Running Wild - The brotherhood 3/5

Reviewed: 3-8-02


1. Welcome to hell
2. Soulstrippers
3. The brotherhood
4. Crossfire
5. Siberian winter
6. Detonator
7. Pirate song
8. Unation
9. Dr. Horror
10. The ghost

The once mighty star of Rolf Kasparek had faded a bit of late, while the Running one had never really compromised his style, he seemed to run into that dip of uninspired mediocrity that took some of the fire out of the band's excellent music, whether from trying to pump out a CD every year, physical decay, burn out, or that mathematical probability that you can only write so many riffs and melodies in a similar style without starting to bore both yourself and your listeners. Masquerade was probably the nadir of this, and while it still wasn't a bad CD, it did little for me. 'The rivalry' on the whole also wasn't that memorable, but 'Victory' was a definite step up (one virtue was not making so many overly long, plodding songs). Still, the band's glory days were 'Death or glory', 'Blazon stone', 'Black hand inn', and 'Port royal', at least in my book.

But, I come to praise Rolf, not to bury him. This new CD, 'The brotherhood', has struck me as the most enjoyable and energetic CDs they've done in quite some time. The production is excellent and clear, and the guitars slice through the air in the unique sound of Running Wild leads and riffs. "Siberian winter", an instrumental, sounds just great, even though I'd much prefer some lyrics had been added to this mighty music. "The pirate song" reminds us of the kind of catchy pirate anthem we'd hear off 'Port royal', and throughout, you have good songs, well played, and with a lot more energy and enthusiasm than I've heard in a while. So while this doesn't live up to the band's greatest achievements, at least the music seems to be more enjoyable and fun. "Welcome to hell" starts out with a great, catchy, ripping anthem, and then "Soulstrippers" features the obligatory "worlds-going-to-hell-because-our-leaders-are-rats" (Uh, See "Masquerade" and about 40 other songs), but more importantly, the trademark Running Wild "Title-da da da something, Title-de da dah something, Title-da da da something" chorus. You've got to love that, especially when it's a decent one, and it really isn't on the whole CD.

So I think some could still quite validly think there are better metal CDs to spend their money on, but this is still recommended to anyone who likes Running Wild enough to pick up their better, if not best work, and I think it's an absolute blast. Plus when's the last time you saw "hooray" in metal lyrics...




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