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Running Wild - "Live"
G.U.N. Records 2002

At last! Here is the second official live recording of this legendary German heavy metal band after Ready for Boarding in 1988. It is obvious that it comes at a wrong moment. After the weakest release called The Brotherhood. Five(!) songs from the latest band's release found its place in the set list. The recording of that live show took place in Osnabruck on the last day of the band's short European tour in spring of 2002. The sound is great, Rolf was in a good mood and his vocal performance was superb. Also the guitar duet Kasparek/Aufermann sounds very synchronized as if both guys would know each other for a long time. Main riffing, guitar harmonies and bridges were done with no mistakes, with full force in a well known Running Wild fashion, producing a sound full of aggression and rage. Rolf found a great solution in the recruitment of Matthias Liebetruth - this guy is exactly what the band needed. Fast and expressive in massive drum bridges and experienced on a double bas pedal. Also the bass guitar of Peter Pichel captured a fat live sound and this is it. We have the band's resurrection. Also in the booklet of this live release all four guys are noted as recent members of the band. I hope that this new line up will finally last and will deliver us albums such, as they are expected from such a band in the future.

Songs that are real boosters "Uaschitscun", "Riding The Storm", "Bad To The Bone" or especially the candies "Lead Or Gold" and "Blazon Stone" (the band just strikes it directly with it's main riff and no intro is included) will send you shivers down the spine. A part of the golden Running Wild history. I could eat them alive. Unfortunately there are no songs from Masquerade album. The band's decision was also to change set list a bit. So "Running Blood", another golden fantasy, was replaced with "Kiss Of Death". Shame, it would be better for that special recording event to add "Kiss Of Death" as a bonus in a band's set list and to leave "Running Blood" unharmed. The main part of the gig that closes with huge pyrotechnical devastation and a fantastic fade out of "Victory" is followed with two encores. In first the band takes us to the days of their beginning by storming with the "Prisoners Of Our Time" and "Purgatory". I can't quite get what the disastrous song "Soulstrippers" is doing in the first encore. The second encore closes the circle with a pirate song that we all know very well "Under Jolly Roger". Rolf speaks to the audience in his native language all the time.

What bother me are the long pauses between the songs, where Rolf changes his clothes from a husar to a pirate and whoever else. This kills the atmosphere and even the audience's response fades in those moments. Nevertheless, Running Wild just can't disappoint as a live act. You can feel what a force Running Wild are on stage. The sound is brilliant and a pure ear blasting drive killer or in other words "bad to the bone" as only Running Wild can be! "Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!" Feel welcome on this "Treasure Island".

Author:   Aleš

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