Running Wild - Black Hand Inn
EMI / Electrola
Heavy / Speed Metal
11 songs (65'44)
Release year: 1994
Running Wild, EMI
Reviewed by Chris

Black Hand Inn is without a shadow of a doubt (in my mind that is) Running Wild's best album. Its the album that made me discover them, and one of my all-time favorite albums. I discovered that album when I was in engineer school. At that time I had the tendency to skip midday break by grabbing a quick sandwich (or Big Mac :) ) and going to what was my favorite place at the time (not anymore) City Disc (I would often miss lessons to go listen to metal albums there). I could find many jewels there and they had the nice option of having up to 8 listening booth with very good headphones, and so I was spending a lot of time looking for new albums, and expending my somewhat limited notion of metal (at the time). There I discovered bands like Magnum, Firehouse and of course Running Wild. I was amazed by the speed of that album, its like a horde of galoping horses coming your way, and I was hooked and loved it from the first listen. I was first drawn to this album by its cover, an amazing Pirate artwork by Andreas Marschall, to this day still my favorite metal illustrator.

After the intro, the album boast into a raging fury of melodic and speed that is the trade of Running Wild music, but this album brings Running Wild's sound to its paroxism, in between the incredible variety of songs and the amazing melodic crying-guitar work, this album is the album to rule all speed metal albums (though it doesn't go as fast as Dragonforce, but that's not really a bad thing to me) ! If you don't know Running Wild, you will want to have Black Hand Inn to your collection ! It had been a few years since I had listened to this pure jewel of speed metal, and I can tell you it did not age whatsoever. This album retains to this day its incredible epic and melodic devastating force that had blow me away nearly 12 years ago. And Today, as I re-listen to it while writing this classic review, I am still amazed by the strength and power of this album. The drumming of this album is pretty unhuman, with machine-like precision, thanks to Jörg Michael no less, who delivers a performance beyond anything he did with Stratovarius.

This album contains the most epic melodic songs ever written by Running Wild, and while some argue that some older Running Wild album are more deserving the Classic status, I believe that this is the pandemonium of Running Wild's career. An album I don't think they or any other pirate band can ever top. I would love to be proven wrong, but it will be a titanic nearly impossible task for whoever would manages this. Strong riffs, amazing melodies, a pirate attitude to boot, great vocal performance from Rock'N'Rolf, and some of the catchier and epic tune Running Wild ever wrote is the receipee for this classic offering.

Songs like Black Hand Inn, The Privateer, The Phantom Of Black Hand Hill and the unbelievable Dragonmen. Now Dragonmen is the kind of song a band can write only once (though The Phantom Of Black Hand Hill is at an equal level). This is Running Wild best song in my opinion and one of my favotire song of all time ! Everytime I make a best of all time cd for the road, Dragonmen is on it ! And always will be... This song starts with an almost magically tentalizing intro, its the calm before the storm, before the dragonmen emerges from the foggy Black Hand Hills... the guitar melody that starts this song is forever carved in my memory and neural net, just like Axxis' Never Say Never : its the kind of guitar melody you will never forget ! This song is not the fastest Running Wild wrote but its the most epic song and my personal favorite. The chorus explodes my mind every time I listen to it, and so does the solo guitar and earth shattering drumming !

The album finishes on a 15 minutes long epic tale called Genesis (The Making and Fall of Man). An amazing epic song that perfectly concludes a masterpiece of melodic speed & heavy metal piracy ! If you don't know this album (or this band), do yourself a favor and check it out. If you're into epic and melodic metal, you won't disappointed. Hail Running Wild and Black Hand Inn !

Killing Songs :
Every single one of them, but Black And Inn, The Privateer, The Phantom of Black Hand Hill and Dragonmen are not of this world !
Chris quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Running Wild that we have reviewed:
Running Wild - Rapid Foray reviewed by Chris and quoted 90 / 100
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
To see all 12 reviews click here
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