SPV – [Release date 7.10.13]
Few bands can claim to have fans across the globe who are as passionate and devoted to their craft as those belonging to the legendary German Heavy/Power Metalers Running Wild. Even they, however, had their loyalties severely tested through the release of a string of weak albums, culminating in last year’s universally rejected “Shadowmaker”.
It is at times like these when most musicians ought to look towards their glorious past for inspiration and that seems to be exactly what Captain Kasparek (guitars/vocals) must have had in mind when he began working on the ten compositions that form the band’s fifteenth studio album, entitled “Resilient” (available early October).
As a long-term fan myself, I believe the burning question is how well “Resilient” fares in comparison to the band’s long and well documented discography. Well, I have very good news to report. Herr Rolf seems to have finally re-acquainted himself with what one would describe as the ‘classic Running Wild melody’, which can be found in abundance throughout the album – the first album in almost a decade that I can claim to have enjoyed in its entirety.
True, the riffs and melodies have been presented to you on previous occasions in a slightly different configuration, but the passion and feel is pretty energised and positive, so it looks like this ‘back-to-the-roots’ approach of sorts has been very successful indeed.
“Soldiers Of Fortune”, the four minute opening track, is a typical mid-tempo, riff-based Running Wild composition which paves the way for the far more simplistic, but still more enjoyable, melodies of the same-titled “Resilient” – a song whose catchy refrain should appeal to any fan of classic Heavy Metal.
Tipping its hat to early Saxon, “Adventure Highway” is an impressive up-tempo heavy Rock’n’Roller, while “The Drift” stands out as the song with one of the most impressive melodic choruses of the album. It is the opening guitar harmony of “Desert Rose” that first stood out for me and which I still consider to be among the highlights of the album.
Both “Fireheart” and the Judas Priest-influenced “Run Riot” do a very decent job at keeping a healthy momentum going for the album. Slow, heavy and simple in its structure, “Down To The Wire” steers the album with steady hands, followed by the equally crunchy “Crystal Ball”.
One cannot have a Running Wild release without a long epic-sounding composition – and this time it is the closing, almost ten-minute opus “Bloody Island”. Opening with an acoustic intro and filled with beautifully crafted melodies, simple fist-pumping riffs and a trademark anthemic refrain, this is the very song that others have recognised as appropriate material for an album as revered as “Pile Of Skulls”.
Slightly more than four years to the day, when Rolf first announced that Running Wild had split-up, the band are back with a new album – one that, contrary to its divisive predecessor, should bring a smile to the faces of all those loyal to the Jolly Roger.
I believe that “Resilient” is a step in the right direction for the band, and, though not quite what you would describe as a ‘Running Wild classic’, it may just be the wind in the sails that delivers many old-school fans back to Captain Kasparek.
Rating: **** (4.0/5.0)
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.
More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020
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Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)
Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)
L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)
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