In the long-running tradition of made-up holidays, September 19th marks 'International Talk Like a Pirate Day,' an excuse to annoy everyone in your office with agonizing pirate puns and harass Kathy from the H-Arrrrr department. You'll definitely need a soundtrack while you ostracize yourself from your peers and what better subgenre could you choose than Pirate Metal? Not only is it a real thing, it's also surprisingly catchy and has been around since the late '80s. The songs' themes cover a diverse array of topics like ale, grog, wenches, and ships and usually feature a sea shanty as the main melody. Batten down the hatches, grab some ale and get your timbers properly shivered with the best the Pirate Metal genre has to offer.
5. Running Wild
Germany's Running Wild has been around since the 70's although they adopted the pirate theme around 1987 with the release of the album Under Jolly Roger. They are known for their meticulous research and historical accuracy about the pirates they sing about so you know they're definitely not posers.
Lagerstein live up to their name and take the partying lifestyle of a pirate to the extreme. With songs like "Raise Your Steins," "Drink the Rum," "Fountain of Rum," and an album titled All For Rum & Rum For All you get what this pirate/folk metal band is all about - binge drinking.
3. The Dread Crew Of Oddwood
The Dread Crew of Oddwood is an all-acoustic band who call their music "Heavy Mahogany." Probably the closest to what a pirate would actually listen to, the group garnered buzz after performing at various renaissance faires around the country. Oh, and they all met at ComicCon at an event for super fans of the Sega Genesis game "Ecco The Dolphin" in case the whole ren faire thing wasn't nerdy enough for ya.
By far the heaviest band on this list, Swashbuckle's pirate-themed thrash metal is equal parts fun as it is punishing. The New Jersey natives are signed to legendary Nuclear Blast Records and are known for their incredibly fun live performances.
The most popular of the pirate metal genre, Alestorm has achieved accolades and reached sales no other band on this list has. The Scottish group's fourth album Sunset on the Golden Age even reached No. 1 on the UK Rock Chart - a huge accomplishment for such a niche genre. They combine their pirate theme with folk and power metal for an easily digestible sound that even non-head bangers can appreciate.
So there you have it, five bands of the very real Pirate Metal subgenre. Now we'll just have to wait until May 8th for 'International Viking Day' to talk about the very real Viking Metal genre.