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Running Wild - Shadowmaker

Running Wild
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 27 March 2012, 3:02 AM

Well look who is here… The Adrian is back to howl. Two years after my heart sunk deep down with Rock N' Rolf's announcement regarding the disbanding of his legendary, and what I perceive as life's work, RUNNING WILD, I found out not too long ago that he chose to reinstate the band, though it is hard to call it a band as he is largely alone as I am not even sure that PJ Jordan, which was a guitarist on the last RUNNING WILD album, is even a part of the line-up. Alone or not, it doesn't matter to me as long as RUNNING WILD is back and with a new album even through SPV / Steamhammer Records. "Shadowmaker", Kasparek's new comeback offering to the Metal world after the despondent ruins of the previous "Rogues En Vogue", as the info told, was created in a blitz. However, I found that in many ways this album is different, especially in its mixed concepts, from the classic RUNNING WILD albums that I worship like "Blazon Stone", "The Rivalry" and "Death Or Glory". That differentiation connected well with Rock N' Rolf's decision both disbanding and restoring RUNNING WILD.

There might be other reasons attached to why he broke everything and then put it back together, yet I quite understood when he told about the lack of motivation to go ahead with the same things and on and on similar ideas. Judging from what I listened on "Shadowmaker", I found a change in Kasparek's attitude towards what he has been doing for more than thirty years. Most of the tracks on the album felt rather Hard Rock than the Speed / Heavy Metal crackers RUNNING WILD has been using to promote over the years. On the other hand, that new inspiration that has been running in Kasparek's head didn't give birth to a new kind of music. Kasparek is still clinging to Metal, even with Hard Rock dosages, and even showed a few old style examples like "Sailing Fire". In general, the composition of simple stuff, even without the speed involved, are the sole markers in Kasparek's work.

Except from the great epic "Dracula" about the you know who, which was a little bit complex when it came down to its arrangement, the songs on "Shadowmaker" consists of simplistic riffages and traditional passages without any attempt to get cocky. The opening track "Piece of the Action" sent high voltage electrical shards through my brain because I was listening to a brand new RUNNING WILD track and because of the classic orientation and the power if channeled. It showed Kasparek is in the top of his game. "Me & The Boys" startled me at first as it sounded pretty much like "Unite" of JUDAS PRIEST. I knew that RUNNING WILD produced more than several anthems in its long career but I didn't expect this one. With a great choir at his side, Kasparek built a catchy tune that turned out wonderfully. I would also join "Riding on the Tide" and "Into the Black" to my favorite lists. The thing that bothered me a bit on "Shadowmaker", and that is the reason I couldn't think of it like other favorite RUNNING WILD albums, is the fact that even with his new brainstorming Kasparek has been replicating some his own material. In this case it is the same arrangements along with somewhat similar riffs and what I felt like a computerized drummer that will never exchange a human being. Gladly that on "Shadowmaker" he knew how spread everything up so it would sound different, yet I would advise spicing things up a bit, especially if he would decide to remain with this new creative thinking.

Furthermore, I was so glad to read that Kasparek made the decision to leave the production work to his guitarist Peter Jordan and the Nowy brothers. Their work helped Kasparek achieve the great sound productions of recent RUNNING WILD albums like "The Brotherhood" and "Victory". To conclude this up, I am so happy for the return of giant to the Metal scene and boy he was missed. I just hope that he would reform a line up for live gigs. "Shadowmaker" is a good release and a good comeback. It is way better than "Rogues En Vogue" but it is still not the best there was.    

4 Star Rating

1. Piece of the Action
2. Riding on the Tide
3. I Am Who I Am
4. Black Shadow
5. Locomotive
6. Me & the Boys
7. Shadowmaker
8. Sailing Fire
9. Into the Black
10. Dracula
Rock N' Rolf Kasparek– Vocals / Guitars / Bass
Peter "PJ" Jordan– Guitars / Backing Vocals
Record Label: SPV / Steamhammer Records


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Edited 05 December 2022

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