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Running Wild - Masquerade (Reissue)

Running Wild
Masquerade (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 25 September 2017, 4:55 PM

A battle that is forevermore, a constant struggle between two forces that will always have a go at each other on different settings and grounds. Like a never ending circle, the fight of good and evil exists, alive and well. Still relevant no matter how you look at it and surely not another imaginary tale. Starting their first episode of this belligerent campaign, RUNNING WILD aimed their sights at the corrupted souls that have been in the top positions in society’s ranking.  Whether the politicians that were elected, the religious characters that are supposed to guide or even the military that is obligated to protect, there is a singular correlative point between the three, all are eaten from within, sold their souls for grandeur, money, power and influence, working behind the curtain for their own interests. These ideas, which on various cases aren’t too far from the truth, were the basics of 1995’s “Masquerade” album.

Furthermore, according to Malcolm Dome’s interviews with Rolf Kasparek, which you will find in the album’s fold / booklet, it was to be the last album of RUNNING WILD with Noise Records, after being a part of the label’s growing roster since 1984. Apparently the former wanted to head forward in the ladder, while also disagreeing with the label’s future inputs. Therefore, it was decided to part ways after the release of “Masquerade”. Nonetheless, RUNNING WILD didn’t over rush things to get this one out, it turned to be a stronger output in comparison to “Black Han Inn”, a provocative brain challenger lyrically and I can also claim pretty much the same for the music.

When I first listened to the song “Masquerade”, after the chilling intro of the summoning of the three, I couldn’t help but notice the intensity, such a ferocious delivery that struck right at the heart, as if burning emotions erupted, a wave of animosity washing away the good spirit making it harsher and hostile. Listening to it now made me realize that forging it as a Speed Metal song was possibly the only way to actually get the message out in a way that will apply the shock effect. “Wheel of Doom” further continued the utter passion of the former with a bleaker futurism, bestowing a heavier, slower chorus that crushed with might, message delivered and received with a pounding. “Rebel At Heart” kind of refrained from the main theme of the album, yet in a way it shares a few aspects to the story told. JUDAS PRIEST influenced anthem with an attractive main riff, slow to mid tempo catchy number, preaching to never give up the fight and to live for another day, a rebel at heart. The storyteller “Lions of the Sea”  is a quick reminder of the Pirate Metal motif that took a slight turn away, proved that no matter what, the sea still matters, and it was granted with a creative musicianship, deploying speed and melody to its command with elegance. Others recommended: “Black Soul”, “Demonized”, “Metalhead” and “Underworld”.

On this particular version of “Masquerade”, it was decided to remove the two “Death Metal” compilation tracks that were a part of the original version and replace them with two guitar reworked tracks. Honestly, since there were no known B-sides, maybe it was wise to remove the old tracks that had no relevance to the album, or band’s time period in general. However, since the album’s production sounded immensely updated, a reworked guitar version wasn’t really needed.

Reviewing the first nine albums of RUNNING WILD reintroduced me to the breeding process of a band, at times fighting against the odds but still doing enough to take on the world. These nine reissues versions are not merely for collectors but for every Metalhead that is ought to listen to these efforts made while also use the opportunity to get to know the whole story of the band and what went behind the tunes.

Purchase Link: BMG Music

4 Star Rating

1. The Contract / The Crypts of Hades
2. Masquerade
3. Demonized
4. Black Soul
5. Lions of the Sea
6. Rebel At Heart
7. Wheel of Doom
8. Metalhead
9. Soleil Royal
10. Men in Black
11. Underworld
12. Lions of the Sea (Reworked Version ‘03)
13. Black Soul (Reworked Version ‘03)
Rolf Kasparek - Vocals / Guitars
Thilo Hermann - Guitars
Thomas "Bodo" Smuszynski - Bass
Jörg Michael - Drums
Record Label: Noise Records


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