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The fucking production… - 60%

whensunburnsred, November 9th, 2010

…kills the video. Yes people, uncle Papadopoulos is giving a 60% score to the magnificent Running Wild. Musically this is over the 90% (it’s 80s Running Wild), but this is a live video, thus, the scoring system doesn’t work the same way as for studio albums.

Sometimes the appropriate production is not the one with best quality, but the one that do the trick. In this case, Running Wild chose a studio production and wiped out the audience – except for the gaps from song to song, and the chorus in “Prisoners of our time” (and yet the audience is barely audible). Thus, the live atmosphere and charm this kind of recordings should have is gone; watching live footage with studio production is just fucking weird because you feel something’s missing – you can see people clapping but they make no sound. Still, you’ll notice it’s recorded live because some vocal lines – especially when Rock 'n Rolf has to hit the highest notes – are a bit low, or sound slightly different from the albums – generally any chorus with backing vocals. There’s a good side, though. Bass lines, solos and leads are perfectly audible; it would be a shame to miss any of those, like the awesome bass line in while the dual guitar solo in “Raw ride”, or the great, trotting ones in “Conquistadores”.

The tracklist, although very good (besides those I mentioned before, “Uaschitschun”, “Riding the storm”, “Final gates” – as an outro, it’s not really played live - and “Tortuga bay”, so all 80s good stuff), is still flawed; all-time classics like “Port Royal” or “Battle of Waterloo” are missing, while other not-that-incredibly-fucking-brilliant tracks are played: “Bad to the bone” and “Raging fire”. Thankfully, by this year they could only play material from the first four albums, so it was physically impossible to play bad songs – except for “Land of ice”, but not even Kasparek is oblivious enough to play it live. Another downside is the length; only 45 min long! We want more damn it! Maybe if it were a thrash concert this could still work, but Running Wild, a band with a song length average of 4-5 min, needs to play at least 90 min to keep the fans satisfied. Finally, and to end up with the negative characteristics, the slow motion sequences. These are completely out of place; if the silent clapping wasn’t strange enough, we get this slow headbanging and jumping mixed with real time sequences, which don’t fit at all.

Enough for the negative criticism, let’s say what’s good about the video. The band’s performance is top-notch, pulling every solo (the ones from “Raw ride” and “Conquistadores” are the highlight of the video) and critical moment in their music off, and the crystal clear, perfectly balanced production won’t let you miss any detail. The music, of course, is superb in every aspect, and incredibly good for live performances; with the catchiest choruses and most memorable riffs in the power / speed metal universe. In fact, if I had to define Running Wild’s music in one word, I would say anthemic; starting with the vibrating “Riding the storm” all the way to end with the ultra-catchy “Prisoners of our time”, you won’t have a rest from fist-raising choruses, incredibly colourful, melodic solos, full-speed riffing and vocal lines you can actually sing without squeezing your nuts. In addition, you get quite a complete show; fire, explosions, Kasparek and Moti swaying to the music side by side, moving all around, – not as much as Lååz Rockit, but who does? – and camera shots from every angle: back, front, side, drums, far, close, public… Moreover, I think the camera work is quite good and varied; smooth transition and focuses, and adequate zooms in interesting parts, like guitar solos.

As a Running Wild fanboy this was very hard for me to write, but now you know what’s waiting for you. If you don’t mind getting a studio production in a live video, then this is essential for you; crystal clear Running Wild invading your senses. Otherwise, you can always play and just listen to it without watching, but for that matter you may as well play the full-length releases or make your own compilation.