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Running Wild - Shadowmaker

Published April 17 2012

=Staff's pick

Piece Of The Action
Riding On The Tide
I Am Who I Am*
Black Shadow
Me & The Boys
Sailing Fire*
Into The Black*

Genre Heavy Metal
Rolf Kasparek
Tracks 10
Rolf Kasparek
Running time 50 Min.
Peter Jordan
Label Steamhammer/SPV
Rolf Kasparek
Release 23 April 2012
Country Germany
Producer N. Nowy/K. Nowy/P. Jordan
Similar artists ---

Rock'n'Rolf Kasparek and his band returns with yet another album, seven years past the release of their/his latest album Rogues En Vogue. You probably know the stories about the disbanding of Running Wild, even if it has been a solo band since ages, a couple of years ago and his new brainchild Toxic Taste, so I'm not going to bore you by repeating what's already been said thousands of times before.

On this release Mr. Kasparek has decided to take a step down from the producer's and the sound engineer's seat to focus more on composing and the actual recordings. So why in hell is the album so weakly produced yet again? The guitar and the drums sounds thin, empty and hollow, so even if many riffs are good, they just don't have those sparks as there are no power behind them. Go back 15-20 years and listen to your own albums, damn it. When the pirate theme disappeared, so did the ability to produce a Running Wild album the way it should be, I reckon.

We get some flirts with old piracy times though in Riding On The Tide and in Sailing Fire. The latter with some good old riffs similar to Running Wild's days of yore. I also like the last song, Dracula, with its heavier and eerie feel. Into The Black has many similarities to the early nineties and is in my opinion one of the best tracks on this release, but Me & The Boys is just too goofy to come from Running Wild and should never have left Rolf's board of ideas.

The songwriting is good and if the album should have been recorded and produced with a heavier sound, many of the songs could have been much better. After listening to it many, many times, I somehow try to ignore the sound and I actually find some great parts on Shadowmaker. According to the man himself, this is one of his best work up until now, but when I compare it to for instance Pile Of Skulls and Black Hand Inn, I don't agree and I'm sure nobody else does either.

This album will hardly get any new fans to pay attention. If you're not as eager as I am, you will probably give it up after a couple of rounds. It will probably sell a few copies due to us one track minded heavy metal fans who never abandon their once favorite bands. If there was one thing I hoped before I heard the album, it was that it would not sound like the latest albums. My hope was in vain. This band must be one of mankind's last and greatest mysteries.

See also review of: Rapid Foray , Resilient , Rogues En Vogue , The Brotherhood , Live








4 chalices of 10 - Tobbe

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