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Star Light, Star Bright, Starboard Is To The Right - 70%

OzzyApu, November 23rd, 2010

Before the stellar Black Hand Inn we get a single properly introducing a cool track to show us that Running Wild still had it in them at the time. Fans wouldn’t get to hear the full album until release day, but this by-the-numbers track probably did its job to get them pumped. The other two are straightforward, too, so nothing is experimented or out of the ordinary, which is Running Wild’s trademark style, anyway.

The clamor of the drums never starting this single off lets up the entire track; those bonking snares may turn people off, but pull through it because the rest of the song will win you over. “The Privateer” is an aggressive speed metal rush of energy, passion, and riffs… riffs… riffs, my good folks. The crisp tone of the guitars is present on each track, but with the boisterous lines delivered by Rolf’s gritty wails, this is (I’m assuming) a huge concert favorite. The twirling solo attacks in the song have an ambi-space vibe to them as Rolf and Thilo bend and shoot to inspire and captivate.

The other two tracks don’t appear on the original album, and that may be for the better since while not bad songs, they would make the album a bit too long. Nonetheless, these two are also heavy metal hitters with a ton of backing in the rhythm. Rolf’s vocals are high and dry, with that old man soul packed ahead of mid-paced stomping and slick, Accept-like riffing. Bass support matches Black Hand Inn, as does the production, so you get crunchy guitars and grumbling bass right under it strictly backing the riffs. As b-sides this is the quality I’d expect, but nothing really grabs me like “The Privateer”; their existence is sufficient, but I won’t actively hear these out.

So we get one really good track and two sort of good / sort of decent additions that aren’t exactly essential. More to love though, right? So keep them in mind when circling around Black Hand Inn, but it’s easy enough just to sit back and hear the album play out with tunes like “The Privateer” already present and taking command.

Oh, The Privateer! - 80%

Edward_The_Great, February 23rd, 2009

“The Privateer” is the single off Running Wild’s album, “Black Hand Inn”. This was a great choice for a single, as it manages to be both accessible and one of the highlights of the album. The Privateer follows the typical Running Wild formula, but does it in a very above average way. The band’s lineup at this time was very talented, and it shows here. Rolf’s voice is as awesome as ever, and the instrumentals are excellent; especially the really heavy drumming. As always, the pirate theme is awesome, and makes the song ultimately more fun to listen to. There are two solos in the song; a shorter one in the middle, and an average length one in the latter half. Though the first is pretty average, the second is very impressive and manages to be one of the best off the album, with its adventurous feel. All in all, a pretty simple, but kick-ass song.

The first B-side, “Dancing on a Mine Field”, is next on the single. The solos and riffs in this song completely rip off Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, but do so in a good way, as Rolf’s vocal style remains the same. Expect this song to sound like Running Wild mixed with the said two bands. The second B-side and closer of this release is “Poisoned Blood”, yet another simple, but effective speed metal song. Not much is new on this track, with the exception of a really chaotic and distorted solo that is very reminiscent of Saxon’s song, “Machine Gun”.

I would summarize this single as being the “Black Hand Inn” album’s sound in a nutshell. All of the songs on this single are very catchy, straightforward, and entertaining. I would recommend this for Running Wild fans and for people who are unfamiliar with the band and want to hear what they sound like. I would ultimately suggest you get the “Black Hand Inn” remaster, as the remastered album contains the title track of this single, plus both B-sides as bonus tracks. Though nevertheless, this release still manages to be a great collectors item, even if the value has gone down with the “Black Hand Inn” remaster. After all, this song could be regarded as a classic, plus the cover art is quite good. The decision is all yours.