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Yet another great Running Wild album. This one really is more comparable to Pile of Skulls than to Black Hand Inn - not really that much experimentation, just eleven songs to smash your face in. Great speed metal with power-metal sensibilities - lots of nice riffs and nice soloing, and just in general, the album starts at the beginning, finishes at the end, and never ever lets up in between.
We start with "The Contract" - a little intro bit, that leads us into "Masquerade". One of the best songs on here - very fast, and with a memorable chorus. "Demonised" and "Black Soul" are pretty much more of the same, and then "Lions of the Sea" is just a bit slower, a bit more sing-alongish, quite nice. Going further in that direction is "Rebel at Heart" - both of these tracks are pretty much concert staples.
"Wheel of Doom" is back to the speed metal, which continues with "Metalhead" and "Soleil Royal". "Men in Black" is a bit more power-metalish, and then "Underworld" closes the album in fine form with some extra cool soloing thrown in.
So really, if you want something avant-garde and experimentation, this is NOT the album for you. If you want some general Painkiller worship with some Accept thrown in, and you want to hear what Primal Fear COULD sound like if they gave up sucking........