Running Wild - Rogues En Vogue - 2005 - Gun Records
1. Draw the Line 2. Angel of Mercy 3. Skeleton Dance 4. Skull & Bones 5. Born Dead, Dying Worse 6. Black Gold 7. Soul Vampires 8. Rogues en Vogue 9. Winged & Feathered 10. Dead Man's Road 11. The War
The first thing one has to come to terms with when listening to new Running Wild is that they are not the speed metal band they once were. Those days seem to be as good as dead and if you haven't liked their mid-paced material since "The Rivalry" then you might as well save your money and time here. Personally, while I do prefer the speed era of RW, I've come to enjoy the newer stuff for what it is. It still has that piratical sound, the epic style, and the damn catchy nature of all Running Wild Material. This album is no different.
What immediately struck me about this album was the production/mix. Very vocal and drum heavy with a bit of reverb in the sound. Took me a bit to get used to, but now that I've become accustomed to it, the sound gives the album a sort of raw energy that benefits it. The songs here are typical of later Running Wild, as I said, with a mid-paced approach (with the one notable exception of "Angel Of Mercy") and a larger than life quality that only comes from the pirate's sea songs. This album seems to be more consistently epic and powerful though and is probably the strongest thing they've done since "The Rivalry". That would be the closest sound comparison to any of their former albums I believe. Definetly more consistent than "The Brotherhood" which has some strong highlights, but some boring tracks as well.
In conclusion, I don't think Running Wild will ever make another "Black Hand Inn", but if you're one of the fans still sticking with the now mid-paced Running Wild then you should enjoy this album.
Highlights: Angel Of Mercy, Draw The Line, Dead Man's Road
Rating - 3.0/5.0
--Stygian Steel 12.05.05
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