done will turn out to be futile. Well, you probably guessed it already, that too is in this case not an issue at all. It’s obvious the guys and girls of Storm Seeker know their respective instruments’ possibilities perfectly and they know how to exploit them as well. Add to that the great, versatile vocals, provided by four different members, and you can easily tell Storm Seeker has got a lot going for them, especially since their sound, in my opinion, has matured a lot since their last release.
So to summarize, Storm Seeker plays pirate metal that in my opinion, due to its additional layering and depth, certainly deserves the more flattering and less prejudice-colored name nautical folk metal. If anything they have certainly renewed my interest and reset my attitude towards this type of metal. Most certainly recommended.
Here you can also read our 14th part of Promoting Bands, which included Storm Seeker.