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Running Wild: Shadowmaker

Running Wild is a popular German heavy metal band that has been around since the late 70s, but only began to develop their real following in the mid-1980s. They may be best remembered for establishing a musical niche known as "Pirate Metal" through their release Under Jolly Roger (1987), an album that develops lyrical themes around topics related to piracy and high seas adventure. This style is mostly a blend of traditional metal guitar riffs and solos, clear vocals and plain lyrics. The music is generally upbeat and bright and the lyrics create a sense of brotherhood and bonding (see, for example "Me + the Boys" on this release). This band doesn't necessarily break any new musical ground but their development of Pirate Metal no doubt pleases listeners who are tired of the conventions of Viking Metal, satanic metal, or even glam.

I am often leery of new music by certain bands, particularly since so few are able to create songs that live up to the heyday of past years. In this case, Shadowmaker is the fourteenth studio album by a band that has not generally fared well over the last ten years; after all, they actually broke up in 2009 and released a live album entitled The Final Jolly Roger in 2011, surely a mark that things were at a clearly demarked end. But, like several movie franchises, Running Wild propped themselves up for a return and, with Shadowmaker, have written an album of traditional metal that makes for a generally good listening experience. The album isn't their best, but it is heavy and will not leave fans with the wish they had left the aging pirate ship behind. I liked that the closing track was entitled "Dracula." Maybe Running Wild has done the impossible and returned from the grave.

Track Listing:
1. Piece of the Action
2. Riding on the Tide
3. I am who I am
4. Black Shadow
5. Locomotive
6. Me + the Boys
7. Shadowmaker
8. Sailing Fire
9. Into the Black

Added: April 19th 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2757
Language: english

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