Well, I really wasn’t expecting this! For me, German power metal veterans Running Wild have rather fallen into the abyss over their last few releases, too reliant on former glories and stagnant formulae for my liking and certainly not creating anything worthy of note in the heavy metal sphere…
So when Sentinel Daily editor Scott Adams suggest I have a listen to Blood on Blood, the band’s new (and eighteenth in total) full-length studio album, I have to admit I wasn’t too excited by the proposition… But I’m nothing if not compliant, and so listen I did – and I’m sure glad about that!
From the opening notes of the title track (a muscular power metal stomper) to the closing strains of The Iron Times (1618-1648), an eleven minute summation of Europe’s Thirty Years War in heavy metal form, this is the most energised and exciting album Running Wild have released in a long, long time. Even band leading light Rock ‘n’ Rolf‘s beloved ‘party metal’ tunes give off more of a spark than usual, and the result is an eminently listenable slab of Euro metal. You might almost call it heavy metal easy listening – but in a very good way!
Rolf’s familiar, well-worn voice of course fits the music superbly; he has a pretty versatile ‘base level’ handling any style of music within the Running Wild spectrum easily; he’s not pushing any boundaries here – of course you know exactly what you are getting when you put a Running Wild album on – but again, like the music, he sounds more ‘up’ here, and definitely more connected with the material; The man himself credits the pandemic with giving him more time to perfect and refine this album, and if that’s the case then surely songs like The Shellback and Diamonds & Pearls alongside those already mentioned must form the blueprint for Running Wild’s music going forward.
So, if, like me, you have become a little disenchanted with Running Wild in recent times, let me tell you that this is definitely the record to get you back onside. Have a listen and see for yourself!
Blood on Blood releases on October 29th.