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Almost Boring - 70%

OzzyApu, January 8th, 2010

The tone matches up to Blazon Stone; nothing out of the ordinary, but then again the atmosphere does seem to have been drained. This isn’t the case with “Little Big Horn,” which was one of the best tracks on the album; the upbeat, optimistic, can-do attitude made for one of the most inspiring, pleasant tracks Blazon Stone had to offer. The other two songs fail in this department (but succeed in others).

“Genocide” is a respectable Thin Lizzy cover which makes great use of that wretched Judas Priest guitar tone. The riffs are burly and raw in comparison to the album’s imperialistic tracks. No joy in this track– just the American old-west, which was quite a soiled place to live in. Other than the riffs, this song doesn’t really offer too much; the chorus gets old really quickly – we’d get a better song about the buffalo on Pile Of Skulls.

“Billy The Kid” starts off awkwardly as you have no idea what’s going on, but then the opening really kicks in with a blazing harmony and everything’s back to normal. The production, akin to Blazon Stone, means we get to hear Jens Becker’s fabulous bass lines running up and down the rhythm. This style is more like the main album, but you don’t feel the full extent of the atmosphere; the chorus is just annoying, which is sad since the topic character deserves a better chorus. Rolf’s vocals don’t reach any magnificent heights, but they’re still the grainy yells with twice the potency. The Maiden-like guitar attacks and his non-operatic wailing go hand in hand like bread and butter, but that doesn’t mean this song shows them in perfect agreement.

Everything about “Little Big Horn” I can only praise; the war-like drumming, Rolf’s contagious vocals, the slick riffs – everything Running Wild could possibly nail right was done for that song. It’s such a soulful track with not only a backstory, but also the effect of making you imitate playing every instrument involved in the song. Whether it’s stomping drum bass pedals while escorting the tempo with flourishing bass lines or perfecting riffs and jumping around the neck to catch up with ascending solos (all while attempting Rolf’s over-achieving vocals), you’ll love every second of it. The brass outro (“Taps”) to the song, too, is poignant and as a soldier myself it brings you back to reality – doesn’t kick you in the nuts or anything like a wake-up call, but the message about the costs of war linger on.

You can pretty much skip the other tracks and just meet “Little Big Horn” when you go hear Blazon Stone. That album doesn’t need the two other tracks, which are b-side quality anyway. You really aren’t missing a whole lot.