RUNNING WILD Album Review: “Blood On Blood”

“Blood On Blood”
Album Review by Iron Mathew


Running Wild are a heavy, power metal band from Germany formed in 1979 by vocalist and guitarist Rock ‘N’ Rolf Kasparek – the sole remaining original band member. Throughout the bands forty year career, there have been seventeen studio albums, a plethora of E.P.’s and singles, a number of live albums, a few videos, and some compilation albums. And now in 2021 the band, once described as “Germany’s answer to Iron Maiden”, release their eighteenth studio album ‘Blood On Blood’.

The pioneering buccaneers of pirate metal Running Wild, set sail on the high seas for their eighteenth adventure in what has been an incredible career. Led by captain Rock ‘N’ Rolfe, the band have performed at many of the greatest venues and biggest festivals all around the world. I have been a fan of the band ever since I heard ‘Prisoner Of Our Time’ from the bands 1984 debut album ‘Gates To Purgatory’ – the thundering gallop of traditional metal very much in full flight, the band adding elements of the new power metal style that was emerging from Europe, spearheaded by the likes of Accept, Grave Digger, Helloween, and of course, Running Wild themselves.

The new album is the latest addition to the very impressive Running Wild treasure chest – a full on and infectious one hour of power from the metal legends. Across ten songs, Rock ‘N’ Rolfe and co. swagger on with energy and oomph, delivering a bombastic barrage of classic sounding European styled power metal. Album opener, and title song ‘Blood On Blood’, lands with an almighty thud – the classic Running Wild sound striding majestically. Rock ‘N’ Rolfe’s voice is instantly recognisable, as is his style of music, and I feel very much at home, totally relaxed, listening to one of the greatest power metal bands ever. I have listened to every album Running Wild have ever released, and not a single one has been a disappointment. And neither is ‘Blood On Blood’, the album powering on with the heavier, faster paced, but nonetheless melodic ‘Wings Of Fire’ – the traditional heavy metal gallop a glorious sound. The opening double salvo has been one hundred percent infectious, and provided confirmation – as if any were needed – that Running Wild are a great band.

A more mid tempo swagger takes over, in the mighty shape of ‘Say Your Prayers’. Feet will be tapping hard and heads will be nodding harder, as ‘Say You Prayers’ has the oomph and bombast of anthemic metal. Of the many bands that have graced the worlds heavy metal stage over the last four decades, there have been a few handfuls that have never put a foot wrong, never disappointed, and will always be “top dogs” as far as I’m concerned, bands such as Saxon, Rage, Iron Maiden, Testament, and of course Running Wild. With an increase in energy and intensity, ‘Diamonds & Pearls’ is a high paced and highly melodic gallop of old school, traditional heavy metal – and is a perfect example of the signature Running Wild sound. A sound that still tickles my ivories and gives me a very warm and fuzzy feeling! Immediately into its stride, ‘Wild And Free’ is a highly bombastic party anthem to raise your tankards to, nod your head harder than ever before, and chant the chorus at the top of your lungs. The infectious and addictive nature the album began with has been unrelenting, keeping you hooked every step of the way…

…and not letting go! Mesmeric stuff from the German metal legends. The newer version of 2019’s ‘Crossing The Blades’ has energy, oomph, and the classic Running Wild sound – the party flavour still in full swing. You can almost hear the clinking of beer glasses, as fans worldwide continue to enjoy a rollicking good time. The bombastic nature takes a back seat for the majestic hymn like ‘One Night One Day’. Moving stealthily, ‘One Night One Day’ mixes the mellow and serene style of ballads with the bold anthemic style of metal, all wrapped up in a hymn like delivery. The epic and thundering style of power metal makes an emphatic entrance, as ‘The Shellback’ punches hard, slapping the heads of listeners with merciless glee. The mighty mid tempo melodic swagger provides plenty of oof – Running Wild doing what they do best.

With a slight departure from the bands “normal” sound, Running Wild incorporate some Southern rock swagger and a touch of the blues for ‘Wild Wild Nights’, delivering one of the best party anthems you’re ever likely to hear – a power metal party anthem if you like! Rock ‘N’ Rolfe has surprised over the years with his sometimes “out there” vision, but in the shape of ‘Wild Wild Nights’ you’re gonna be singing “wild wild nights” for a very, very long time. Bringing the album to a close is the ten minutes plus epic ‘The Iron Times 1618 – 1648′, Running Wild’s interpretation of the Thirty Years’ War of, err, 1618 to 1648. ‘The Iron Times’ maintains a heavy, mid tempo foot stomp for its entire duration, with a cracking instrumental section during the songs second half. What a song, and what a great way to end the album.

Overall, classic sounding Running Wild, highly infectious, massively melodic, and a completely joyous listen, ‘Blood On Blood’ does not disappoint.


Blood On Blood
Wings Of Fire
Say Your Prayers
Diamonds And Pearls
Wild And Free
Crossing The Blades
One Night One Day
The Shellback
Wild Wild Nights
The Iron Times 1618 – 1648

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