Running Wild - Crossing The Blades

Running Wild - Crossing The Blades

(EP, SPV/Steamhammer, 2019)

It is beyond the shadow of a doubt that RUNNING WILD gave birth to Pirate Metal, setting sail with their massive third album “Under Jolly Roger”. Yes, Captain Rock N’ Rolf is (still) leading the armada of bands that decided to get onboard this Metal genre, however, it is impossible to avoid mentioning the name of RUNNING WILD, no matter how hard you try. Sure, the German band had its ups and downs reaching to the 2011’s breaking point with the heart-shuttering release “The Final Jolly Roger”. Fortunately, Rolf did not drop the anchor for good, because anno 2019 we are discussing about brand music from our favorite pirates being a follow-up to the refreshing “Rapid Foray” that saw fresh wind blowing into the sails of this battered but not broken galleon. Oh yeah, the powder is dry and cannons are loaded; are you ready for boarding?

I am not sure if I totally agree with the press release describing the EP opener, “Crossing The Blades”, as unusual being based on bassline. Maybe this refers to the songwriting process because, to my ears, this has RUNNING WILD written in bold and golden letter all over it. In fact, I am willing to put this song close to the “Black Hand Inn” era, while getting massive goosebumps during the amazing and chanting along guitar solo. However, who cares if this is an “usual” or a “characteristic” RUNNING WILD song as long as it hits all the right spots. Oh yeah, the guitar solo expands into another barrage of riffs the type that got our blood bumping in every concert with the almighty Jolly Roger at the back. It is interesting to consider that this song will be also available in the upcoming album but that version will be re-recorded and partially changed - I cannot wait to hear how this will sound. “Stargazed” is another new song but this has been around for quite a while as the German band played it in 2018’s ‘Wacken Open Air’. In hindsight I am glad that I was not aware of it because getting a crappy version from YouTube does not sound quite appealing. So, with unbiased ears, I can say that the opening guitar chords of “Stargazed” brought to mind “Raw Ride” and that’s an amazing feat, considering the aforementioned song comes from the genre shaping album “Under Jolly Roger”. I don’t know how and to be honest I don’t care but as it seems RUNNING WILD have seriously rekindled the pirate spirit, putting together songs carrying a fresh sea breeze. Even Rolf’s singing has the type of articulation that will take your mind all the way back to the mid ‘90s. The last of the new-song triplet is “Ride On The Wild Side” that has not boarded the RUNNING WILD ship but stayed on land to rock with a nice Friday-night-out hard hittin’ groove. This is another piece of Rolf that we love and has to do with his influences and the kind of rebellious spirit this band has been fostering (remember “Raise Your Fist”). I guess this ties nicely to the KISS cover that is a ‘nice to have’ but not a must have.

There you have it; a nice scoop of what should we expect as we look deep into the horizon searching for that ‘special’ mast carrying the black and white flag with Jolly Roger carrying the new RUNNING WILD treasure safe inside it cargo hold. Captain, I am happy to report that we are ready for boarding!

P.S: My apologies for the way too many naval references, but I could not help it.





01. Crossing The Blades
02. Stargazed
03. Strutter
04. Ride On The Wild Side


Rock N’ Rolf - Guitar, Vocals
Peter Jordan - Guitar
Ole Hempelmann - Bass
Michael Wolpers - Drums