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RUNNING WILD Blood On Blood

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Friday, October 29, 2021 @ 8:23 AM


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RUNNING WILD
Blood On Blood

2021 Steamhammer/SPV




The legendary German heavy metal band RUNNING WILD has returned. Band leader Rolf Kasparek and his crew of Peter Jordan (guitar), Ole Hemplelmann (bass) and Michael Wolpers (drums) will unleash their seventeenth studio album, Blood On Blood, on October 29th. This is the band’s fourth album since reforming.

Nearly two years ago I reviewed the band’s EP, Crossing The Blades. (Click HERE to read). That EP is essential for fans of the band, because there are some killer, unreleased tracks on it that could have easily been on this album. Now, the entire album is here, and it’s really solid as well, and another classic release in the RUNNING WILD catalog. Rolf spent the majority of 2020 fine tuning every song on this album. Opening things up is the title track, “Blood On Blood”, which sets the stage: heavy and fast as hell, right out of the gate. This is classic RUNNING WILD to be sure. Rolf’s voice is stellar and the chorus is a real sing-along, as a lot of great RW songs are. The tune has a lot in common with the aforementioned “Crossing The Blades”, heard later in the album, by including the Three Musketeer motto of “one for all, all for one” as part of the chorus. The “Crossing The Blades” heard on this album is different than the version you can hear on the EP, by including the full song intro. “Wings of Fire” has one of the best riffs on the album, driving the song throughout. Check out that chorus and try not to sing along with it. Mid-tempo pounder “Say Your Prayers” is another classic RW track from the start and easily one of my favorites. “Diamonds & Pearls” is a quintessential pirating anthem, and totally enjoyable in its catchiness. Take a listen to the song HERE. “Wild & Free” is a totally uptempo highway hymn. Ballad “One Night, One Day” is the curve ball track here. I didn’t like the song that much at first, but it grew on me. I can easily imagine this being a crowd favorite. Rolf demonstrates just how great a singer he is on this track; stick with it to the end.

I always seem to learn something new when listening to a RW album, and this time I learned that a shellback is a veteran sailor that has crossed the equator. “The Shellback” is an excellent track, one in which the band takes its time, and lays down a real power metal classic that even references the Black Hand Inn. “Wild, Wild Nights” is an uptempo, fun party track that should also be great to hear in a live setting. Closing the album is the longest track (at ten and a half minutes), an epic history lesson called “The Iron Times (1618-1648)”, which is about The Thirty Years’ War, fought during the Holy Roman Empire. It is considered one of the most destructive wars in European history.

Overall, I find this album to be very strong, with no filler tracks. That’s pretty impressive for an album that clocks in at nearly an hour. All members of the band are at the top of their game, and Rolf’s voice sounds as great as ever. Blood On Blood will be released on Digipak CD, limited edition double gatefold blue vinyl and a limited edition box set on October 29th.

4.5 Out Of 5.0


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