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X-Wild – Monster Effect (Re-issue)

Monster Effect (Re-issue
by Fred “Cage” Bonanno at 05 December 2022, 4:43 PM

Ok, this is as simple as it gets, in 1993 three members of one of Germany’s most legendary and popular heavy metal bands, RUNNING WILD, decide to leave and form a new band, but apparently, they didn’t want to put in a lot of time thinking of a name, and went with X-WILD, see, I told ya it was simple. Bringing in vocalist Frank Knight (KNIGHTHOOD, WILD KNIGHT), apparently, he didn’t put in a lot of time thinking of band names either, and the new quartet was born and released their debut album “So What” in 1994, followed up with “Monster Effect” in 1995 and “Savageland” in 1996 before splitting up for good. The album I’m reviewing, “Monster Effect” was re-issued on Rock of Angels Records and released October 14, 2022. I’m not quite sure why these members left RUNNING WILD founder Rolf Kasparek high and dry, and even less sure of why they only lasted for three albums. Coming from such an influential and powerful metal band, I am curious to see if they painted themselves into a corner by trying to duplicate RUNNING WILD or break free and create their own unique sound and personality. So, let’s see if they are more creative with the music than they are with naming the band.

“Wild Knight” opens up with a somber, melodramatic intro of soft, tranquil guitar before shattering into a francized riff with horsey, gruff vocals leading the way to a stifling, exuberant guitar solo. So far, so good, a little nastiness looming and not sounding like a RW cover band. “Souls of Sin” jump right back to hard moving melody and riffs with a more fuzzy, sore-throatiest vocal delivery still coupled with a stomping, meaty guitar solo bringing the song ripping, roaring home. I expected nothing less than old school, growling metal on “Theatre of Blood” with mean, aggressive vocals laced with nasty, over the top guitar hooks and solo to match, pounding the final nail in the coffin, a dark, chilling, and spooky song. It’s pretty evident that X-WILD wanted to distance themselves from any comparison to RUNNING WILD with this album and so far they’ve done a pretty good job, the songs do sound fresh, but I think they also realized you shouldn’t mess with a proven formula that works. “Sinners and Winners” is a pretty generic, speed metal song with lighting fast riffs over echoed vocals, that never delivers any real substance, almost felt like a filler song, my least favorite on this album. Coming right back with up-tempo, ballsy riffs on “Sons of Darkness”, a straight forward, no prisoners taken, with a pumping bass line and chanting vocal chorus intermingling a mix of speed and a hint of thrash.

I’m a little puzzled on why this band only recorded three albums before disappearing into the rock and roll burial ground. No, they wouldn’t re-write metal history or have a whiskey named after them, but this is a very good, hard rocking album with only a few klunkers, that any hard-core banger will enjoy. It’s evident they really tried to be their “own” band, and they did accomplish that.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability:  8
Production :8

4 Star Rating

1. Wild Knight
2. Souls Of Sin
3. Theatre Of Blood
4. Heads Held High
5. Dr. Sardonicus
6. Sinners Are Winners
7. Monster Effect
8. Serpents Kiss
9. Sons Of Darkness
10. D.Y.T.W.A.C.
11. King Of Speed
Jens Becker (Running Wild, Grave Digger) - bass
Axel Morgan (Running Wild) - guitars
Stefan Schwarzmann (Running Wild, Accept, U.D.O.) –  drums
Frank Knight - vocals
Record Label: Rock of Angels Records


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Edited 02 February 2023

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