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Running Wild - Port Royal (Reissue) Award winner

Running Wild
Port Royal (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 25 September 2017, 7:24 PM

Sailing the high seas awarded RUNNING WILD with much grandeur and it didn’t take while until lowering anchor in a new destination, another step onwards in their career which also harbored a few changes that shaped the band’s musical proficiency. In fact, just a few clicks before reaching their next target, the band released its debut live album, “Ready For Boarding”, also via Noise Records, yet it wasn’t included in the reissue series unfortunately. Nonetheless, its mere existence gave quite of a good idea how big the German phenomenon had become. Several months after their renowned boarding, the band anchored at Port Royal for their next adventure, thus titling their next album “Port Royal”. With victory at hand, nothing appeared to stop the Jolly Roger from reaching yet another goal in their spread of raids of the Metal communion.

It would be interesting to explore the change of mindset that surrounds “Port Royal”, even if thought as minor, which I can’t agree on, it made an impact of the end result. Comparing this number to its predecessor, “Under Jolly Roger”, it is evident that RUNNING WILD’s musical level was increased, and quite exponentially to be honest. The recruiting of the prolific bass player Jens Becker (later in GRAVE DIGGER) and ACCEPT’s powerful skinman Stefan Schwarzmann, created for RUNNING WILD a steel plated rhythm section, tight as hell and heavily assorted in regards to the band’s previous outcomes. In addition, the guitar work of both guitarists, Kasparek and Moti, massively boosted to new heights, partially refrained from the ordinary usage of power chord riffing while composing attractive melodies and swift twin guitar harmonies. If that is not enough, one of the major touches of the album was also Kasparek’s singing. In contrast to his vocals on the previous albums, which mostly sounded like a snarling low toned fiend, with a few mid-high pitches, he found his potential in melodic singing and it sounded immensely apt to the band’s upgraded musical production.

The effect on the songwriting was imminent, with RUNNING WILD moderately sliding away the basic formulations of their earlier tunes, to give way to relatively complex compositions, such impressive writings that deeply rooted the harmonious perception in their later albums. It is not secret that “Conquistadores” garnered the band a chance to enter the video playlist of MTV’s nostalgic Headbanger’s Ball show, yet unlike the cheap Pop stuff, which some was also displayed back in the late 80s, this tune showed class, a vivid history lesson, pure Heavy Metal dexterity that generated a spectacular song to rally up energies and get wild. The self-titled brawl “Port Royal” showcased one of the best Pirate Metal songs of the period, an enticement for a sing-along, Heavy and Speed Metal mastery, a smooth presentation of great songwriting and a powerful opener. RUNNING WILD can’t live without high flying anthems, ergo the emergence of “Raging Fire”, an inspiring pleaser, yet another sing-along tune to the built up set, a song that is still relevant, even in nowadays. “Blown to Kingdom Come” might be the opposite of a memorable song, however, it is certainly one of the album’s most melodic and articulate tunes in terms of both composition and instrumental level, amassing profound licks and hooks within a rather complex song arrangement. “Uaschitschun”, where the environment and one of history’s cruel chapters are in summit in the White man’s conquest of North American out of Indian’s hands. Once again there is a strong display the band’s supreme melodious intent and classy playing, a hit that was also awarded by a re-recording a few years later in the “Pile Of Skulls” album era. Others recommended: “Mutiny” and the impressive lead bass guitar instrumental of “Final Gates”.

Included within the digi-pack is the liner notes of the music specialist Malcolm Dome, describing the band’s position after the previous album and the problems that faced them when half of the lineup wasn’t suitable to withstand. It also showed the progress of “Port Royal” as a crucial step in their career. Of course Kasparek inserting his views over the proceedings.

“Under Jolly Roger” showed RUNNING WILD’s demonstration of Speed Metal power, nevertheless, “Port Royal”, in comparison, inserted a new atmosphere into the band’s ranks, maintaining the perseverance of the past but looking forward in order to rattle the boat a bit for an exciting continuance that will be noticed on the next albums. An exceptional album that undoubtedly one of the best in their discography. Lastly, I believe that this remastered version did justice for the album, enhancing its sound well and rightfully tells its story.

Purchase Link: BMG Music

4 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Port Royal
3. Raging Fire
4. Into the Arena
5. Uaschitschun
6. Final Gates
7. Conquistadores
8. Blown to Kingdom Come
9. Warchild
10. Mutiny
11. Calico Jack
12. Uaschitschun (Re-recorded Version ’92)
13. Port Royal (Re-recorded Version ‘03)
14. Conquistadores (Re-recorded Version ’03)
Rolf Kasparek - Vocals / Guitars
Majk Moti - Guitars
Jens Becker - Bass
Stefan Schwarzmann - Drums
Record Label: Noise Records


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Edited 04 February 2023

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