Running Wild: Shadowmaker
14/05/12 || Sokaris
To give proper context to this review I can’t call myself a diehard or longtime Running Wild fan. I’ve got a copy of “The Rivalry” and really enjoy that album. I’ve heard songs from the classic albums and was genuinely blown away but since I’m a cheap bastard and getting a bargain on a RW album just doesn’t happen I haven’t added their defining material to my collection yet.
Anyway for those unfamiliar with Running Wild, they’re best known for playing energetic and melodic heavy metal and, of course, in their golden years basing their songs around pirate themes. That’s not what’s going on here for the most part. This album is wildly inconsistent throughout its running time. We get a couple genuinely interesting songs like the title track and closer “Dracula.” The former shows some good energy and the latter has an engaging sense of melody and good use of the extended format its written in. For whatever reason the end of the album features the better tracks in general. But these two winners are canceled out by two headache-inducing pieces of audio vomit. The opener “Piece of the action” butt-rocks its way through the speakers, coming across like Billy Idol but less aggressive. “Me and the boys” sounds like Rolf really wanted to provide the music for the volleyball scene in the “Top Gun” remake you just know they’re gonna make. I immediately started feeling queasy as this song kicked into gear and, worried about the side effects of such a heinous audio atrocity, typed in the name of this song on WebMD under symptoms. This was the first result.
It seems the albums picks up after this track (though it might just be that ANYTHING sounds good after that garbage) but it’s way too little way too late. You could compile an okay three song EP from this but even that wouldn’t get too many listens from me.
From what I gather Running Wild’s massive discographies consisted of nothing but quality even through the 90s, an era unkind to the more traditional forms of metal. As RW basically turned into a solo project, the quality took a dip and eventually the end was announced and a final gig was performed and released on DVD. Said DVD had been out for less than half a year before the band was reactivated and “Shadowmaker” was announced. Looking at things from this perspective, it’s baffling that Rolf came out of supposed retirement to release something as bad as this.
This ship has sailed and this sounds like Rock ‘n Rolf pulled it from his booty. I can’t advise wasting your cash on this album, personally I wouldn’t put a buccaneer it. If you absolutely HAVE to hear this album then just pirate it. Bringing Running Wild back was obviously an ARRRbitrary decision and I’m sure other reviewers will parrot this sentiment.
- Released: 2012
- Label: SPV GmbH
- Website: www.running-wild.net
- Rock ‘n’ Rolf: vocals, guitar
- Peter Jordan: guitar, backing vocals
- 01. Piece of the action
- 02. Riding on the tide
- 03. I am who I am
- 04. Black shadow
- 05. Locomotive
- 06. Me and the boys
- 07. Shadowmaker
- 08. Sailing fire
- 09. Into the black
- 10. Dracula