Review RUNNING WILD ‘Blood on Blood’

Running Wild, that is Rock’n’Rolfs vision on heavy metal since 1979. Except for a hiatus from 2009 to 2011 the foundation of Running Wild’s sound never faced the risk of being shattered. The band stayed always true to their sound and direction. After having identified the pirate style image as a good trademark for the band, skipper and crew embarked on a sailing trip with their third album ‘Under Jolly Roger’ being the starting point. This year, we hear a next ‘Cast off!’ from the buccaneers of heavy metal.

‘Blood on Blood’ is Running Wild’s newest album, number eighteen in many years at sea.  The record comes with ten songs and consistence is what can be concluded after having listened to the album. In a time when most of the certain became uncertain, it’s bands like Running Wild that remain unimpressed by the changes and stick to their success formula.

Of course, a band can’t build so many albums on a pirate-inspired storyline. The new album takes a wider approach and addresses with ‘The Iron Times (1618-1648)’ the Thirty-Years War while ‘Wings of Fire’ and ‘Say Your Prayer’ are both about prophecy. Also, the three musketeers are part of the album lyrics and the song title ‘Crossing the Blades’ says it all.

While widening the historic reference points of the lyrical concept, the music reflects 100% Running Wild. The new longplayer doesn’t reflect a major change and I don’t think anyone was looking for a change or expected a lot of new. If you are a fan of Running Wild, the new album will be an ear-pleaser for you. The band developed their signature sound very early in their career and keep it alive to date.

With ‘Diamonds and Pearls’ and ‘The Shellback’, two songs have been published already as appetizers for the album. The earlier is a typical Running Wild stamper with blistering guitars, good hooks and a chorus that allows for fan-chants. ‘The Shellback’ instead isn’t as exciting as the first single. It feels like the songs never really catches fire and stays in a standard metal context. A song, also not being a real highlight is ‘One Night One Day with its Slade-ish beginning.

Compared to the second single, the start into the album is much more thrilling. The title track gets the honor of opening the gate to ‘Blood on Blood’, an up-tempo metal anthem that sticks to one’s mind right away. The rock’n’roll spirit is what resonates with ‘Wild and Free’, and even more with ‘Wild Wild Nights’. These two tracks kick-off a party time in good fashion.

I mentioned already ‘The Iron Times (1618-1648)’. With ten minutes, that closer of the album is the longest track on the album too. Hereby the band follows another tradition that started with ‘Pile of Skulls’ in 1992, with ‘Victory’ being the exemption. Each of these longplayer had the grand finale and ‘Blood on Blood’ doesn’t take a different route.

To sum up. ‘Blood on Blood’ is a typical Running Wild album that delivers to expectations. Traditionalists and fans of straight-forward metal will like an album that shines through consistency more the through innovation. It’s a next pleasant step of the band and at the same time ‘Blood on Blood’ doesn’t have enough firepower to compete with classics like ‘Port Royal’, Pile of Skulls’ and ‘Death and Glory’. The pirates are utilizing a strong breeze and hopefully they will sail close-hauled in the future again.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Blood On Blood
  2. Wings Of Fire
  3. Say Your Prayers
  4. Diamonds & Pearls
  5. Wild & Free
  6. Crossing The Blades
  7. One Night, One Day
  8. The Shellback
  9. Wild, Wild Nights
  10. The Iron Times (1618 – 1648)

Label: Steamhammer

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: October 29th, 2021

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