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TrooperEd
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2004 6:18 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:33 pm 
 

Been putting off making this for awhile (and also waiting til I became somewhat acquainted with the catalog).

I'm the kind of guy where if I want an album, I buy it new. Downloading/torrenting always felt wrong to me, even with all the music business fuckery. Problem was, aside from the first album nothing was available to buy on amazon. But then thankfully, Rolf remastered the Noise years catalog and released it for physical product owners like me. Since then, Running Wild have become my favorite past discovery in a long time. I've probably recently thrown them in my "Power Metal should have been forced on the American market in the 90s to help save metal" rants. If not, expect me too.

My favorite thing about Running Wild is Rolf's singing voice which first blessed us on Port Royal if my research is correct. Blaze Bayley meets Marcolin Messiah aural gold. He is my pick for the most underrated singer in metal.

As of right now I have all the albums except Under Jolly Roger, and everything after Black Hand Inn.

So talk about Rolf's lack of touring, Will Sasso's imaginary mechanical brother, or if Rolf can follow up Rapid Foray with something better in his 50s here:
Spoiler: show
probably not but stranger things have happened I guess.
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BastardHead
Worse than the PMRC

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 8997
Location: St. Charles, Illinois
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:46 pm 
 

RW is one of my all time favorite metal bands, and every time I think I've grown out of them I'll throw on Blazon Stone or Death or Glory and remember why I fell in love with them all over again.

Not sure where they hell you're getting Messiah in his voice but he's got a good voice for what he does. He was never a great singer but that was never really the focus of the band anyway. Though, oddly enough, the newer albums are awkward in part because he doesn't slather his voice in reverb anymore and it just sounds so much weirder when it's naked.

BH's OFFICIAL RANKING

Blazon Stone = Death or Glory = Gates to Purgatory > Masquerade = Black Hand Inn = Port Royal > Pile of Skulls > Under Jolly Roger > Branded and Exiled > Victory > The Rivalry >>> Rapid Foray > The Brotherhood >>>>>>>>>>>> Resilient > Shadowmaker >>>>>>>>> whale shit >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Rogues en Vogue
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Spiner202
Metalhead

Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 3:32 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:57 pm 
 

Running Wild is a great band. I especially love Death or Glory and Masquerade, but pretty much everything in the 80s and 90s is excellent in some regard. I've seen them twice - Wacken 2015 and 2018. The setlist can leave something to be desired, but still a lot of fun.

While Running Wild is more original, truthfully I prefer Blazon Stone as a band. Much tighter and more consistent songwriting, and yet to put out an even remotely weak album.
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TrooperEd
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2004 6:18 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:57 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
Not sure where they hell you're getting Messiah in his voice but he's got a good voice for what he does.


I was gonna say no one else sounds like him, but then I remember Blaze Bayley, and I just didn't want to say "Blaze Bayley but better"(even though it's kinda true.
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Everflowingstream
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:29 am
Posts: 427
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:14 pm 
 

Love 'em. Death or Glory my favourite. Opening of Riding the Storm has me ready to run through brick walls every time.

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thrashinbatman
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:31 pm
Posts: 964
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:37 am 
 

Spiner202 wrote:
Running Wild is a great band. I especially love Death or Glory and Masquerade, but pretty much everything in the 80s and 90s is excellent in some regard. I've seen them twice - Wacken 2015 and 2018. The setlist can leave something to be desired, but still a lot of fun.

While Running Wild is more original, truthfully I prefer Blazon Stone as a band. Much tighter and more consistent songwriting, and yet to put out an even remotely weak album.

While that's true, the Under Jolly Roger - Masquerade run was 7 albums of straight tip-top quality. Blazon Stone hasn't had a chance to even be good for that length of time, let alone start to suck.



Black Hand Inn is straight up one of my favorite albums. It's perfect, I honestly couldn't tell you a single thing wrong with it. It's a shame where they ended up, but with Rolf taking over more and more of the process it was only a matter of time before they lost it. He just ran out of ideas. Rapid Foray is a step in the right direction, but only because he was more willing to self-plagiarize. Regardless, RW made, give or take, 7 albums of impeccable quality, and a few more of iffy, but generally fine quality. If they didn't release stinkers like Rogues En Vogue and Shadowmaker, they'd have a respectable career.

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FakeHealer
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 6:45 am
Posts: 11
Location: Serbia
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:51 am 
 

Everything between Gates and Rivalry is gold as far as I'm concerned and is one of the best run of albums ever in metal. Rivalry is a noticeable, but there are still damn good songs on it and, most importantly, and still has actual fucking drums. Overall, Victory might even have better songs, but I hate that sound. And the less said about what comes afterwards the better. But, as I said, that first ten-ish years are phenomenal, and is as far as I'm concerned a gold standard of how a 'speed' metal band can and should progress throughout the albums. Although far from a progressive metal band, the way their sound and songwriting changed from album to album is what progressiveness in music should be all about, perfecting your sound and always going one step further. Though, the pinnacle of this progressiveness is "Pile of Skulls" and afterwards it's more of a "let's now stick to this for a while" situation as they didn't really have anywhere else to go with it. This probably also has to do with Rolf becoming almost the sole songwriter, which later on would have even worse consequences. Angelo Fucking Sasso.

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BastardHead
Worse than the PMRC

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 8997
Location: St. Charles, Illinois
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:10 am 
 

FakeHealer wrote:
Everything between Gates and Rivalry is gold as far as I'm concerned and is one of the best run of albums ever in metal.


I like this take a lot because it's not only objectively true, but because it gives credit to a few albums that tend to get shafted. Their first two albums seem to be forgotten by casual fans simply because they didn't have the pirate shtick yet*, and (at least when I first really got into them circa 2007) a lot of people considered Black Hand Inn to be the last great one, which I felt was just a massive disservice to Masquerade. I don't know why that one get left out a lot back in the day, Soleil Royal is one of their most underappreciated tracks.

* - The whole "pirate metal" thing always annoyed me. Not just because aesthetic genres aren't real, but because like 30% of their songs at best are about pirates. Yeah obviously they played into the image and made sure album titles/covers conveyed it, but they touched on so many other topics that it felt like it was cheapening the band to reduce them to The Pirate Band. I'm not even talking obscure songs either, some of their biggest had jack fuck to do with pirates. Conquistadores, Little Big Horn, Bad to the Bone, Raise Your Fist, etc. Granted they're offset by each of those albums also containing at least one hugely popular pirate song as well but I dunno. It always annoyed me.

Also, because you've provided me a venue, I wanna repost something I said threeish years ago because I think it's kind of an understated point about the band. From a thread about "most notable lineup changes":

BastardHead wrote:
A sort of interesting one would be basically every member of Running Wild. Yeah, it's Rolf's band, he's always dictated the sound, he's always been the visionary, and for years I always considered the band to be "his" project with a revolving door of members. But really, the more you pay attention, the more you realize just how significant every member was to their overall sound in each era. For example, when Jens Becker joined, suddenly every album would have at least a few really long and melodic bass passages like the intro to Conquistadores or the entirety of Over the Rainbow, and when he left after Blazon Stone, that was it. Nobody did that again, that was Jens's thing. You could even argue that he was partially responsible for the dirty speed metal of the first two/three albums going by the wayside since his style didn't fit that at all, or maybe Rolf chose him after Under Jolly Roger specifically because of that, who knows? Majk Moti's guitar playing complemented Rolf's wonderfully, and they wrote some excellent riffs and classic songs together, but when Thilo Hermann joined, suddenly it was melody over all. Those signature melody lines picked up a lot of speed when he joined and carried the songs more than merely just complementing them, basically taking what started with Axel Morgan and pushing it up to eleven. When Jorg Michael started drumming, they came the closest to power metal they ever truly got thanks to his constant and precise double bass work coupled with Hermann's overt melodies. The Brotherhood comes out as the first album where Rolf handled all of the guitars and it's split pretty evenly between their signature sound and more simple hard rock tunes, and when yes-man and enabler Peter Jordan joined, those two joined forces to start writing almost exclusively mid paced cock rock tunes.

Rolf is the glue that ties Running Wild together, but everybody brought something significant to the table and it was always really obvious when a new person took up a spot in the band, for better or worse.
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FakeHealer
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 6:45 am
Posts: 11
Location: Serbia
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:19 am 
 

I can only agree about the pirate metal genre thing. But, that's the price you pay when you want to describe a genre solely based on its lyrical content. Taking the most obvious example, I really doubt that whoever got hooked on Alestorm during their heyday got equally easily into RW as well.

The point regarding "other" RW members is a great one and I've been preaching it myself both offline (heh) and in other forums. Jens is the most obvious because of the standalone bass outputs, but the change in guitarists is the most influental one for me, and not just for their additional songs they may have brought in, but for the very points you brought up. I'm biased as fuck towards Morgan, and not only because of the two albums he features on, but because of the quite fine X-Wild output he worked on afterwards, featuring obviously Becker as well, underlining the need for the speed element. Having said that, I really, really love everything featuring Thilo Hermann, I think he is probably the most underrated RW element ever, and also features on the best Grave Digger album in the last 15 years. Shame it was his only GD album as well.

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Acrobat
Eric Olthwaite

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:53 am
Posts: 8128
Location: York, North Yorkshire
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:21 pm 
 

Absolutely essential band, I'll stand by anything up to and including The Rivalry. And yes, it's a great shame that the band became a one-man affair. I wonder how many of Rolf's decisions were driven by money: after Blazon Stone the band seldom played outside Germany, Rolf fires one of his most talented sidemen due to the fact that they belong to a union, hires the world's worst drumcomputer due to the fact that it's obviously cheaper - especially at a time when the metal market was in a down period. Actually, it's quite obvious how Rolf's decision making has worked for a long time. :)
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rexxz
Where's your band?

Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:45 pm
Posts: 8994
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:27 pm 
 

Black Hand Inn will always be my favorite album by them, followed by Pile of Skulls. They are very good and everyone's really already said the things that needed to be said. Anyone reading the thread who hasn't given them a chance yet should do so.
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Lord_Jotun
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 5:02 pm
Posts: 2205
Location: Italy
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:16 pm 
 

I'll never stop repeating what you folks have already nailed: Rolf *desperately* needs a real band around him to go the extra mile. There's no shame in that, really; some people, talented as they may be, just lack the ability to objectively self-edit, and as such when left to their own devices they show abysmal quality control.
It happened to David DeFeis, it happened to Jon Schaffer, and a famous non-metal example is Pink Floyd's The Wall, which started as a bloated, musically awful mess in Waters's mind and ultimately became the masterpiece we all know thanks to Gilmour and Ezrin mercilessly nagging him to shave the fat and ramp up the consistency.
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TrooperEd
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2004 6:18 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:48 pm 
 

I was gonna make an album ranking, then I realized it's pretty much Black Hand Inn as #1 and the albums descending chronologically from that as #2, #3 with the exception of Branded & Exiled being ranked below Gates of Purgatory. :lol:

BastardHead wrote:
* - The whole "pirate metal" thing always annoyed me. Not just because aesthetic genres aren't real.


Agreed on multiple fronts. :-D

But yeah Running Wild is heavy metal/power metal. and that blurb you typed from wherever about all the members is brilliant.
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tahu157
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:22 pm
Posts: 525
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:06 pm 
 

Some day I want to host a trivia night with a question that asks "who are the metal pirates?" Everyone in the room will be thinking "Alestorm, obviously" but they'll all be wrong because the answer is going to be Running Wild (even if they're not actually a predominantly pirate themed band).

Also, I put this together last Summer with some help from BastardHead. It's based on a similar video by the guy behind Blazon Stone (the band) which got taken down at some point. Unfortunately the more I listen to it the less I like it. /A lot/ of the samples cut out too early so I think I'm gonna try to sit down and re-do it at some point. Maybe this Summer.
Youtube: show


I don't have a definitive set of album power rankings at the moment. All I know is that Black Hand Inn was my favorite until I did the above project at which point I decided Death or Glory was just a bit more consistent.

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MawBTS
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:16 am
Posts: 780
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:09 pm 
 

I really enjoy power metal songs like "Little Big Horn" and "Black Hand Inn", but I find their albums to be pretty mixed. They've always had a lot of shouty midpaced Accept numbers and these mostly blur together for me.

Bizarrely, I actually like Victory a lot, and would rank it as one of their strongest albums.

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true_death
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:47 pm
Posts: 1724
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:34 pm 
 

Not to steer this conversation in a different direction, but what do you guys think of the "Angelo Sasso" situation? I'm not sure about the details as I've not ventured far beyond Black Hand Inn, I only know what the profile on the main site says and I actually think "When Time Runs Out" is the only song from that period I've even heard...but regardless the whole thing is really strange to me. I remember reading a recent (post-reunion) interview with Rolf where it was brought up and he seemed to get pretty defensive and upset at the notion that his deceased friend never existed, but relistening to that song...yeah, that's definitely not a real drummer :lol:. I just find it odd that he would a) switch to a drum machine in the first place, b) think it sounded convincing enough that people would be fooled into thinking it was real if a fake name was credited, c) pretend that fake person "died" a few years later, and d) still cling onto this "charade" that fooled literally no one almost 20 years later. I was just wondering if there are any Running Wild megafans who can provide further insight into this whole thing...
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Rocka_Rollas
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:08 am
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:02 am 
 

I don't mind if an album has programmed drums as long as it sounds good.

Victory = drums sounds like CRAP, but guitars is cool.
The Brotherhood = sounds AWESOME!!!! I LOVE IT!!!! Great guitar tone too! Maybe their best ever.
Rogues En Vogue = holy mother of crap drum sound :( and the guitars... :(
Shadowmaker and Resilient = sounds pretty much the same... And it sounds OK to my ears! Nothing offensive about either drum sounds.
Rapid Foray = this is oddly enough a sort of throwback to Rogues En Vogue, but not nearly as terrible

That's my opinion on the "drum machine albums". The Brotherhood really sounds amazing to my ears!



But Rolfs whole story behind Angelo is fucking bizarre. :D what would the metal world be without a great selection of weirdos of different degrees, right?



Grave Digger also had programmed drums on a couple of albums (Excalibur, Grave Digger and Reingold, maybe a couple of more after that also) but unlike Running Wild they made it sounds so goddamn good that it doesn't distract the listener a la Rogues En Vogue or Victory

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Eric Olthwaite

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:53 am
Posts: 8128
Location: York, North Yorkshire
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:05 am 
 

Excalibur sounds alright with the programmed drums, but the sound on the others distracts me. I just don't like that sound. Use your fucking drummer, use his kit, too. It also helps that those albums have some of Grave Digger's best stuff on them, so that could be part of the distraction, too. :)
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