Running Wild – Crossing the Blades (2019)

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German metal band, Running Wild have a fairly long history, and a deep catalogue to match.  Actively releasing music since 1984, except for a brief period where they had disbanded, the group has released 16 studio albums, 3 live albums, and 6 EPs/singles – a tremendous effort…

For this latest EP, Crossing the Blades, Running Wild keep it short and sweet.  Four tracks, with a run time of 16 minutes.

From the opening riffs of the title track, you know exactly what you’re in store for.  Traditional style metal with pounding rhythms, some pretty cool guitar, lyrical themes that feature battles and victory, and vocals that aim for the middle ground between Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford.

Don’t get me wrong though.  Although it’s not mind blowing, I do like what I’m hearing – I just feel like I’ve heard it over and over before.

Stargazed has a much fuller, weightier riff to it that will get you interested, but once again, the lyrical content and the vocals are underwhelming.

Next up is a baffling cover of the Kiss classic, Strutter.  I don’t get the inclusion of a cover song on such a short EP..  It’s not a bad cover, it just doesn’t belong here for me.

Ride on the Wild Side is the strongest of the EP for me.  It’s a far more straight forward hard rock track in the vein of Priest and Thin Lizzy, and I think that plays well with the vocal stylings of singer, Rolf Kasparek.  There’s a hint of rebellion to this track, and I really enjoyed it.

EPs can be a difficult beast.  In my mind, every track should be killer, and leave the listener wanting more.  That’s not the case here, which is a shame, as this is the first tastes of an album to follow.

6/10

Shayne McGowan.

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