Cat O’ Nine Tails – “Under the Captain’s Flag”


UndertheCaptain’flagAs soon as I queued in this debut album, Under the Captain’s Flag, by Cat O’ Nine Tails, I embarked their ship and started my Journey with them to this new genre. There is so much to be told about the First Christian Pirate Metal band that anchors itself on the ports of Finland. The style is fresh, music is raw and energetic, vocals draw you in and they offer all the goodies that pirates do! Yarrr!!! The genre has shards of symphonic metal, nu metal riffs, death metal growls and a tinge of folk elements in its sound. The band doesn’t shy away from experimenting with their sound and plans to swim and conquer international waters.

Four pirates formed an alliance back in 2012 when the bassist Tuomas Kannisto (also known for the band HB) and guitarist Samuel Savander started to write music with a unique twist. “It started with a joke and then we saw the potential”, says Tuomas. The crew needed a captain and thus a versatile vocalist Janne Heiskanen joined the band. The rhythm section was flogged by Lauri Tuomenoksa who then abandoned the ship and was replaced by Eetu Pesu in 2016. The band started recording their debut album in the summer of 2013 at Kiipu Studios under Antti Niskala’s guidance. The album was produced with added layers and soundscapes in spring of 2015 and at the bands’ first ever live performance at the Immortal Metal fest, they decided to release their debut album. Gents who have witnessed them live are awestruck with their getup, for their showmanship brings in a unique blend of (Pirate) rum, ahem I mean fun to the gig.

“Inside The Chest” builds up piece by piece, adding layers and building a strong foundation for the opening act of this phenomenal album. The guitars barge in, the violins creep in, the vocals deep and dusky takes you on-board this phantasmagoria of a voyage. “The Long Lost Ruby” picks up a progressive style on the guitars (must hear the solo), the vocals juggle between the high pitched shrieks, and baritone growls.

“Under Captain’s Flag” starts off with a progressive guitar riff and synchronises well with the accordion. Every guitar shred feels like a whiplash or a cannon ball fired off the ship. “Wind Of Change” has got to be my favourite track of this album, there is a flair in the vocals which leaves the audience spellbound and craving for more. A beautiful piece on the accordion is heard and expectations have been raised higher.

“Ocean Rose” and “The Cataclysm” both have a beautiful intro and sets an ambience that makes it sounds like straight out of an orchestra plus the band quickly fills it up with heavy guitar riffs to supplement. The second vocals on “Ocean Rose” and the running bassline parallel to it gives you the chills, as does the guttural growls on “The Cataclysm”.

“Symphony Of Ending Time” begins with melodic tune on the accordion accompanied with damp guitar riffs shrouded with juggling deathly growls and baritone shrieks, a treat to the ears. A more progressive guitar riff opens up “Temptations” thrashing double bass and voice that sounds inspired by Dave Mustaine.

By now I’ve come to realize that there is no set intro the band decides on any of its songs. All of them start up fresh and promises more fun than its predecessor, so with “Promised Land” drum roll augmented with the Industrial metal guitar riffs and an occasional Deathcore growl and a change in pitch on the vocals with a face melting guitar solo captivates your interest and demands repetitive repeats.

The last song on the album “Splicing The Mainbrace” shakes you with its marching drums and hardcore melody on the guitar bringing closure to this wonderful debut album, leaving its audience for more.

Production – The song arrangements are remarkable, production feels good , the guitar patches were a little too wet for my ears, but does the trick when all of it is put together.

Conclusion – The song writing is impressive, and the music is as fresh as it can get. Cat O’ Nine Tails is band to keep an ear out for, I hear they are coming with the second album early next year. I recommend you treat yourself this Christmas and buy it!

Rating: 9/10

Written by: Ankit Sood

Track listing:
1. Inside The Chest
2. The Long Lost Ruby
3. Under Captain’s Flag
4. Wind Of Change
5. The Cataclysm
6. Ocean Rose
7. Symphony Of Ending Time
8. Temptations
9. Promised Land
10. Splicing The Mainbrace

Band Members:
Janne Heiskanen – Vocals
Tuomas Kannisto – Bass
Samuel Savander – Guitars
Lauri Tuomenoksa/ Eetu Pesu -Drums

Buy the album here:
Holland: First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

Video below: ‘Symphony of Ending Time’

Video below: ‘Ocean Rose’

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