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Recon - 80%

OzzyApu, October 20th, 2010

Running Wild’s material can be accessed today through the internet. I don’t feel too bad obtaining albums through downloads since most of the band’s work isn’t exactly widely available on physical copies, full-lengths or otherwise. I get how the early demos aren’t available, but when something as magnificent as Death Or Glory isn’t obtainable at a reasonable price for a brand new copy, then the world is amiss. So for a single like this to get the necessary publicity but not the availability, all I can do is sit back and enjoy more of what makes this band one of the greatest.

Production is akin to Pile Of Skulls and ultimately sustains that speed metal fervor without the classy depth of Blazon Stone. Not to put down Pile Of Skulls, but while an awesome album, it didn’t have that essence to it that, when hearing it, made you feel like a pirate. Nonetheless, these tracks have tempos sharpened with crunchy guitar tones twirled melodically and efficiently. Of course, these three tracks don’t sound alike, but they all share common traits that make them the drinkable, lovable tunes that make Running Wild the only worthy band to put on pirate costumes. Rolf’s gung-ho yelling style accents the tuneful leads that slice honorably in “Hanged, Drawn And Quartered” or churn with the chorus like on “Win Or Be Drowned”; the man never undermines his performance both on the mic and for his riffs.

The loud, boisterous charisma does wonders for morale; man do I wish I could call cadence reciting Running Wild tunes. Hearing Rolf and crew roar in “Lead Or Gold” gets my heart racing for epic activity of any kind, but preferably one that involves naval battles. Music like this can only be played loudly, though the drums might grate some with their metallic-ish snare sound. Otherwise you can look past that with those superb leads and brawny bass backing under the guitars. I miss Becker, too, but the bass job is fulfilled as those axes attack with might and glory. “Lead Or Gold” and “Hanged, Drawn And Quartered” are the smooth runners that could have fit side by side on Pile Of Skulls. “Win Or Be Drowned” really is b-side quality with that riff restricted to the militaristic tempo, though the package altogether isn’t deniable (even if a little limited).

Confidence was Rolf’s forte, and the man had the voice and skills to back it up and turn it into something great. Running Wild’s golden era was a time of prominence that many bands never get to achieve themselves. I’m not even a huge heavy metal nut, but this band crafted the right amount of badassery and exemplified it proudly. All they needed was music to prove it could work, and that was already covered long before the image came around. The way I see it, image can sod off if the music doesn’t compete, but Running Wild are on the right team for image not to get in the way.