Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Staying solid. - 80%

Nightcrawler, December 14th, 2003

Blazon Stone sees Running Wild continue in the path they've been going for a while. The classic heavy metal vibe is still very much there, but packed in there we have tons of speed metal riffs and leads, and there are also some definite power metal influences found on here. The production gets even cleaner with this album, and also induces a more powerful, thunderous sound on the drums. The bass however is much lower than before, though still distinguishable.
The songwriting formula is the same as they've been going with for a while now. The songs go from midpaced to blazing fast (more of the latter) and are always very catchy, with memorable anthemic choruses and lyrics mainly focused on the oppression of authority or the coolness of pirates. The guitarwork is in focus, and this album features Rock N' Rolf (who's also the vocalist) and Axel Morgan blasting out countless excellent riffs and memorable leads like on any Running Wild album. So we have here all the ingredients necessary for another pirate metal classic.

The album kicks off with it's best song, the title track. Like the opener to the previous album, it features a long intro, but this one is not nearly as powerful. Still, some great shit done here, ranging from slow and epic to lightning fast and, well, still epic. Then we get into a crazy ride of catchy and atmospheric speed metal, featuring a very memorable chorus, brilliant riffs and melodic leads, and powerful drumming. Classic Running Wild at its best.

Moving on, we get to Lone Wolf, which has some catchy single note-based riffs, but it's very boring vocally, and has no actual heart put into the songwriting.
Then Slavery takes us back into asskicking mode with more pirate-inspired atmospheric speed metal. Fire And Ice is alright, the riffs and chorus are very nicely done, but it doesn't really have any distinguishing factor that sets it apart from the rest and comes off as a bit average.
Little Big Horn features an insanely catchy main riff and a very powerful chorus, and is also really good.

Then we have the instrumental Over The Rainbow, which features the bass highlights we've come to expect from Running Wild instrumentals. But like we've also come to expect from them, it doesn't really get anywhere. Fortunately, this time they just made it 2 minutes long, so this isn't a big problem.
Ah, and then we have White Masque. Right from the opening - crashing drums and epic guitar melodies this song completely fucking owns all in its way like nothing else. The blazing fast under-vers riffs are like the ultimate highlight of the album, the lyrics and vocals are very catchy, and then that awesome shouting chorus in the classic Running Wild vein, only even better than usual. "Blazing the wrath with the union of the white masque!" I dare you not to sing along. Come to think of it, this one's probably better than the title track, and that's saying alot.

The four last songs keep up the good quality for the most part. Rolling Wheels is a very good, midpaced anthem with some groovy atmosphere and cool riff changes. Straight To Hell is lightning fast and features some very catchy riffing and vocal lines.
Closer Heads or Tails is also a great midpaced tune, with some of the catchiest vocals on here, especially the sing-along chorus.
Bloody Red Rose is somewhat mediocre, however. It has some nice melodies, but is very forgettable vocally.

And then we have the bonus tracks. Billy The Kid is catchy as fuck, and one of the best songs on here. Genocide is the worst Running Wild song ever, and should never have been written.

But aside from one downer, Blazon Stone really is another Running Wild classic, and essential for any fan. A bit more mature, if you will, than the previous stuff, and with cleaner production. The intensity and energy level sometimes is alot lower than on classics like Under Jolly Roger, but they make up for that in very catchy and memorable songwriting. Running Wild has set an undeniable mark on the metal world, setting their very own sound upon a somewhat formulaic brand of metal. Buy this album or walk the plank.