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Running Wild - "Resilient" (CD)

Running Wild - "Resilient" CD cover image

"Resilient" track listing:

1. Soldiers Of Fortune
2. Resilient
3. Adventure Highway
4. The Drift
5. Desert Rose
6. Fireheart
7. Run Riot
8. Down To The Wire
9. Crystal Gold
10. Bloody Island

Reviewed by on September 24, 2013

"Any longtime fan of the band who was turned off by 'Shadowmaker' will be pleased to know that the flag of piracy flies high again on 'Resilient.'"

Back in the 80’s and early to mid-90’s there it was such a rush when certain bands released albums. In those times, anticipation was worse without the present day amenities of song streams, full album snippets or preview clips, or studio videos that tide the fans over. It was: A) date announced, B) wait. The first spin of that new album from your favorite band… it was a combination of wonder, apprehension, contemplation, hope, expectancy and - with any luck - a payoff. In the day, a release date which involved a new Running Wild album was a holiday and obtaining every version on every format was a requirement. Today, with all the leaking, downloading, streaming, and other means that have caused promotion efforts to be so different, there are only a handful of bands that still invoke that feeling, only a few that force me to approach and listen the same way then as a metalhead kid. Running Wild is among those few proud and “resilient,” where the first listen requirements are focus and solitude from start to finish. I'm happy to report to any longtime fan of the band who may have been turned off by “Shadowmaker:” the flag of piracy flies high again on “Resilient.”

When Rolf disbanded Running Wild in 2009, for all intents and purposes he ripped the heart out of many of the fans. Indeed, nothing lasts forever, which fortunately included the band’s retirement. The Adventure Galley was patched up in dry dock and appeared back on the horizon in just 40% of the time that it took for Wintersun to release its second album. In 2012, “Shadowmaker” brought back the band and the fun rockin’ side of Rolf, which was met with mixed opinions from both fans and media. However, “Resilient” will prove that Rolf is still in touch with his pirate side – with riffs that bring back those tales of old.

Right from the opening riff of “Soldiers of Fortune,” the album has a much better feel than “Shadowmaker,” with the “buccaneer hoisting the flag” feel and lyrics about freedom, the wind, and waves. It felt like a warm blanket of comfort, which harkened to a time when Running Wild albums were a guarantee rather than a wonder. To this day, I am still a fan of “Shadowmaker” (and stand by what I said) for what it was – an ode to the true musical roots of Running Wild. Recognizing what made Running Wild so great, it’s easy to see the difference “Resilient” brings. The production is slightly better, the riffs are overwhelmingly catchier and even that “mystery studio drummer who no one ever heard of” sounds much less distracting when the songs sound like the Golden Age of Running Wild.

Rifle through the title track, “Adventure Highway,” “Desert Rose,” and “Fireheart” and you will find all the classic no frills pure metal you want… with the riffs much more engaging, driving the songs and coercing a headbanging feast. The album’s best tracks are the highly infectious “Run Riot,” “Crystal Gold,” and one of the best Running Wild tracks penned in well over fifteen years: “Bloody Island.” This song is the first to give that beer swinging, jolly roger waving pirate gang chorus since “Jennings Revenge” (1992, “Pile Of Skulls”). Is there filler? This is a Running Wild album… so of course! It’s a staple of many Running Wild albums. Joining the historical filler (“Black Shadow,” “Born Bad, Dying Worse,” “Silent Killer,” “Resurrection”) is “Down to the Wire.”

Now on to my typical disclaimer to modern metalheads: Will “Resilient” make people gasp at its innovations and trailblazing metal? Those who wish that from Rolf better rethink their own musical tastes. Rolf isn’t about to compromise after nearly 40 years… so just stop it! Rolf has reloaded Running Wild with the exact amount of riffs and piracy that diehard fans have clamored for! Now it’s time to hoist the sail and bring that pirate ship back into the live arenas!

Highs: Classic old Running Wild is back!

Lows: For many modern fans of metal, this may be "the same old thing"

Bottom line: Rolf proves why Running Wild is the true original pirate band... remaining "Resilient" to the end!

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)