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It may not be accordians and loud deck-apes up the ass, and it certainly isn't just metal with pirate lyrics; no, my friends, this is a true case of pirate metal. Running Wild is consistenly labeled as the "founders of pirate metal", in being a metal band that sings of pirates. Alestorm is very well-known amongst the masses now as adding the actual pirate feel to the music that RW forgot to add. But Verbal Deception takes this another step foward, all without even even knowing of the aforemention bands existences (with the latter not even being formed yet). Verbal Deception has pirate lyrics, with pirate-influenced metal, with influences not found in the likes of Jack Sparrow or Hector Barbossa, but instead in the real buccaneers like Hendrick Lucifer and Bartholomew "Black Bart" Roberts. These guys add the pirate philosophy of freedom and individualism in both their lyrics and music. Alestorm's music is a reflection of "guys who like reading about and acting like pirates", while Verbal Deception takes the philosophy of "What if Calico Jack or Ned Lowe had guitars?"
The album starts with the the sounds of seagulls and a bandoneon playing in the distance, slowly getting louder as if...as if a ship were approaching. Now the music changes tempo, instead of playing the "strolling along" sound as it was, it is now changed to a beat almost as to rile up a crew of some sort, to get it moving and prepared. Then, just as quickly and unexpectedly as the original assaults by the buccaneers, the guitar and keys play with such a valliant force that give the visual of a full broadside offensive against a caribbean city, along with the ferocity of rabid raiders storming the beach. Kresho Klarich also adds a vocal style very raspy, collected and confident, just as a powerful captain is to lead his crew. Instead of unleashing loud yells which may ruin his voice in the future, Kresho gives us vocals that are a key component to this different and "outside the box" style of performance that is prevalent throughout the album. Truly, this opening track gives us the picture of a real "Pirate Attack".
The rest of the album tells a story of the various adventures of this crew onboard the ship "Verbal Deception"; telling tales of ancient ruins, cursed treasure, hallucinations of an Egyptian beetle or a seductive gypsy theif, using music that may've been prevalent in the native countries that the crew had come from, or maybe influenced by the lands that had been visited. Pirates traveled, though maybe due to motivations of plundering booty, but they had become well-learned of the ways of the world, and told these stories in the various taverns that had been visited. Verbal Deception takes this philosophy and adds it to their style of performance.
This album is not for everyone, fans of Running Wild and Alestorm will not see too many similarities. Still, for metal fans who appreciate bands that think outside the box, and for pirate fans that like to hear some metal a bit more authentic to their interests, "Aurum Aetus Piraticus" is an album that is right up their alley. Great album, the only reason why 5 have been taken off the score, is the lack of variation of the vocals, while I do admire the interesting style given to us, it only remains as calm and collected, little to no aggression is given, not even in the songs of battle such as "Pirate Attack" or "Under the Black Flag". Great music, great atmosphere, great music, and very interesting lyrics make this wonder piece of art that is "Aurum Aetus Piraticus". For those with an open mind, or those who are interested in real pirates, then "Aurum Aetus Piraticus" will not disappoint.
And that is what Verbal Deception has done with this first CD. Many bands registered onto this website "have an EP that they sell at their shows", which is fine and all, because it gets them excepted right!? Well Verbal Deception now has their foot in the music industry door by releasing the Full Length.
First of all, the production of this CD is nothing to talk about at all, it fails miserably compared to their EP. The EP had more energy and atmosphere to this pirate metal style they are trying to achieve. Perhaps they made a mistake in making the production sound so clean, but I won't be the one handing these guys a record label contract down the road, so i am not to say. This CD from start to finish doesn't follow one style, which makes some tracks feel a little awkward compared to the rest, but also doesn't limit what their future holds in ones mind.
The guitarists (Kresho and Matt) show they can in-fact play guitar, and don't over power everything with distortion to try and hide this. The vocals (Kresho) do take on a monotone feeling as the CD progresses, but a true metal lover can respect this. He isn't straining his voice, which means we can expect many more releases from the band down the road. To many vocalist come out screeching and roaring to their voices limit, which lives them coughing up not only blood, but unused material he or she has probably written. The keyboards (Walt) are not overpowering, which is a good thing , they are used to set a mood and add variation to the songs structure , but aren't used as a backbone to the music. The keyboard, however, does give Verbal Deception this pirate/folk sound over all the other elements of the band, so expect them to stay throughout their career.
With all of that said, this CD will be good publicity for Verbal Deception. It's going to be a bit of a slap in the face for people who came across Verbal Deception in their early days, because the raw energy of their early recordings has "walked the plank". At the same time its going to draw in a new fan base, and leaving veteran fans drinking rum until they get to see them live, which will be the only way to get the original feeling that their first EP gave us all.
Self proclaimed Pirate Metal band Verbal Deception give us almost 50 minutes of what is most certainly not Pirate Metal. First of all, Alestorm is pirate metal, these guys are not. Verbal Deception merely play monotonous style of melodic death, while their keyboardist occasionally plays folk influenced accordion passages. It doesn't sound like something a pirate would listen to, at all. It certainly doesn't conjour up images of pirates. Maybe they should try and listen to more running wild.
Mundane, boring, insipid, and uninspired, this band is anything but exciting. They don't even look like pirates. They are a novelty act that fail on every level. There is very little difference between the songs. The singer sounds like he is trying to rip off Haggard's growling vocalist Asis Nasseri, just without any variation. The guitars are ok, except it sounds like someone's guitar is out of tune during a guitar solo. Not very impressive. Sometimes Verbal Deception tries to sail off into a more progressive style, but it ends up as a shipwreck. Wait a minute...I may have just alluded to some pirate imagery, that must make this review Pirate Metal!!! Durr hurr!!!
I like to think of this band as Amon Amarth lite, singing about pirates instead of Vikings. It's Diet Amon Amarth with wimpy keyboards. Does that sound like something that would be awesome? No. This is not good metal. Even the name is misleading. Verbal Deception sounds like a punk band's name to me. It certainly doesn't bring pirates to mind.