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It seems to me that Running Wild do not get the attention that they deserve, often being shrugged off as a “silly Pirate Metal band.” Arrgh, me mateys, while there is nothing wrong with Piracy or Pirate Metal, Running Wild are much more diverse than they are perceived.
This nifty little debut album of 42 minutes (including bonus tracks 9 and 10) is a good mix of traditional heavy and speed metal. The opening riffs of “Victim of States Power” alone probably carried enough weight to catapault Running Wild into legendary status from the beginning. This is top-notch Germanic speed metal that will rip your face off if you are not cautious. “Black Demon” is not as fast, but the riffs are so thick and powerful to create a very full sound at a slightly faster than mid-pace, and the lyrics wander into a little light Satanism. Skipping over the uninteresting “Preacher,” we move to “Soldiers of Hell,” with somewhat of an Iron Maiden-ish gallop and about a minute of extended soloing right smack in the middle of the song. “Diabolical Force,” at just over 5 minutes in length is one of the longest songs on this album of concise tunes. The way it builds from straight-forward speed metal to one hell of a melodic close is simply excellent. Now comes “Adrian SOS.” Holy sweet mother of fuck! SPEED FUCKING METAL all over the place here. The chorus is quick, catchy, and simple enough for a quick break before launching full-on into the greatest speed metal onslaught of the disc. I hope you had your pen and paper handy, ‘cause that’s precisely how speed metal is done. “Genghis Khan” is an Iron Maiden cover...wait...no it’s not. It’s a solid little tune with some head-bangable short riffs. “Prisoners of Our Time” is somewhat of a less-intense, though fist-in-the-air closer before we move into the bonus tracks. “Walpurgis Night” and “Satan” sound like rough-mix demos, but are consistent in sound and quality with the rest of the album. Unfortunately, “Walpurgis Night” is cut short (Is it a crappy press of my CD, or is it really just a demo track that was thrown on there?). I wish I had better packaging here for more details, but the CD booklet is extremely sparse.
There you have it, kiddos, Running Wild’s debut. The Running Wild sound that would become legendary is all here, though there is still plenty of room for growth before the golden albums like PILE OF SKULLS, DEATH OR GLORY, or the uber-essential BLACK HAND INN. If you like Speed Metal (who doesn’t?), check it out.
(originally written by me for www.metal-rules.com, September, 2003)