Band Name: Shtack
Album Name: Shtack
Bram Claessen – Bass/voc
Thimo Gijezen – Guitars/keys/vocals
Tom Reinders – Drums
01 Intro (Graveyard Called The Sea)
02 Jolly Roger
03 Fatty Spancer
04 Pirate Metal
05 Short Lovesong
06 Rock The Brazillian
09 Boere Sjtink
10 Hikke Pikke Takkke Teef
11 Captain Iglo
Alestorm pirates, take notice of Shtack! It’s a Reuver, Netherlands based trio of brothers in crime who have recorded a self titled debut album last year. 11 tracks filled with folkish melodies and heavy riffs, accompanied by choir of pirates (obviously) to make Jolly Roger proud once again!
At one point in history the pirate element played a crucial role in establishing an independent Dutch Republic, therefore it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise if a Dutch band choose a rebellious pirate path over the one of more conventional and traditional Metal. Prior to starting Shtack all three band members have played in a band called Stygian Sun. That probably explains the Death Metallic guitar riffs on “Jolly Roger”, “Short Lovesong” and the title track “Shtack”.
The album starts off with the intro “Graveyard Called the Sea” which gradually develops from Korpiklaani influenced folk music into a symphonic Metal hymn. Next thing that happens might take an unsuspecting listener by surprise – imagine a victorious tune being played by Cradle Of Filth after a medieval castle has been conquered. Add to that a guitar sound borrowed from Atrocity, and you get the picture of what is that Shtack have managed to come up with on “Jolly Roger”.
“Fatty Spencer” with its panpipe parts, and “Pirate Metal” with its Finntroll influence would both fit a bill of any Pagan Metal fest. The title track “Shtack” is where Skyforger meets Finntroll, which is followed by some sort of grim sounding Death Metal ritual on “Boere Sjtink” with screams and squeaks of various animals present.
Closing track “Captain Iglo” is probably the most solid proof of Shtack being up to the task of merging diverse and unexpected elements into one flawless piece. Taking something that sounds like a track from a Quentin Tarantino’s film, and eventually turning it into a symphonic Metal is quite unique even outside the boundaries of Pirate Metal. Albeit I’m not sure if there exist such things as “boundaries” here. After all, this is a Pirate Metal – pirates don’t have boundaries. That is why an album like “Shtack” is great fun – there are lots of unconventional twists and turns here.
Review by Peer Ynt