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Running Wild
Resilient
November 2013
Released: 2013, SPV Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Depending on your perspective, Rock ‘N Rolf’s Running Wild institution has been dead for a decade or longer. Before taking hiatus in the late ‘00s, Rolf seriously tarnished the band’s venerable reputation with albums like THE BROTHERHOOD and ROGUES EN VOGUE. 2012’s return, SHADOWMAKER was…ahem…different for the band, and although I didn’t mind it, it sure as heck didn’t do much to restore confidence in the brand. Facts are facts, that album neither looked nor sounded like a proper Running Wild album, except for a couple of songs. After getting his rock ‘n rolls out using a side project (Giant X), Rolf is back again, saying the usual things about getting back to the roots etc. So the question is, does RESILIENT deliver?



Obviously, for me the answer is YES. Adrian is firmly back on the cover as he should be, and there’s not a “Me & the Boys” to be heard anywhere. One listen to “Soldier of Fortune” or “The Drift” proves that Kasparek has rediscovered the verve to write and more importantly, sound like, classic Running Wild. At this point, let me ease back and say that while RESILIENT is good, it still doesn’t touch classics like BLACK HAND INN and THE RIVALRY – they’re largely ploughing terrain that was already deeply mined in the past.



That said, RESILIENT is a damn enjoyable album that I’ve been playing consistently since I got it. The melodic touch of “Desert Rose”, the epic pirate tale “Bloody Island”, and the energetic rockers like “Adventure Highway” are all great touchstones of the Running Wild sound and, for the first time in many years, it actually sounds effortless. Indeed, Kasparek has spoken about how “free” he felt writing the songs for this release.



So is this a perfect return to form? No, it’s not, but it’s the closest we’ve heard from RW in a LONG time. Even without all of the history and baggage, RESILIENT is a great album in its own right. Give it a shot, you just might be impressed.
Track Listing

1. Soldier of Fortune
2. Resilient
3. Adventure Highway
4. The Drift
5. Desert Rose
6. Fireheart
7. Run Riot
8. Down to the Wire
9. Crystal Gold
10. Bloody Island

Lineup

Rock ‘n Rolf: Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Peter Jordan: Guitar

Contact

N/A

Interviews

Next review: » Running Wild - Resilient
Previous review: » Running Wild - Gates to Purgatory

Running Wild
Resilient
November 2013
Released: 2013, SPV
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

I’m glad Rock ’n’ Rolf decided against permanently scuttling the good ship Running Wild. While last years SHADOWMAKER wasn’t the return to glory that some had hoped for, it wasn’t that bad. It was a transitional album between his more melodic Giant X project and Running Wild. A little over a year later Running Wild is back with album #16, the appropriately titled RESILIENT. Even good ol’ Adrian, the bands mascot is back on the cover, a strong title and image to match the statement of intent.



Flat out, RESILIENT is my favourite Running Wild album in a decade or so, dating back to the Napoleonic trilogy of MASQUERADE, THE RIVALRY and VICTORY. The album is a straight up ten cuts of classic Running Wild. The album starts off with an immediate crowd-pleaser with ‘Soldiers Of Fortune’ with pirate lyrics of course. The album is nicely bookended by another pirate song called ‘Bloody Island’, a 10-minute epic that is naturally reminiscent of ‘Treasure Island’ way back, 20 years ago on PILE OF SKULLS. The quintessential buzzing guitar tone of Rolf is present and his collaboration with Peter Jordan seems to be bearing some fruit as the band have returned to the more pure Metal sound for Running wild and left Giant X for their more melodic inclinations. The songs are a good mix of fast and anthemic and Rolf’s vocals are as gruff and growly as ever.



Some people grumble about processed drums and perhaps 20 years ago but these days the drum programs are not nearly as synthesized but pure recreations of actually drums strikes that have been recorded digitally, individually, so the complaint about drum machines, is no longer really that valid. The drum sound is fine, to be honest I can’t tell if it is man or machine and I don’t really care, the drums thunder along like a battery of cannons firing volleys at an enemy vessel. RESILIENT is a welcome return to the high seas.
Track Listing

1. Soldiers of Fortune
2. Resilient
3. Adventure Highway
4. The Drift
5. Desert Rose
6. Fireheart
7. Run Riot
8. Down to the Wire
9. Crystal Gold
10. Bloody Island

Lineup

Rock 'n' Rolf Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Peter Jordan Guitars

Interviews

Next review: » Running Wild - Shadowmaker
Previous review: » Running Wild - Gates to Purgatory





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