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  • Writer's pictureThe Metal Mayan

Alestorm, Elvenking, Glyph @ Toad's Place

Nestled in the shadow of the world famous Yale University, the streets around Toad's Place are often a mix of student, tourists, concert goers and locals - a diverse crowd to say the least. Yet, it was nevertheless an unusual site to see a line of people, many of whom were dressed in their finest pirate attire, with others donning yellow duck costumes or accessories, outside said venue.

Peculiar as it might be to most, those in the know understood it is a sign that the black sails of Alestorm had come to fly high over New Haven, Connecticut. So it was that the sold out show welcomed the U.K. power metal quintet, who made landfall as part of their headlining 'Tour of the Dead Marauder' with special guests Elvenking and Glyph.

As curious outsiders passed the line, one simply had to stop to remark "Looks like you all are going to quite a party." To which one fan responded "Party? This is Alestorm we're going to see - expect a riot!"

Formed in 2022, as openers Glyph took the stage, their debut album Honor. Power. Glory. was still about a week from release. If it wasn't the music of the band that dropped jaws, perhaps it was the statement from vocalist R.A. Voltaire that this show was the band's fifth performance since their establishment.

Setting the pace at light speed with epic synthesizers and Voltaire's incredible range, it was easy to forget how new the band was to the stage as fists pumped to "Honor, Power, Glory" and "A Storm of Crimson Fire".

With Voltaire, keyboardist Jeff Black, guitarist Rob Steinway and bassist Darin Wall creating immense stage presence backed by the rapid fire runs of drummer Ryan Yancey, Glyph is a name fans of Gloryhammer, Dragonforce, and Edguy would do well to learn.

To be able to introduce a melody to an unfamiliar audience and have them sing it back, as was the case during "When The World Was Young", is an incredible feat. But such is the might of Glyph - a force that is sure to graduate to massive stages in the near future.

With a 27 year career of bringing to life fantastic tales and myths through their melodic style of power metal, Italy's Elvenking are master craftsmen musically and a powerhouse of excellence in their live show.

Releasing their eleventh album, Reader of the Runes - Rapture last April, the band had plenty of incredible tracks to choose from, three of which came from their most recent release ("Rapture", "Bride of the Night", and "The Hanging Tree").

Charging through a setlist packed with fan favorites, the first crowd surfers of the night took flight over the course of a dozen stellar songs. Inciting dancing and moshing with "Silverseal" and "The One We Shall Follow", it was no surprise (though nonetheless an honor) to hear vocalist Aydan inform the crowd that theirs was the best reception of the band on the tour so far.

Apart from an appearance at ProgPower in Texas back in 2008 and onboard the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise last year, this was not only Elvenking's first time in New Haven, but indeed, their first proper tour of North America.

With longtime fans having waited many years for this day, cries rang out for 'one more song' as the last notes of closer "Elvenlegions" rang out. This, paired with the long line at the merch table for most of the evening certainly shows that Connecticut hopes to see Elvenking again as soon as possible.

In the heavy metal world, expecting the unexpected is a way of life among bands and fans alike. Still, how often is a sold out concert hall filled with the chants "Duck! Duck! Duck!"? Perhaps only when Alestorm comes to town, so it was as the stage was taken over by a massive inflatable rubber duckie, which began the countdown to party time.

Walking out to intense EDM music that gave way to opener "Keelhauled", lads and lasses who came prepared swung each other around and sang the chorus - 'make the bastard walk the plank with a bottle of rum and a Yo-Ho-Ho!'

Charging into "No Grave but the Sea", one of four songs off the album of the same name, the seas began to churn as more crowdsurfers sailed over the barricades. Joined onstage by a friendly shark who came to a song about a hangover (the band's cover of "Hangover" by pop singer-songwriter Taio Cruz), a change in the band's setlist then saw the live debut of "Uzbekistan" off the brand new EP Voyage of the Dead Marauder.

Rounding out the new material, the title track from Voyage... filled the room, with special guest Barbara Blackthorne filling in on female vocals for Patty Gurdy (check out our review of Voyage of the Dead Marauder here).

Ending the official portion of the set with "1741 (The Battle of Cartagena)", fans dared not leave the dancefloor before the encore portion. As one of the most loved songs across seven albums and 17 years together, all voices rang out for "Drink" and, of course, the cheeky closer "F*cked With An Anchor".

Despite having toured the U.S. just last year, like a good beer served in a joyous tavern, there is simply no end to the enjoyment of Alestorm. And while the band waived farewell as they prepared to cast off to the next city, no doubt Connecticut crowds look forward to seeing them come in to port again soon.

Ticket and photo pass courtesy of Napalm Records



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