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I Just Don't Like the Sound... - 82%

Ritchie Black Iommi, February 1st, 2013

It has a great setlist for just being in a Wacken Open Air show and having no much time for doing it, you know? You got enough ingredients to enjoy it fully. Opens traditionally with Port Royal and face-smashes through with a bunch of all-time classics of the band. If you were there and you are a fan of Rolfie's pirates stories and ancient skullduggery imagery of Satanism in earlier albums, dude, you enjoyed it.

But something happens for people who were not in that show and wanted to revive it through an lp. The sound mix. I just don't like it and I still want to know what did they wanted to do with it. Maybe they tried to enhance the audience's sound diminishing the bass or the drums, I don't know, but sometimes the album sounds hollow, only filled by Rolf's singing and occasionally, Peter Jordan with some mind-boggling interventions with the guitar. But you know, that void, that emptiness...

I don't know if this was their very first "well produced" live album or something. What I know is that it was supposed to be the very last one, and for that purpose, maybe, they wanted to create an ethereal atmosphere, more feeling and touch with the audience instead of a heavy metal ear-blaster performance. So, there you go, the major weakness in this release. And a big one, in my humble opinion. The "pirate power" of Running Wild is just a glimpse, here, of what actually is and what we actually know. For Running Wild's standards, this album is just slightly average.

BUT!! You got all the band's classics here as I said above. I mean, their hit songs. Riding the Storm, Black Hand Inn, Whirlwind, and Raise Your Fists carry a magic thing above all. It's like those four tracks climbed above the rest of the record and have their own personalities inside. In those songs, you get the real deal Running Wild, plundering, stealing, and destroying everything. They're very good ones, and standing out in the album are those pieces.

Should you get this album? I would answer with a cold and timid "yes". At the end of the day, Kasparek's band works it out and it is not a total loss despite the awful sound mix. And if you like pirates, of course, you like Running Wild and you're gonna love this. But that's it. No landmark live album, no groundbreaking production. Plain and simple. It's up to you.