Running Wild - Rapid Foray
Steamhammer
(Running Wild's) Heavy Metal
11 songs (58'01)
Release year: 2016
Running Wild, Steamhammer
Reviewed by Chris
Major event
Ok so Running Wild has had it’s ups and downs lately. The Shadowmaker album was almost an insult to the band and it did remove my hopes of the band ever return to full form. I have to admit that while slightly better, Resilient didn’t do it for me either. I simply couldn’t get into the album after a few listen and I gave up the hope to a return to the good old days of Epic Pirate Metal that Running Wild had pioneered with albums like Death or Glory, Blazon Stone and the inhuman masterpiece that Black Hand Inn was, their absolute best album for me to this day still.

So it was with absolutely no expectations that I went into Rapid Foray. And sure enough the first song failed to grab me, mostly because of the weak rhythm section. But then I detected some great riffs and typical Running Wild melodies and song structure. The first listen had me on the fence. Could this album be good? On the one hand it had some great guitars and better song structure and song writing than the band had managed to achieve for quite a while now (more than a decade really, probably two in fact). So I decided to push on and give it a few more spins and then something happened. I ended up singing the songs in my head in the shower, and whistling their melodic hooks while cooking and washing dishes. Rapid Forray has two things going against it though, the production is weak by today’ standards and the drums are too slow compared to my favorite albums of the band. But you know what? It contains a lot of great songs nonetheless. In fact after five spin, I couldn’t listen to anything else, I was stuck on a repeat loop of Rapid Foray. The album was slowly but surely being engraved into my brain. 

Songs like Warmongers, Rapid Forray, Black Hard, Hellestrified, Blood Moon Rising, Into the West and the epic 11+ minutes closer Last of the Mohicans are all trademark killer songs from a band I thought was now dead and burried. I’m glad to be proven wrong though. And none of the songs is weak or a blatant filler either. There’s even a great instrumental track called The Depth of the Sea - Nautilus.

So at the end of the day, I’m glad Rolf continued writing Running Wild songs and it’s obvious he can still do that very well. The guitars take the highlights, between furious riffs and highly melodic ones that give the songs that unique Running Wild sound, this album is definitely a big surprise. I just wished the drums wouldn’t be so slow. There aren’t any double bass drums at all in the album, and when you think Running Wild, the high tempo and fast drumming supporting the majestic guitars is what comes to mind, at least for me. So yeah, this album feels slower because of that, in fact it can never be categorized as speed metal like Black Hand Inn could, but it’s a great album nonetheless.

Scoring this was not easy. If I compare the album to their entire discography, it’s difficult to justify a 90 score, but when you compare it to the last two albums, it’s a no brainer. In the end since the album was all I could listen to for more than two weeks, I decided to go with the later. But even if I had to pit it against Black Hand Inn, I would still quote the albums in the low to mid eighties percentile. It’s one hell of an adictive album once you pass the 4-5 spins mark. And so Running Wild could actually be back and that alone is cause for celebration. Now let’s hope Rapid Foray will catapult Running Wild back into their glory days, we’ve missed you guys and we definitely want more!
Killing Songs :
Black Bart, Warmongers, Rapid Foray, Hellestrified, Blood Moon Rising, Into the West & Last of the Mohicans.
Chris quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Running Wild that we have reviewed:
Running Wild - Resilient reviewed by Andy and quoted 69 / 100
Running Wild - Masquerade reviewed by Chris and quoted 82 / 100
Running Wild - Shadowmaker reviewed by Chris and quoted 52 / 100
Running Wild - Under Jolly Roger reviewed by Thomas and quoted CLASSIC
Running Wild - Black Hand Inn reviewed by Chris and quoted CLASSIC
To see all 12 reviews click here
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