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With Running Wild's latest releases in mind, my expectations are naturally somewhat low when I first press play to start listening to the brand new effort, Resilient. Rolf Kasparek a.k.a. our very own pirate master of metal Rock'n'Rolf attempts to return to an older and classic sound, and I'll be damned, he is pretty successful on this matter. I'm somewhere between astonishment and in a state of bliss. Rolf has, according to himself, also recorded everything by himself, except for a few guitar solos by his long-time friend, live guitarist and Giant X bandmate Peter Jordan. That will eventually end the debate of programmed drums, at least in the way I see it.
Quite frankly, I can't say that I care too much about using computers in music or not, because that's something we all will have to live with even more with today's products. The fact that most fans can't hear any difference should be evidence enough that this actually has no real significance for the album's outcome. Copy and paste is just as bad in my book, but that has been okay since the beginning of my life and when looking at genuineness I really can't see the difference between both techniques.
Does an older sound with classic Running Wild guitarplays, riffs, rhythms and melodies equal total success? Of course not. Yet, this is by far the best album for a very long time, despite the fact that the production still lacks the fierce moments that used to be a part of the band's trademark. Surely the production is slightly better now than on this album's predecessor and also kind of powerful, but not powerful in a way to suit this kind of heavy metal. It still sounds too clean, too gentle and too polished, when I and most fans look for heavy, tough and smashing instead.
Rock'n'Rolf was up to a real challenge and I think he brought this sucker home quite all right. Just to name a few; the monumental riffs in The Drift could be off Blazon Stone and the closing song, the grandiose Bloody Island, are up there with the classics. All songs aren't on top of the highest mountain though. This man always had a few songs on almost each record that I see as utter fillers, dwelling somewhere deep in the ocean. The title track and Down To The Wire are two perfect examples that receive that all but flattering title.
On a few tracks, it feels like Rolf has borrowed or stolen his own riffs, but I don't mind when they rock this hard and accurate in a new guise. This album shows a return to days I thought was long gone by, although it doesn't hit the absolute top. Rolf's voice has also improved since his last recordings and in all honesty, he never was a state of the art singer, whilst the band rather took other roads to success.
I face a double-edged sword when I'm about to rate this album. On one hand, many songs are great, still I look back at the album's production and by that I see that this album had potential to become even greater. Nevertheless, I hand out 7 chalices and welcome Running Wild back in business. A huge step forward and something worth for old fans to check out.