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A Pinnacle of Powerful Pirate Metal - 93%

IronDreamer, September 14th, 2006

Though Running Wild have a number of excellent albums, I think this just might be my favorite; not because it's their best (I'd say that's "The Rivalry"), but because it is impossible to not have fun when listening to this album.

From the opening seconds of "Riding the Storm" you know you're in for a ride. Rolf and crew have crafted a remarkable collection of exciting heavy riffs and catchy choruses that keep you singing along all day and into the night. Ignoring the pointless and irritating instrumental track "Highland Glory," each of the first ten songs, has instantly memorable riffs and vocal parts, quite a feat.

More importantly, the songs are catchy in a very sing-along way, which combined with the up-tempo pace makes for an incredibly fun listen. I'd mention one song or the other, but it is just that hard to pick stand-outs, since they are all so fun.

What would a RW album be without a great epic song, and "The Battle of Waterloo" does not disappoint. Everything about this song, from the blazing main riff, immaculate lyrics, and powerful chorus is perfectly integrated to form the kind of epic metal song that RW is in the absolute elite of writing. As far as I'm concerned, it's the end of the album, as "March On" is pretty forgettable.

The production is very good, levels are not overboosted, so everything is heard very clearly. Drums and bass take a slight backseat to the guitars and vocals, but this suits the composition of this album perfectly.

All in all, this is a classic album, that any fan of heavy metal should have the glory of enjoying! Only a couple of throw-away songs keep it from a higher score.