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Running Wild – Blood On Blood Award winner

Running Wild
Blood On Blood
by Thomas Kumke at 18 October 2021, 10:45 PM

German Metal legends RUNNING WILD are back with their new full-length album after the release of “Rapid Foray” in 2016. Formed in 1979, the band with their captain Rock’n’Rolf have now an impressive discography of 18 full-length albums, 5 EPs, 3 live albums/DVDs and countless other releases. Despite the huge amount on material, there were only a few live appearances during the last decade, and if so, then predominantly in Germany. “Blood On Blood” was released via German Metal institution Steamhammer and it has a length of more than 55 minutes.

One thing is guaranteed with RUNNING WILD releases, they all follow a very specific and characteristic sound, with plenty of catchy riffing, anthems, and sing-alongs. “Blood On Blood” is no exception, and, after being more than 40 years in the business, band leader Rock’n’Rolf shows that he still has the edge to pull off something special. “Blood On Blood” starts with the title song and that would fit on any of the classic RUNNING WILD records including a chorus sing-along: ”One for all and all for one/Back to back whatever we’ve done”. The guitar riffs follow a proven formula, so do the vocal lines that follow the riffing. Most of the songs are typical mid-tempo tracks with a simple structure, here we have three verse and chorus sections with the break for the lead guitar solo.

Wings Of Fire” starts with a riff that reminded me on ACCEPT classics from the 80ies and the lead guitar solo has a few IRON MAIDEN vibes. Yes, “Wings Of Fire” is full in traditional Heavy Metal mode. One strength of the album is that every song sounds really different and “Say Your Prayers” is no exception. The tempo is slightly slower than mid-tempo and the riffing sounds a bit heavier and the bass lines are more dominant compared to other songs, all kept together by the distinctive vocals of Rock’n’Rolf. Lyrically, both “Wings Of Fire” and “Say Your Prayers” are about the alleged prophecies of John of Jerusalem. “Diamonds And Pearls” is slightly faster than most songs and includes one of the many catchy, sing-along choruses. Highlight here is the extended lead guitar solo halfway through the track. The track was released as lyric video and the YouTube link is given below.

One of my personal highlights is “Crossing The Blades”. It comes with an anthem-like chorus (“Flashing the blades, crossing the steel/We will ride and united we stand”), catchy guitar riffs, excellent lead guitar sequences, and an outstanding contributing lead guitar solo. “Crossing The Blades” would also perfectly fit onto any of the classic RUNNING WILD albums. The diversity on “Blood On Blood” becomes evident in “One Night One Day” which is structurally very different from the rest. It creates atmosphere and it builds tension over its five minutes' length. It would have been a good close-out song, if there were not a better one.

The Shellback” is perhaps the one of most classical RUNNING WILD tracks on “Blood On Blood” in terms of the sound and the lyrics. It starts with a Celtic-like intro and transitions into a sluggish mid-tempo track with catchy, sing-along melodies, and great lead guitar contributions from both guitarists. Without doubt, the lead guitar solo is the longest on the album. Speaking about length, “The Iron Times 1618 – 1648” is with almost 11 minutes the longest track on the album and surely one of the highlights. Dealing with the Thirty Year’s War, the song is kept at a measured mid-tempo with simple, but effective guitar riffing, and anthem-like lead guitar sequences. The lead guitar solo is introduced by an atmospheric break and has lots of IRON MAIDEN vibes once more. “The Iron Times 1618 – 1648” is the perfect way to finish the album.

RUNNING WILD are back with a bang! “Blood On Blood” is an excellent Heavy Metal album and arguably one of the best RUNNING WILD albums for a very long time. It has everything the RUNNING WILD fan can possibly ask for: characteristic riffs and vocals, catchy melodies, anthem-like choruses, excellent lead guitar solos. The strength of the album is its diversity by maintaining the band’s classical sound. The album is very well produced. “Blood On Blood” is one of the Heavy Metal highlights in this year and Heavy Metal fans will be delighted to add the album to their collection.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  9
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Blood On Blood
2. Wings Of Fire
3. Say Your Prayers
4. Diamonds And Pearls
5. Wild And Free
6. Crossing The Blades
7. One Night One Day
8. The Shellback
9. Wild Wild Nights
10. The Iron Times 1618 - 1648
Lineup:
Rock’n’Rolf – Vocals, Guitars
Peter Jordan – Guitars
Michael Wolpers – Drums
Ole Hempelmann – Bass
Record Label: SPV / Steamhammer Records
     


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