REVIEW: Ye Banished Privateers – Hostis Humanis Generis

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Ahoy! I have somewhat missed the boat on the pirate folk band YE BANISHED PRIVATEERS. I had never heard of the Swedish pirate-themed folk band, but when I got the opportunity to review the album, I grabbed it with both hands. YE BANISHED PRIVATEERS play authentic 17th century styled music influenced by sea shanties, drinking anthems, and folk melodies, which resulted in their fourth full-length album “Hostis Humanis Generis” out on 7 February 2020 through Napalm Records. Read our interview here.

Avast ye!1 The album starts off with the opening track and single “No Prey, No Pay,” it immediately sets the right kind of atmosphere, even though the song perhaps isn’t the most explosive opening song, it definitely makes you understand what you’re going to be listening to for the rest of the hour. Even though Napalm Records is a notorious metal record label, this is not metal. However, that being said, pirate folk music might just be one of the most metal things on earth. Heave-ho! 2 “Hush Now My Child” makes up for the somewhat slow beginning, and shows us what these seadogs3 are really made of. With its addictive and powerful chorus, it surely makes a great song to sing along to.

“Blame The Brits” paints the right picture of what it must have been to be three sheets to the wind4 in taverns during those days, and might be one of my personal highlights on this album. “Capstan Shanty” is one of those songs influenced by sea shanties5, and is easily one of the strongest songs on this album. With the same level of excitement, I find myself listening to “Elephant’s Dance,” even though the lyrics are somewhat grim, the song is really uplifting and can put everyone in a good mood with ease.

Even though most of the songs are pretty uplifting, a song like “Parting Song,” creates a really emotional atmosphere, and gave me chills. It has enchanting melodies that really can touch your soul. After such an emotional moment the energetic “Rowing With One Hand” is a welcome surprise and picks up the speed, and feels like a song that should be danced to.

The album ends off with “Why the Big Whales Sing,” which starts off with an eerie atmosphere that could have been easily present on the soundtrack of “Pirates Of The Caribbean”. With its beautiful atmosphere, the song invites you right away to hit the play button again. Definitely a strong ending to an intriguing album that puts you in the midst of a pirate ship with a bottle of rum in your hands looking out for the next loot to plunder.

The best thing, however, about “Hostis Humanis Generis” is that it feels like a story from beginning to end, this dramaturgic aspect is clear in the dialogues that are present on the album, the sound of the sea, and pirates shouting throughout the songs. This adds a little something extra to most of the songs and really makes you focus on the lyrical themes present in the album.

“Hostis Humanis Generis” is a pirate’s booty you didn’t know you needed in your life. The album contains pieces of eight6, and jewels of songs, that create a historical atmosphere that transports you back in time to ransack treasures and ships. The aspect of storytelling on this album is definitely on point, and this is also being taken into account when it comes down to the production of the album, which creates an interesting and immersive listening experience. With great vocal performances and many traditional instruments, captivating folk melodies are created. Shiver me timbers!7 With “Hostis Humanis Generis” YE BANISHED PRIVATEERS give no quarter8.

Tracklist

  1. No Prey, No Pay
  2. Hush Now, My Child
  3. Blame the Brits
  4. Capstan Shanty
  5. Elephant’s Dance
  6. Swords to Ploughshares
  7. Flintlock
  8. Parting Song
  9. Rowing with One Hand
  10. A Swinging We Must Go
  11. They Are Marching Down on High Street
  12. Death of Bellows
  13. Why the Big Whales Sing

Lineup

Anders ”Nobility” Nyberg – cembalo, pump organ, and miniature piano
Anton “Quinton Taljenblock” Teljebäck – viola pomposa, fiddle, mandoline, cable cutting crashes and main chopper of the sloppy beats
Björn ”Bellows” Malmros – squeezebox, hurdy-gurdy and voices of madness
Eva ”the Navigator” Maaherra Lövheim – violin, nyckelharpa, and vocals
Frida “Freebird af Wærmaland” Granström – violin, viola, and vocals
Hampus “Monkey Boy” Holm – the big drum and other floggables
Louise “Happy Lou” Gillman – feisty fiddle
Ina ”Battery” Molin – cajon, marimba, pompous percussions and all things beatable
Jens ”Wan Chou Zhong” Tzan Choong – obnoxious string drum, wee guitar, huge oriental fruit thing with strings and Chinese harpy harpy – aka Banjo/Guitalele/Sitar/Guzheng
Jim ”Silent Jim” Sundström – mandolino, guitarra, Irish tenor banjo, false chord-posing, wishful singing, wrong stage-whistle, and mould infested clothing
Jonas “Hogeye McGinn” Nilsson –  rusty old 5-string
Magda “Magda Malvina Märlprim” Andersson – blood-stained lute guitar and cherry vocals
Martin “Scurvy Ben” Gavelin – cajon, percussions, and vocals
Nick “Meat Stick Nick” Bohman-Ernhill – ukulele bass, double bass, and bass trombone
Peter “Quartermaster Blackpowder Pyte” Mollwing – crude singing, sentimental lyrics, desecration of primary sources and debatable Brittish accent
Richard ”Old Red” Larsson – them thick and them thin strings
Sara “Landmark” Lundmark – percussion and marching drum
Stina “Filthylocks” Hake –violoncello and fipple pipes
William ”Shameless Will” Hallin –vocals, vanity, profanity, coin snatching, and coat turning

Label

Napalm Records

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