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Running Wild - Blazon Stone (Reissue) Award winner

Running Wild
Blazon Stone (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 25 September 2017, 4:31 PM

As I reach the “Blazon Stone” era of RUNNING WILD I couldn’t myself from remembering the very first time that I laid my eyes on this album. Earlier on I shared with you the time when I first listened, and then instantly bought the “Under Jolly Roger” album. However, “Blazon Stone” was the album the introduced me to RUNNING WILD in the first place, and from there on I became a fan. If I recall correctly, I skipped a class just to head on to the record store and buy it, after of course being awed by its content with a quick listen, which didn’t take long.

After the major success of “Death Or Glory”, RUNNING WILD had work cut out for them in order to maintain the same level of high quality outputs. Before the album was recorded, the band replaced half of its lineup, recruiting the young guitarist Axel Morgan and one of their roadies, Rüdiger “AC” Dreffein, as their new drummer. Though the overall new lineup’s experience wasn’t comparable to the “Death Or Glory”’s period, the band was able to evenly match their previous effort with the magnificent “Blazon Stone”, set ablaze originally in 1991. A force to be reckoned with was unleashed into the heart of the Metal world, and certainly one of the band’s most influential albums.

While still recognized as Pirate Metal, the chosen overall theme within “Blazon Stone” wasn’t within the nearness to the high seas Piracy but a continuance of the historical events and figures research, which some of it was already noticed on the album’s forerunner. In this particular case, the Wild West was the main point of attraction. The band’s mascot, Adrian, was included in artwork cover, designed as a pirate, as the image needed to be conserved no matter what. The theme change didn’t really make an effect on the album’s music; RUNNING WILD maintained the same aspects that worked in their favor earlier. The striving for the fast paced melodic tremolo action riffing while also tending to the famously known catchy power chords rhythm guitaring and creating a set of anthems that would enable their fans to join them and rejoice in their designed storm, these features became an integral part of the ongoing legacy.

A splash of empowerment, when you feel an irresistible electric surge buzzing through your veins and skin, standing still as the music touches your very soul. These phrases are a fraction that could be put into words by yourself truly while listening to the intro of the self-titled, and opening track, “Blazon Stone”. RUNNING WILD have been known for their heroic, virtually royal, kind of intros. After going through their entire discography, only one could compete with “Blazon Stone”’s, but I wouldn't go into it right now. Anyhow, energies unleashed as the song progresses, rapidly dashing through mounts and plains, displaying a melodic main riff that I deem as one of the best written, not too complex yet tuneful as hell. The song’s follower, “Lonewolf”, lowered the speed a bit, a true Teutonic inspired Heavy Metal with yet another stellar main riff, surely one of the band’s heaviest in the album and one of the stronger numbers in the band’s history.

The sing-along delirium of “Rolling Wheels” and “Heads or Tails” ceased the craving for Heavy Metal anthems. In a way I had another ACCEPT reminder of the former’s early to mid-80s works, yet RUNNING WILD touch over the German Heavy Metal wave instigated much excitement, sparking with those two anthems proved this notion right. Covering classics has a lot in it than merely just playing or recording it, there has to be some sort of an angle. RUNNING WILD chose to pay tribute to THIN LIZZY’s “Genocide”. I think it was a wise choice mainly because of two reasons, this is a one heavy Rock song, and the Germans made even deadlier, heavier than thou. Furthermore, listening to Rolf Kasparek styling his vocals to somewhat fit the funky Phil Lynott’s touch, is a treat. The album’s single, the battle of “Little Big Horn”, joined some of the band’s top melodic songs. Heeding the call of America’s conquered indians, the song felt genuine, inviting with a drum intro to get in the right mood, swarming with impeccable guitar riffs and high quality singing within an a sweeping chorus. Other tunes recommended: “Bloody Red Rose”, “Over the Rainbow” featuring bass player Jens Becker’s best instrumental work, “Fire & Ice” and “White Masque”.

Within this remastered version, two re-recorded guitar tracks were inserted. Honestly, I believe that in this here case, those would have probably been better off as unlike the previous albums that added tracks of new versions, these two’s contribution doesn’t really add anything special.  Furthermore, within the newly designed booklet, Malcolm Dome and Kasparek outlined the album’s impact on the band’s headliner status within Europe and of course the studio work and the reason why there was no relation to the Pirate theme within the album.

“Blazon Stone” is a relic among relics, one of RUNNING WILD’s proud legacy. This is a must in any collector’s home and for every Metalhead that respects the genre.

Purchase Link: BMG Music

4 Star Rating

1. Blazon Stone
2. Lonewolf
3. Slavery
4. Fire & Ice
5. Little Big Horn
6. Over the Rainbow
7. White Masque
8. Rolling Wheels
9. Bloody Red Rose
10. Straight to Hell
11. Heads or Tails
12. Billy the Kid
13. Genocide (Thin Lizzy Cover)
14. Blazon Stone (Reworked Version)
15. Little Big Horn (Reworked Version)
Rolf Kasparek - Vocals / Guitars
Axel Morgan - Guitars
Jens Becker - Bass
Rüdiger “AC” Dreffein - Drums
Record Label: Noise Records


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